Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

John Edwards in 2008 --1

John Edwards' Plan To End The War In Iraq

"We don't need debate; we don't need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war. In order to get the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving." -- John Edwards [go here for program in full]

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Here’s an Iowa poll that came out today which might really mean something.

Edwards takes lead in InsiderAdvantage Iowa poll
By Tom Baxter
Southern Political Report

December 18, 2007 —

John Edwards has leapfrogged over his rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and leads the Democratic field in Iowa, according to the latest InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll. . . .

Edwards leads with 30 percent in a poll of Democratic voters who said they intend to participate in the Jan. 3 presidential caucuses, followed by Clinton with 26 percent and Obama with 24 percent. When the sample was narrowed to the most likely caucus-goers, based on several questions, Obama leads Edwards by less than a percentage point with 27 percent, with Clinton in third place at 24 percent.

Edwards holds a significant advantage, however, among a group who could be key to the first contest of the presidential year: those who say their first choice is someone other than the top three. Under Iowa Democratic Party rules, candidates who poll less than 15 percent in the first vote at each caucus around the state are eliminated, and their supporters get a second chance to vote for another candidate.

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Edwards is a Populist with nothing to lose. No other candidate can, or is willing, to take that stance. Just ask yourself: Where will Hillary and Barak be should they lose the primary? In the Senate. Where will Edwards be? More politics and another run in 2012? I don't think that's in the cards.

Clinton and Obama have a political contingency plan. Edwards has a go for broke plan. Clinton and Obama steer to the middle of the road. Edwards has his eye on the people in the economic ditches along the road.

Interestingly, we have a chance to choose a candidate with everything to win for us and nothing really to win for himself. Edwards is the only anti-corporate power, pro-health care revolution, out of Iraq now candidate. Nothing "careful," nothing "there's always the next election," about any of the detailed stances he takes on the big, divisive issues of the day, the issues and problems of the many days to come beyond the days of others electioneering compromises.

Populists are often labeled by the unthinking as "demagogues." But you’re not a demagogue until you fail or refuse to deliver on your promises. Edwards appears to be an individual who is at a point in his life’s arc where delivering on promises, programs, proposals is more important than hedging and compromising his deeper beliefs and values in order to gain the attention of pundits, bloggers, TV personalities, and the moneyed classes.

Democrats talk “change.” Will Democrats vote for it when it comes at them in shirt sleeves and a smile?
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But decide for yourself. If you listen to one speech this long campaign season, listen to this one.

John Edwards speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. day, January 2007.

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