Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I Support John Edwards

Over at MyDD, jedreport reminds me of why I'm supporting John Edwards:

Are there three people in this debate, not two? This kind of many children is this going to give health care, how many people are going to get an education from this, how many kids are going to be able to go to college because of this. We have got to understand, this is not about us personally. It is about what we are trying to do for this country, and what we believe in. -- John Edwards, during last night's debate

Last night, while Barack Obama was going Wal-Mart on Hillary Clinton, and while Hillary was going Rezko on Obama, and while they were both looking for more ammunition to use in yet another personal attack, John Edwards did something extraordinary.

John Edwards stepped up and showed some leadership. He reminded his opponents that this campaign isn't about their personal lives; it's about the future of our country, and what we should do to make it a better place.

The moment that put John Edwards back in the game

It's a relatively rare thing when the other two major candidates address these things. Edwards hasn't been entirely above the fray, but anyone who's paid attention to what he's been saying the last six months realizes that the things he mentioned last night really are his focus.

Sadly, I'm not as optimistic as jedreport about Edwards' chances in South Carolina. Unfortunately, the willingness and ability to focus on what the candidates are really about is a rare one. Most folks, if they pay any attention to Edwards at all, will focus on the haircuts, his career as a trial lawyer (without getting into the specifics of his cases, of course), and fatuous charges that he's appealing to sexists, or to racists.

When you get right down to it, Adlai Stevenson was right:

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to him, "You have the vote of every thinking person!" Stevenson called back, "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

Wikiquote:Adlai Stevenson

We'll be reminded of these words quite often in the coming months, I think.

UPDATE (Jan. 24): Speaking of the Rezko deal, Taylor Marsh has put together a great article detailing the latest in that scandal.


Eli said...

Again, it is truly sad that showing leadership appears to be more liability than asset. The only two candidates to show *any* leadership at all are Dodd & Edwards, and look where it's gotten them.

Cujo359 said...

I just can't wait for the time, eight years from now, when those who propelled either Obama or Clinton into the White House will be making excuses about why they haven't accomplished anything useful for the country, other than maybe re-financing the debt.

I've had my doubts about how much Edwards could actually accomplish, due to his lack of executive experience and the unpopularity of his positions among the rich folks who inhabit Congress. Unfortunately, without having the will to do what Edwards wants to do, no President will get it done. So I'll take my chances on the guy who actually has the will.

Dodd was my second choice for similar reasons. He was too close to the financial and insurance types for my comfort, but he believes in the Constitution and is willing to stand up for it. That made him unique among the acting Senators who have been running for President this year.