Thursday, January 04, 2007

John Edwards: A Democrat Worthy of the Presidency

"John Edwards is running for president because he wants to build an America that lives up to its promise -- one where we all share in prosperity at home and one that shows real moral leadership around the world.

The next president faces tremendous challenges -- from poverty and lack of health care, to energy and global warming, to fixing the mess in Iraq.

We cannot wait until the next president is elected to begin to address these challenges. If we want to live in a moral and just America tomorrow, we must act today.

We're going to reach out to millions of people to let them know it's still okay to dream big dreams, and do everything we can to make them real -- because that's what America is all about. If you're ready to change our country, please join us."

Regular readers know I’m a strong Democrat, and while I know it’s a little early to be thinking ahead to the next presidential election, I am ready to get started. My guy, John Edwards, made it official recently. What he says he’s about really hasn’t changed from the day his message captured my attention during the last presidential election when Edwards was saddled with poor old John Kerry as a campaign partner.

You see, I’m one of those Democrats who happens to think our party has gotten side-tracked, and I think John Edwards is just the person to help steer America in the right direction again. America has always, in my heart, been full of promise, but as John says, America has a ways to go to live up to that promise. I’ll be writing more, but if we want to see change happen we can’t sit idly by and hope someone else will do it.


Anonymous said...

John Edwards knows a lot about poverty, after all, he’s helped throw a lot of people into it with:

- his co-sponsorship of H-1b visas,

- his support for illegal aliens,

- his vote for MFN-China

but what about stuff like iraq war and the patriot act?

well, he voted for them too

About the only thing you can say for Edwards is, he spent so much time running for president that he didnt have time to do more damage as senator

You’ve got to ask yourself - ‘what did he do, with the power he had, when he had it?

Sheila said...

I welcome all comments, but I have to say, your points would merit a more thoughtful reply on my part if you would put your name on them. Otherwise, I usually think there's a bank of responders that are just spouting a particular line of horse pooh from the opposition.

Write me back if you are presenting a sincere viewpoint. I'd be interested to hear if Edwards was your senator. I suppose any candidate with a voting record must answer for these votes. I do know that Edwards was not alone in how he voted on the Iraq War. Seems to me practically the whole country was buying what George Bush was selling. Yes, I fault media, senators and our government for this failure.

Sheila said...

Oh I am so smart. I thought the post by anonymous seemed too canned. I moseyed on over to see how anonymous came my way and discovered it was via a search for John Edwards. Anonymous hails from Des Moines, Iowa, and has also posted the same response over on
which confirms my suspicions that this was not a geniune person.

If I'm wrong, and you just like to post the same thing everywhere without tailoring it to the post, please write me back.

Anonymous said...

Here's John Edwards, in his own words, writing about his vote on Iraq:

Sheila said...

Sorry anonymous. The link didn't work or got cut off. Are you the same anonymous as #one or a different anonymous? Could all anonymous posters identify themselves as #1, #2 and so-on. Or better yet, use your real name or a made up one?

Rhea said...

This is such an interesting day in politics. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House. Here in Massachusetts we have a black, Democratic governor!

Sheila said...

Thanks, Rhea. It was interesting to see Pelosi swinging the gavel. I have high hopes.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon#2 from Autauga Co., not Des Moines.
I posted the above link to John Edwards piece in the Wash. Post.
I just copied & pasted the link and it came right up.
Here's the article:
(note that this was written over two years ago)

The Right Way in Iraq
By John Edwards
Sunday, November 13, 2005; Page B07

I was wrong.

Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.

The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.

While we can't change the past, we need to accept responsibility, because a key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong -- and showing that we have the creativity and guts to make it right.

The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the president -- and that I was being given by our intelligence community -- wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war.

George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace.

Because of these failures, Iraq is a mess and has become a far greater threat than it ever was. It is now a haven for terrorists, and our presence there is draining the goodwill our country once enjoyed, diminishing our global standing. It has made fighting the global war against terrorist organizations more difficult, not less.

The urgent question isn't how we got here but what we do now. We have to give our troops a way to end their mission honorably. That means leaving behind a success, not a failure.

What is success? I don't think it is Iraq as a Jeffersonian democracy. I think it is an Iraq that is relatively stable, largely self-sufficient, comparatively open and free, and in control of its own destiny.

A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing the American presence, building Iraq's capacity and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help.

First, we need to remove the image of an imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections, when a new government has been created, we should begin redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq. Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces.

That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better-trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country.

Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule showing that, as we certify Iraqi troops as trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will be withdrawn.

Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet. The president needs to create a unified international front.

Too many mistakes have already been made for this to be easy. Yet we must take these steps to succeed. The American people, the Iraqi people and -- most important -- our troops who have died or been injured there, and those who are fighting there today, deserve nothing less.

America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war, and more than 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out.

Don said...

Alabama has been called “Tort Hell” thanks in large part to Jere Beasley. A look eastward to North Carolina reveals that John Edwards outshines Beasley in the size of some of the settlements he has won, making him a huge fortune in the process. So, one must wonder just how much his clients ended up with from those judgments. Both of these attorneys are heralded by some, and demonized as “ambulance chasers” by others. It’s not that I don’t think the companies sued should have been sued and made to pay, bit it is rather that the amounts sought and obtained seem almost as repulsive as the amount that Nick Saban will be paid to coach the Alabama football team.

Beyond that, Sheila, I can’t share your enthusiasm for Edwards. Perhaps it’s because having observed so many politicians over the years I have developed a rather jaundiced eye regarding most of them and I seem to sense when a politician isn’t what he or she claims to be. Edwards is just too slick for my taste, and some of the cases that made him rich are said by some to have been won more by his slick talk than by virtue of the applicable laws.

Tim said...

Well, at the risk of hashing up mud, anon seems to have usurped the seat of your blog for his / her own platform.

I cannot say I am enthusiastic for John, but he is far, far better than many of the candidates I've seen in recent years. Kerry, for instance. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

Sheila said...

Thanks all. To anon#2: after anonymous posted at my blog and every other blogger posting about John Edwards the same canned message, I was a bit snippy. Thank you for including the WaPo story.

Don, I know lawyers get paid the big bucks and so do football coaches. They also take a big risk. If a case isn't won or settled, the lawyer loses. If the coach loses too many games, he's out too.

Maybe Edwards is insincere or slick, but I like his message and in my heart I'm going to give him the benefit of your doubts until evidence surfaces to the contrary.

Tim, we will have to wait and see but I am and will continue to be hopeful. I love Frank Capra movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Maybe, there really is a candidate who is honest and who cares about intregity. I'd like to see if John Edwards is that man.

Teresa Beau said...

Sheila! Good to know you friend! I'm in Birmingham, AL and have been an avid supporter of John Edward for years.

Check out my blog:

Even in Alabama, people are fed up with the direction in which our leaders have been taking this nation.

More change is coming, and we just all stand up and work together to bring it about!

I hope I get to meet you soon. I'm a member of the Magic City Democrats and have attended several Get Out the Vote Parties and other events organized by, so perhaps we'll cross paths soon.

Sheila said...

Good to hear from you Teresa. Yep, we Alabama Democrats do have an uphill battle. I was interested to Wes Clark returning for a visit this week. He is one potential candidate who has not written us off. I hope John Edwards can visit soon too. Our primary is so late, however, that we just seem an afterthought.

Sheila said...

Rats, I hate it when I hit the publish button before proofreading. It should be "I was interested to see . . ."

I noticed that the John Edwards blog had a link to me. Thanks, folks. Can you convince him to come to Alabama? I promise I'll be there.

Teresa Beau said...

You know, a friend of mine told me she heard on the news this morning that Edwards WAS going to be in Birmingham today, but I couldn't find anything about it anywhere?!?

So, if there's a scheduled visit, I'll be there too. Hope to see you there:)

Sheila said...

Teresa, I hope the Edwards camp will e-mail us whenever he might be in the state like the Wes Clark team did me. Of course, I couldn't afford to attend one of those soirees that candidates throw for the big donors.

Teresa Beau said...

Actually, Wesley Clark spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Magic City Democrats not too long ago. I REALLY wanted to go, but it was on a day when I just couldn't get away from the office.

I think it was only $10 or $15 to attend the luncheon, and I met (shook hands with) Edwards at a conference for "Trial Lawyers" (hate that stupid term) I attended in D.C. in 2002.

So, there are lots of events where candidates speak that aren't necessarily big fund raising events.

We'll get a chance to hear them, and soon I'll bet. :)

Teresa Beau said...

Yep! He was here in Birmingham.

Sheila said...

I hope he's coming back. I haven't been to see many candidates, but every time, I always feel energized and hopeful.