Saturday, August 20, 2005

Edwards on the Move

John Edwards - former junior North Carolina Senator, former Presidential hopeful, anf former Vice Presidential nominee - has his eyes set on '08 as he jetsets around the country and the world. With stops in Oklahoma, Washington State, and Iowa in recent weeks, and a meeting in London with Tony Blair and members of Parliament under his belt, Edwards has tried his best to keep his name in the news now that he is no longer in the Senate.

Edwards was, if nothing else, a hopeful and exciting possibility for the Democrats last year. The issue that he made his focus - poverty - is a tremendous problem and one that needs attention. Edwards has started a think tank at UNC to seek policy remedies to the widespread poverty in America. But does he believe that the idealistic and well-intentioned platform of bringing America's poor into the middle class is going to win him significant votes? Few people wouldn't support his goals, but few Democrats in 2008 would give that issue priority over foreign policy and the War on Terror, improving America's energy policy, and rolling back the Bush tax cuts, for example.

The Blogging of the President likens Edwards to FDR (yikes!) in a post that names him and Wes Clark the likeliest challengers to Hillary Clinton. Besides the fact that FDR was far more experienced than Edwards is (Roosevelt had been a State Senator, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the Governor of New York before he ran for and won the presidency in 1932), the times are far different. In 1932, poverty - brought upon by the Crash in 1929 and the culmination of a decade of laissez-faire economic policy - was far more widespread. FDR's policies to lift up the nation's poor then weren't directed at a minority of the population as Edwards' would be today. Perhaps the comparison holds water in the men's common idealism. But FDR's idealism seemed much more realistic 73 years ago than Edwards' does now.

For the one-term North Carolina Senator, 2008 is looking an awful lot like 2004.

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