Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So happy together... With John Edwards as Attorney General and Dennis Kucinich as Head of the FCC!

My friend Gary envisioned Barry (Barack) and Hillary skating off together in a fantasy sequence. At one point, I thought they were going to kiss. What sweet-nothings were they whispering in each other's ears at the end of the California debate last night? One thing I loved is that they each sanctified John Edwards. He is now a saint. They both vowed to champion his cause: poverty in America. (Read more on the amazing John Edwards below.) After losing both of our favorite Progressive candidates, Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards, it was a relief to hear both Hillary and Obama speak so clearly and passionately about the issues. I am relieved and would be happy with either of them as president.


Barack Obama: "John Edwards has spent a lifetime giving a voice to the voiceless."

I had the honor of interviewing John Edwards, his courageous wife Elizabeth and their daughter Cate on three separate occasions for our radio show. You can hear these interviews in the archives at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk
I am very sad that he has decided to leave the campaign. His impassioned plea to help the poor deeply affected me. I think Edwards is one of the most committed public servants today, and I hope he becomes Attorney General—  or even head of the FCC — as my friend and fellow blogger Mike says.

At each stop on his camaign tour John Edwards describes the dismay he felt when visiting a homeless shelter that must turn away 70 families each month for lack of space.

"Children. Living on the street in America," he says, pausing to let the image sink in. "All while Exxon-Mobil makes $40 billion. Last year, 37 million people in this country, about the population of California, went hungry. In the richest nation on the planet."

The Associated Press via Yahoo:

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters’ sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

John ran a good campaign and vowed to stay in it all the way to the convention, but apparently that’s not going to happen. John’s populist message scared the daylights out of the wealthy elite and the corporate media, which ultimately hurt his coverage. We wish him and his family all the best.

Edwards leaves the race having made a big impact on the two remaining candidates. His populist rhetoric forced his rivals to compete for union support, and he was the first out of the gate with detailed plans for universal healthcare and education, putting pressure on the field to match him. The former trial lawyer arguably won a majority of the debates, time and again challenging his opponents to refuse money from lobbyists and speed up their plans for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq.

What his exit will mean at the polls is less clear. On the one hand, it should help Obama consolidate the sizeable anti-Hillary contingency of the Democratic Party. At the same time, however, he drew more votes from Clinton than Obama in the first four contests — blue-collar white workers — so it could also help her fend off Obama, whose recent endorsement by Ted Kennedy should help with organized labor. Edwards announced no plans to endorse, but he has made his preference clear over the course of the campaign, dubbing himself and Obama candidates of change and Clinton the face of the "status quo." And if anyone should pay close attention to the race that Edwards has waged, it's Obama: if he doesn't win the nomination, four years from now he could be in John Edwards' shoes.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry." Audrey Hepburn is famous for the poem "Time Tested Beauty Tips", which she used to recite to her sons. The poem includes verses such as, "For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day." The poem is popularly attributed to her, but it was in fact written by Sam Levenson.