The instant it was reported that John Edwards placed second in the Iowa caucus, I ran to my purse, grabbed my wallet, pulled out my credit card, and donated to the Edwards campaign. Not for the first time. And likely for not the last. I don't have much money to give, but with this nation in peril, it's necessary. There's too much to lose if I don't ante up. America NEEDS John Edwards!! After my little donation, this is the message I got:
Dear friend, Thank you so much for your support. I never accept any money from lobbyists or PACs, so our victory depends on people like you pitching in. And that's the way it should be. Your contribution will enable us to reach out to voters in living rooms, town halls, and on the airwaves. You're helping us build support for transformational change in early primary states and across the country. Everywhere I travel, Americans are ready to join you and me in the great work ahead. To bring our message of real change to voters, we need offices in cities, organizers on the ground, and outreach materials to send in the mail. Yes, the work of a national campaign comes at a cost, but truly changing America offers a far greater reward. Thank you again for making all of this possible. Sincerely, John EdwardsThese lines in Edwards' response:
"I never accept any money from lobbyists or PACs, so our victory depends on people like you pitching in. And that's the way it should be."speak rarefied truth to power.
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For those who would say, "but Mitt Romney outspent Mike Huckabee by MILLIONS and Huckabee still won Iowa," I say: Huckabee didn't defeat Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney defeated himself. Romney's own self-centered air of entitlement, along with righteous public enmity toward corporate CEO's, defeated Mitt Romney. Huckabee is still a fundamentalist buffoon whose penchant for hunting metaphors are as bad for America's world image as Bush's "Bring 'em on!" Come November, neither Huckabee nor Romney will prevail. This I would bet on.
The candidate who should prevail this November, if America is to prevail, is John Edwards. He is the only candidate who can BATTLE the corporations and end the avarice that is decimating this nation. CEO punditeers, pulling the strings on media pundits, pull their mouths shut so they're silent on Edwards. It's corporate pundit theatre. Like media silenced the naysayers on the lies about Iraq, it silences the "YAYsayers" on the truth about Edwards. Corporations know that Edwards can defeat them. They don't want him to beat them! They don't want him to win! America and Americans NEED John Edwards. They need a fighter. Barack is a lovely man, but he lacks Edwards' FIRE to rescue homes from foreclosure.
Obama's a brilliant man, but he's not a scrapper like Edwards to get Americans back their jobs. Obama's a gifted man, but he's not pugnacious like Edwards to whip Congress into shape. Obama's distinguished, but his fists aren't clenched and his jaw isn't set to wrestle America from the clutches of greed. Edwards knows that the greed-mongers won't voluntarily relent. They will need to be beaten. As nice as Obama seems - as genteel and as dapper - he's not the fighter America needs. He's not America's scrapper. Not now. Not yet. Obama has organized communities, but that's different from subduing moguls. This is the domain of John Edwards. The only obstacles that can take John Edwards out of this race are money, pressure from the corporate controlled Democratic Party to withdraw, and strung along punditz who will swear that John Edwards is finished.
Those who know the sleazy methods of Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Shumer, and Nancy Pelosi, know the Democrats will be leaning on Edwards to bow out. Their corporate buddies will be pushing money on Obama and Clinton more than ever to keep them viable over Edwards. For greed-ridden corporations, the mantra is "A-B-E: ANYONE - BUT - EDWARDS!" But for Americans who understand how deep the decay of our democracy is, the true mantra is "O-J-E: ONLY - JOHN - EDWARDS!" For Progressives who deal with a Congress immune to reason, public sentiment and the Constitution, the difficult fight is clear. Corporate favors, earmarks, and unlimited terms have perverted electeds.
They're buoyed by infallibility and self-importance. They're stalled in Larry Craig's immutable wide-stance. They're partners in the greed Edwards speaks of. These are not surface problems. They are multi-layered. They transcend industry and geography. They're endemic to farms, homes, banks, prisons, realty, energy, education, trade - EVERYTHING! To bail out America from the grip of these deviates will take more than charisma. It will take grit. That's not to say Obama can't fight. It's just not certain that he will. The fight America needs today is the mission of Edwards' life. It's not his stump speech. It's his calling, and he's prepared to take it on. America's next President needs fire in his belly. Edwards is on fire.
Obama's just on simmer. The path to Obama's victory wasn't torched by his own fire. It was stoked by the adulation he received at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 - less than 4 years ago. It was reinforced when he traversed the nation in his first run for Senate and met more adoring crowds who moved him with their adulation. His decision to run for President was inspired by the opinions of others - not by his opinion of himself. He said so when he entered the race. Now he's a well-honed campaigner. A man of words. But it will take more than words to heal America. It will take FIGHT! Obama's ready to speak. But I don't think he's up to this fight. Not this one! Not yet!! I'm also not certain he can't be seduced by power. The Clintons were, and continue to be. Here's an excerpt from a Harpers profile of Obama from November 2006:
"Yet it is also startling to see how quickly Obama’s senatorship has been woven into the web of institutionalized influence-trading that afflicts official Washington. He quickly established a political machine funded and run by a standard Beltway group of lobbyists, P.R. consultants, and hangers-on. For the staff post of policy director he hired Karen Kornbluh, a senior aide to Robert Rubin when the latter, as head of the Treasury Department under Bill Clinton, was a chief advocate for NAFTA and other free-trade policies that decimated the nation’s manufacturing sector (and the organized labor wing of the Democratic Party).Edwards, on the other hand, is not seduced by wealth and power. He achieved both long ago by defeating corporate power - not succumbing to it. This isn't to say that Obama would cave in or sell out - but look what happened to Bill Clinton. First he was the "hillbilly" in DC who was beaten by the system. Now he's a central part of it. But Edwards remains an outsider who deplores the corporate greed.
Obama’s top contributors are corporate law and lobbying firms (Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, where four attorneys are fund-raisers for Obama as well as donors), Wall Street financial houses (Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase), and big Chicago interests (Henry Crown and Company, an investment firm that has stakes in industries ranging from telecommunications to defense). Obama immediately established a “leadership PAC,” a vehicle through which a member of Congress can contribute to other politicians’ campaigns—and one that political reform groups generally view as a slush fund through which congressional leaders can evade campaign-finance rules while raising their own political profiles.
Battling corporations is the mission of his life - and his life has truly been that mission. At this historic time - one I have awaited for decades - when a black American has the chance to be President - I wish I could be pleased that the Presidency could be his. At another time, if the nation wasn't in such dire straits and didn't need a tested fighter so badly, I'm certain I would be. But that time is not now.
To fight THIS FIGHT, one must be tried, tested and steady. Obama at this time in his young career, isn't ready. He would make an excellent Vice President to fight beside John Edwards to defeat the Karl Roves and corporations. Then after a successful 8 years, at age 54 - the same age Edwards is now - Barack Obama would be first in line to be President. But for now, America and the world need a scrapper - and that scrapper is John Edwards. To stay in the race, John Edwards will need money. So please, America, ante up!!! Keep John Edwards in the race.
(For further perspective on Obama versus Edwards, check out this Democracy Now interview from Friday, January 4th, with Edwards supporter and long time activist/actor, Danny Glover - Radio Interview below. Click arrow on left to start Podcast!
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