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November 12, 2005
Walking the Talk

I always liked John Edwards.

Edwards has raised more than $4 million for Democratic legislative candidates in mostly red states, trying, as he says, "to build the party back from the ground up." He's teaming with unlikely partners on the left--including local AFL-CIO, ACORN and NAACP chapters--in campaigns to raise the minimum wage in Ohio, Arizona and Michigan. He's praising Big Labor's historic role in "lifting millions of Americans out of poverty." And he's floating serious--and surprisingly liberal--proposals to put his high-flown rhetoric into action. He's touting a controversial "cultural integration" plan to give low-income families housing vouchers to move into better neighborhoods. He's calling for expansions to Bill Clinton's earned-income tax credits, for concerted crackdowns on predatory lenders, and for "work bonds" to help low-income workers build savings and assets. He wants not only to repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent but also to raise capital-gains taxes for those on the top rungs. After Hurricane Katrina he spoke pointedly about how "the face of poverty in America is the face of color" and promoted an ambitious Gulf Coast recovery program modeled on FDR's Works Progress Administration--a touchstone for the kind of big-government liberalism that the old Edwards (like most Democratic leaders today) wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot pole.

He's becoming the candidate I always thought he had the potential to be.

Even the notorious smear campaigners at the North Carolina Republican Party could dredge up nothing damning on Edwards during his upset of Republican Senator Lauch Faircloth in 1998--nothing beyond the indisputable fact that he had, for twenty years, been successfully suing big corporations on behalf of those "regular people," piling up millions in the process as one of America's top trial attorneys.

An honest politician? Who would have believed it?

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Connected story. Free college for all students who want to go? Interesting idea.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:15 AM


Comments

John Edwards has always been honest and walked the talk. He said he regretted his decision voting for Iraq last year, but the message got so twisted. While he was on the Senate Intelligence committee, I have reason to believe they were not given all of the information, which is why he and others were misled.

He is the only man I know who is still willing to take on the mess W and his ilk have left...and doing it now through his campaign against poverty.

Posted by: Benny at November 12, 2005 12:20 PM

One of the things I like about Edwards is his willingness to keep repeating what needs to be said until people are ready to listen.

Posted by: Anne at November 14, 2005 01:30 PM