Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm for Edwards

This morning a friend of mine told me that he'd be comfortable with any of the top three Democratic candidates becoming president, but that he still preferred Edwards, because he is a populist. Unfortunately, he mused, "Edwards doesn't have a snow-ball's chance in hell" of winning. We couldn't figure out why that is.

Since his last presidential campaign, Edwards has been doing his anti-poverty homework at the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC. That has resulted in a solid set of policy prescriptions and new ideas. Speaking of "new", he also seemed to me to be the first candidate talking about the need for change to politics and business as usual, especially against entrenched corporate interests. And, although it is hard to document, this Edwards campaign seems more authentic than when he ran on the Kerry ticket. I sense that John Edwards isn't taking the advice of pollsters and strategists as much as he used to. He is sticking to his core messages about closing the income gap and responsibly ending the war in Iraq. He is digging deep from personal experience and utilizing impressive skills and talents. Still, although my friend and I like Edwards, and our concerns about the other top to candidates are answered by what he offers, we didn't have lots of confidence in his ability to win the nomination. He just wasn't the "buzz" candidate or the one with the big campaign machine.

After I put down the phone, I saw the vicious cycle in our logic. Maybe the reason there isn't as much Edwards "buzz" is because people like me--who believe in his ideas and his experience-- aren't doing enough to get the word out. Maybe his already impressive organization would be even stronger if folks on the sidelines like me got a little more vocal and active. The media and the candidates are saying that "change" is what Americans want, so let me do some changing myself. Beginning today, I will start speaking up more for my candidate. In terms of trade, here is why I support John Edwards, as taken from his website

John Edwards proposes "smart trade" policies based upon three principles:

  • Help Workers as Well as Corporations: Trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO include special privileges for corporations, such as strong remedies for commercial rights and unprecedented rights to challenge environmental and health laws. Edwards believes that trade agreements should be judged by their effect on regular families and include strong rights for workers.
  • Lift Up Families Around the World: Building the global middle class will promote balanced trade relationships and, by reducing poverty, make us safer and more secure. Edwards supports trade and foreign aid to ensure that workers around the world share in the gains from trade.
  • Build on Other Efforts to Share Prosperity: Trade policy alone will not address the needs of American workers. As president, Edwards will also lead the country toward universal health care, better schools, stronger unions, and investments in innovation and skills to improve competitiveness and create new jobs in industries like clean energy and the life sciences.
If you agree with my endorsement of Edwards, let us know. If you have another candidate, talk about him or her on these pages. In any case, let's reflect the philosophy of the ultimate populist, Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."


  1. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Edwards is "UNBOUGHT and UNSOLD", read Shirley Cisholm book! The first black American women nominated at the 1972 Democrat convenction!

  2. Wow, this is reason enough for me to support him :-)

    Unfortunately, I can't vote. It's kinda sad international students or workers can't really have that much say in US politics, when a lot of the decisions that future presidents make will ultimately affect us, either through their immigration policies or the way they will interact and influence our countries of origin.