Mar 22, 2007

Edwards Campaign will Continue

The campaign by John Edwards for the Democratic nomination will continue, despite his wife Elizabeth being diagnosed with having bone cancer.

This from MSNBC:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - John Edwards said Thursday his wife’s cancer has returned, but said he will continue his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“The campaign goes on. The campaign goes on strongly,” Edwards told reporters, his wife by his side.

Earlier on Thursday, incorrectly reported that Edwards would suspend his campaign because of his wife’s illness. The report was based on a statement an Edwards friend made to, a political Web site.

The recurrence of the cancer — this time on Elizabeth Edwards’ bone — presents a setback for the couple, both personally and politically. But both said they would stick with their plans to campaign vigorously for the nomination.

“From our perspective, there was no reason to stop,” Edwards said. “I don’t think we seriously thought about it.”

Edwards had canceled a Tuesday evening house party in Iowa to go with his wife to a doctor’s appointment, which his campaign described as a follow-up to a routine test she had Monday.
Faced with questions about how his wife’s illness affected his political future, Edwards said he will pursue his second bid for the presidency, but: “Any time, any place I need to be with Elizabeth, I will be there — period.”

Mrs. Edwards, 57, was first diagnosed with cancer in the final weeks of the 2004 campaign. The day after Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and Edwards, his running mate, conceded the election to George W. Bush, Edwards announced that his wife had invasive ductal cancer, the most common type of breast cancer, and would undergo treatment.

Mrs. Edwards underwent several months of radiation and chemotherapy for the lump in her breast. Her husband’s campaign has said she had recovered from the illness.

“I don’t look sickly, I don’t feel sickly. I am as ready as any person can be for that,” she said at the news conference.

John Edwards said a biopsy of her rib had showed that the cancer had returned.
The bone is one of the most common places where breast cancer spreads, and once it does so it is not considered curable.

But how long women survive depends on how widespread the cancer is in the bone, and many can survive for years. The longer it takes for cancer to spread after the initial tumor, the better the prognosis.

Chemotherapy and radiation are standard treatments, along with use of drugs that specifically target the bones called bisphosphonates. Other treatments include hormone therapy if the cancer is responsive to estrogen.

Dr. Lisa Carey, Elizabeth Edwards’ physician, said that initial tests showed some very small suspicious spots elsewhere, but that the therapy focus would be on the bone. Asked where else, she said “possibly involving the lung.”

Mar 8, 2007

Edwards polls well in New Hampshire

A Suffolk University poll conducted between February 24 and 28 has John Edwards solidly in third place as the preferred Democratic nominee.

Hillary Clinton was in the lead on 28%, with Barack Obama closely behind on 26%.

John Edwards was on 17%, with Joe Biden the closest behind on 3%.

Mar 7, 2007

Vilsack Supporters Head to Edwards

100 of the supporters of former candidate and Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, have pledged to support John Edwards in his bid for the Presidency. The 100 Iowans include State Representative Kurt Swaim and attorney and Democratic activist Ed Skinner.

Swaim said that he is proud to support Edwards for President, and with "...his leadership, we can get America back on the right path."

Skinner said that John Edwards " exactly the kind of leader we need here in Iowa and in our country."

Edwards has consistently been much higher in the polls in Iowa, than his third place in the national surveys. His commitment to visiting Iowa has been shown by his almost 20 visits to the state in the last 2 years.

Edwards will be heading to Iowa again this Friday for a 2 day visit.

Barack Obama will also be there this weekend.

John Edwards on Libby Conviction

John Edwards yesterday made the following statement in response to the conviction of Scooter Libby yesterday. Libby is the former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and has been convicted of perjury, obstructing justice and making false statements to federal investigators. It related to the leaking of the classified identity of a CIA employee to the media.

"Today's verdict in the Libby case is an important step in holding the Administration accountable for its consistent misuse and manipulation of intelligence to further its ideological agenda. But there are serious questions about whether the buck actually stopped with Scooter Libby. The American people deserve to know if Mr. Libby has been made a scapegoat in order to protect anyone else."

Mar 6, 2007

Edwards' Stance - Gay's and Lesbians in the Military

John Edwards is a strong supporter of allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the military. He has released a statement, supporting the Military Readiness Enhancement Act which has been reintroduced to Congress. The Act would overturn the current policy which restricts the access of openly gay and lesbian people from serving.

Senator John Edwards released the following statement today calling for an end to the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy on gays and lesbians in the military. Earlier today, Congressman Marty Meehan reintroduced his Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

"It is long past time to end the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military. It is critical to our national security that we have the best people in our military. Gay men and women have continually served our country with honor and bravery, and we should honor their commitment and never turn away anyone who is willing to serve their country because of their sexual orientation.

"This is an issue of fundamental fairness — and our military ought to treat everyone fairly. I applaud Congressman Meehan on his important legislation."

Major Iowa Tour for John Edwards

Starting this Friday, John Edwards will be commencing a two day tour of Iowa which will include at least five public community meetings.

Edwards has been a consistent visitor to Iowa over the last two years, and always polls well in this key state.

This is John Edwards' schedule so far:

March 9

Council Bluffs Senior Center

Sanford Community Center

March 10

UAW Local #997, Newton

Indian Hills Community College

Burlington Convention Hall

For more details or to RSVP, head to the John Edwards Website. All the events are free.

John Edwards Heads to Texas

John Edwards is heading to San Antonio, Texas, tomorrow for a rally at the Sunset Station Depot at 5pm.

He will follow that visit up on Friday with a two day tour of Iowa.

To RSVP for the San Antonio rally, head to the John Edwards Website here.

Mar 5, 2007

1000 at UC Berkeley for John Edwards

Over 1000 enthusiastic people attended a "Tomorrow Begins Today" rally for John Edwards yesterday at the University of California, Berkeley.

Edwards has been conducting a tour of college campuses. Last week he was in Denver and today, Edwards will go to UCLA. On the 14th of March, Edwards will attend the Howard University campus in Washington, D.C.

Mar 3, 2007

John Edwards Applauds Congress

John Edwards has released a statement, congratulating the efforts of Members of the House in supporting the card check neutrality legislation. The legislation will make it much easier for workers to join a union and for unions to organize to protect workers rights.

John Edwards has long been a solid supporter of the labour movement, and will be seeking to solidify their support prior to the nomination.

Senator John Edwards released the following statement today, applauding the passage of card check neutrality legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Today is a victory for working men and women across the country. Speaker Pelosi and 241 members of the House did the right thing by standing up for working Americans and passing this bill.

"Organized labor has been the most important anti-poverty movement in American history — strengthening the middle class and providing good-paying jobs for millions of Americans. We need to make it easier for workers to organize themselves into unions. If a Republican can join the Republican Party by signing their name to a card, any worker in America ought to be able to join a union by doing exactly the same thing.

"By protecting a worker's right to join a union, we give more Americans the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and into the middle class, which is why I have been all over this country the past few years, working with over 20 national unions to organize thousands of workers, walking picket lines and speaking out in support of workers' rights.

"I encourage the Senate to pass this legislation and hope this is just the beginning of a renewed effort in our country to protect working Americans and strengthen organized labor."

Mar 2, 2007

Coulter's Disgraceful Attack on Edwards

Conservative author, Ann Coulter has launched a disgraceful and bigoted attack on John Edwards, when speaking yesterday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Ann Coulter said that she was going to make a comment on John Edwards, but "it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot' so I'm kind of at an impasse, I can't really talk about Edwards."

Coulter was introduced yesterday by Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Vice President Dick Cheney was also in the audience.

DNC chairman Howard Dean has called on Republican candidate's to denounce the remarks by Coulter.

The Edwards campaign has responded by distributing a video of her remarks. They are also trying to raise $100,000 this week in "Coulter Cash" to "...keep this campaign charging ahead and fight back against the politics of bigotry."

Coulter has quite a reputation for controversy. Can we go further here by asking you to make a sentence out of the following words? Coulter, morals and alleycat. Thank you.

Mar 1, 2007

Edwards Interview on Health Care

John Edwards giving an interview on WYNC Radio last week. The major topic is Edwards' plan for health care.

Edwards Steady in Latest POST/ABC Poll

The latest Washington Post/ABC poll released this week shows that John Edwards is remaining steady on 12% as preferred Democratic nominee for President. The January poll had Edwards on 11%.

Hillary Clinton still leads the race, on 36%, although her lead has been cut down significantly by Barack Obama whose rating has increased from 17% in January to 24% in the latest poll. Al Gore was the third favorite, ranking 14%.

Edwards also has a strong favorable rating on 46%.

The poll was conducted between February 22 and 25 and has a margin of error of 4%.

Feb 28, 2007

Former N.J Governor Supports Edwards

The Former Governor of New Jersey and current State Senate President, Richard Codey has announced that he is supporting John Edwards to become the Democratic nominee for President.

Codey said that "John Edwards has the leadership qualities and the experience to lead this nation." He also has "...the best vision to put a Democrat back in the White House."

"This nation deserves a President who will unite us behind a vision of economic growth and a sensible foreign policy that will help us deal realistically with the War against Terrorism."

Edwards said that he is honored to have Codey's support and he will be a valuable addition to the team.

John Edwards Goes back to College

John Edwards will be heading on a tour of a number of college's in the coming weeks. His schedule takes him around the country, from Colorado to California then back to Washington D.C.

College Tours:

March 1
Denver, Colorado Area
Tivoli Student Union, Turnhalle

March 4
Berkeley, California
YWCA Berkeley

March 5
UCLA Kerckhoff Patio
University of California, Los Angeles

March 14
Washington, D.C.
Howard University campus

RSVP for any of these events here.

Feb 26, 2007

John Edwards in New Hampshire

John Edwards was again in New Hampshire on Saturday, campaigning on the energy issue.

ABC News Nightline will be running a feature piece on Edward's visit to New Hampshire on Monday night.

This is the video released from the Edwards campaign.

Feb 23, 2007

Edwards Statement on Vilsack Decision

John Edwards released the following statement regarding the decision by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to withdraw from the race for the Democratic nomination.

“Tom Vilsack is a terrific human being and one of the genuine treasures of our Party, so it is our loss more than his that he has chosen to end his campaign for president. His record as a leader on critical issues including education, health care, and energy independence makes one thing very clear: Tom has never forgotten where he came from or the people he serves. He is a powerful voice for the people of Iowa and America, and I am proud to call him a friend. Elizabeth and I wish Tom, Christie and their entire family the very best life can offer and look forward to working with them in the years ahead to build a country that lives up to its great promise.”

Feb 22, 2007

Edwards at Candidates Forum in Nevada

This is the footage of John Edwards at the candidates forum in Carson City, Nevada yesterday. The forum was organised by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and was moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Part 1

Part 2

Feb 21, 2007

National Day of Health Care Action

The John Edwards inspired One Corps will be conducting a National Day of Action this Saturday, 24 February on Health Care.

This from the campaign team:

From coast to coast, fellow John Edwards supporters will be gathering this Saturday to fight for universal health care.Some of us will pass out fliers explaining Senator Edwards' health care proposal while signing up new supporters. Some of us will gather to write letters to the editor of local newspapers. And some of us will give blood or find other ways to help those in our community who need health care today.

But all of us will be taking action because we share the core belief of this campaign: Transformational change is not someone else's job for another time. Changing America is our responsibility, and it begins today.

Feb 18, 2007

John Edwards Campaigns in Nevada

John Edwards yesterday attended the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Over 300 people attended to hear Edwards talk about his universal health care plan. Edwards has strong ties to the labour movement across America and would be expecting strong support for his campaign for the nomination.

Today, Edwards will be in Dubuque, Iowa for a town hall style meeting at 1pm.

Edwards Demands Bush Suspend Free Trade Negotiations with South Korea

John Edwards has called on President Bush to suspend free trade negotiations with South Korea until they "..until they prove their willingness to open their market to American automobiles and other U.S. products and agree to trade fairly."

In a week that thousands of car workers at Daimler Chrysler learnt that they would lose their jobs, Edwards said that one sided trade agreements hurt working families.

Virginia Democratic Chair Endorses Edwards

The Chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, Richard Cranwell yesterday threw his support behind John Edwards to be the Democratic nominee.

Cranwell called Edwards the fastest horse in the field, and said that Democrats must support a candidate who can win, adding that there is no second place in elections.

The endorsement came on the same day that Barack Obama secured the support of Virgina Governor Timothy Kaine during a campaign stop in Richmond.

Feb 16, 2007

John Edwards Weekend Schedule

John Edwards will tomorrow head to Las Vegas for a town hall meeting to discuss his health care plan. The event will take place at 11am and is free.

On Sunday, Edwards will again head to Dubuque, Iowa, for a 1pm town hall meeting. Edwards has visited Iowa nearly 20 times in the last 2 years.

Next Wednesday, Edwards will head back to Nevada for a candidates forum in Carson City.

Tonight, John Edwards will be on The Situation Room on CNN, followed by an appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

Feb 14, 2007

End the Iraq War - John Edwards

John Edwards has announced a comprehensive plan to end the war in Iraq, and he is again calling on Congress to use their powers to act.

Edwards has for the last month been calling on Congress to limit the funding for the Bush troop escalation, which is currently underway. He has said that a debate or a non binding resolution is not good enough.

The only solution in Iraq he said must be a diplomatic one, and the Iraqi people must take responsibility for their country. To do that, Edwards said America must start leaving the country.

He has continued his call for people to sign the petition, to tell Congress not to fund the escalation.

The John Edwards Plan would:
  • Stop the escalation and force an immediate withdrawal by using funding caps to restrict the total number of troops in Iraq to 100,000, which would require an immediate drawdown of 40,000-50,000 combat troops without stranding or underfunding a single soldier still in Iraq. Any troops beyond the 100,000 level should be redeployed immediately.
  • Block the deployment of troops that do not meet readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped. American Tax dollars must be used to prepare and supply our troops, not escalate the war. It is simply wrong to send our troops into harm's way without all the training and equipment they need.
  • Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give Bush the power to use U.S. troops to police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago. He now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.
  • Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq within the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.

John Edwards will tonight be on CNN's Larry King Live, 9pm ET to discuss his plan.

Edwards Appoints New Hampshire Adviser

John Edwards has hired the woman who ran the campaign for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio, to lead his bid for the nomination in New Hampshire.

Beth Leonard helped John Kerry win the Iowa caucus in 2004, and then went on to Ohio for the Presidential election. She was most recently the Get Out the Vote Director for the Democrats Senate Campaign in the mid terms.

Jennifer O'Malley will head the Edwards campaign in Iowa. She did the same job for him in 2004, having previously worked for Al Gore in New Hampshire in the 2000 campaign.

Second Blogger Resigns

The second blogger for John Edwards who has been subjected to criticism in the last week, has resigned from the campaign.

Melissa McEwan said on her blog Shakespeare's Sister that "This was a decision I made, with the campaign's reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign."

Another blogger, Amanda Marcotte resigned yesterday. They had both come under fire from social conservatives who had objected to some of their previous writing.

Feb 13, 2007

Edwards Blogger Resigns from Campaign

Amanda Marcotte, who was one of the top bloggers for John Edwards' campaign, has resigned after some of her previous comments came under fire from conservatives.

Marcotte said that the criticism of her "...was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign."

Feb 12, 2007

Edwards, South Carolina & Youtube

Oh yeah, now this is what youtube is all about. Real videos, by real people.

Check this one out, it's 9 minutes, but its good. It's a down to earth look at a town hall style meeting from Edwards. When he finally makes it to the stage - tough getting through that crowd - Edwards talks about his health care plan and his campaign.

Feb 11, 2007

New York Times and John Edwards

The following article appeared on Friday in the New York Times. It relates specifically to the health plan Edwards released last week, which it calls a smart and serious proposal.

Edwards Gets it Right
New York Times - Paul Krugman

What a difference two years makes! At this point in 2005, the only question seemed to be how much of America’s social insurance system — the triumvirate of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the Bush administration would manage to dismantle.

Now almost all prominent Democrats and quite a few Republicans pay at least lip service to calls for a major expansion of social insurance, in the form of universal health care.

But fine words, by themselves, mean nothing. Remember “compassionate conservatism?” I won’t trust presidential candidates on health care unless they provide enough specifics to show both that they understand the issues, and that they’re willing to face up to hard choices when necessary.

And former Senator John Edwards has just set a fine example.

At first glance, the Edwards health care plan looks similar to several other proposals out there, including one recently unveiled by Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. But a closer look reveals extra features in the Edwards plan that take it a lot closer to what the country really needs.

Like Mr. Schwarzenegger, Mr. Edwards sets out to cover the uninsured with a combination of regulation and financial aid. Right now, many people are uninsured because, as the Edwards press release puts it, insurance companies “game the system to cover only healthy people.” So the Edwards plan, like Schwarzenegger’s, imposes “community rating” on insurers, basically requiring them to sell insurance to everyone at the same price.

Many other people are uninsured because they simply can’t afford the cost. So the Edwards plan, again like other proposals, offers financial aid to help lower-income families buy insurance. To pay for this aid, he proposes rolling back tax cuts for households with incomes over $200,000 a year.

Finally, some people try to save money by going without coverage, so if they get sick they end up in emergency rooms at public expense. Like other plans, the Edwards plan would “require all American residents to get insurance,” and would require that all employers either provide insurance to their workers or pay a percentage of their payrolls into a government fund used to buy insurance.

But Mr. Edwards goes two steps further.

People who don’t get insurance from their employers wouldn’t have to deal individually with insurance companies: they’d purchase insurance through “Health Markets”: government-run bodies negotiating with insurance companies on the public’s behalf. People would, in effect, be buying insurance from the government, with only the business of paying medical bills — not the function of granting insurance in the first place — outsourced to private insurers.

Why is this such a good idea? As the Edwards press release points out, marketing and underwriting — the process of screening out high-risk clients — are responsible for two-thirds of insurance companies’ overhead. With insurers selling to government-run Health Markets, not directly to individuals, most of these expenses should go away, making insurance considerably cheaper.

Better still, “Health Markets,” the press release says, “will offer a choice between private insurers and a public insurance plan modeled after Medicare.” This would offer a crucial degree of competition. The public insurance plan would almost certainly be cheaper than anything the private sector offers right now — after all, Medicare has very low overhead. Private insurers would either have to match the public plan’s low premiums, or lose the competition.

And Mr. Edwards is O.K. with that. “Over time,” the press release says, “the system may evolve toward a single-payer approach if individuals and businesses prefer the public plan.”
So this is a smart, serious proposal. It addresses both the problem of the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system. And every candidate should be pressed to come up with something comparable.

Yes, that includes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So far, all we have from Mr. Obama is inspiring rhetoric about universal care — that’s great, but how do we get there? And how do we know whether Mrs. Clinton, who says that she’s “not ready to be specific,” and that she wants to “build the consensus first,” will really be willing to take on this issue again?

To be fair, these are still early days. But America’s crumbling health care system is our most important domestic issue, and I think we have a right to know what those who would be president propose to do about it.

Feb 9, 2007

A Tougher John Edwards

Good article to be published next Monday in Newsweek, suggesting that John Edwards is a tougher character than in 2004.

"Edwards embodies the darker tone. In a hotel "holding room" after the DNC meeting, he was a tougher, more combative character than the one I had met eight years ago. Now you see the Dennis Quaid grin less often. "I've grown up," he said with a shrug.

And he brims with what seems like resentment at Democrats who won't support national health insurance right now (take that, Hillary) or who "talk about labor's concerns only in front of union audiences" (take that, Obama). "I want people to know exactly what I stand for." That sounds like an obvious enough game plan, but it is one he didn't have when he took the field four years ago."

It seems that the passionate speech Edwards gave last week to the DNC has drawn the attention of the media. And in a good way.

Edwards Sticks with Bloggers

John Edwards has said that he will stick with the bloggers who had made some comments in the past about religion which have drawn criticism in recent days.

In a statement Edwards said "The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts personally offended me. It's not how I talk to people, and it's not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people."

Edwards said that the language they used will not be tolerated from anyone on his campaign team.

He said that he had spoken to the two involved, and he was assured that they did not intend to denigrate any church or religion, and they had apologised.

Feb 8, 2007

Large Crowds for Edwards S.C Meeting

Over 500 people today attended a town hall meeting with John Edwards in South Carolina.

Edwards was born in South Carolina and won the Primary in South Carolina in 2004. This is his second town hall meeting here since announcing his candidacy.

In late December, Edwards had a town hall meeting where over 1800 turned up.

Edwards today spoke in detail about his recently announced plan for universal health coverage as well as his commitment to bring the troops home from Iraq.

Edwards is In For Nevada Forum

John Edwards will be off to Carson City, Nevada on February 21 to take part in a forum for Democratic Presidential hopefuls.

Nevada is considered an important state for candidates - the vote there takes place immediately following the Iowa primary in January of next year.

Other candidates who have confirmed their attendance are Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel, Bill Richardson and Tom Vilsack. Undeclared potential candidate Wes Clark will also speak, as he did at the DNC last week.

Barack Obama has not yet said if he will attend the forum, although it is expected he will confirm in the coming days. The forum allows candidates the opportunity to speak, and answer questions from a moderator.

Feb 7, 2007

Edwards to South Carolina Thursday

John Edwards will be discussing his new health plan, tomorrow in South Carolina.

The event is free and will take place at 12.30, ILA Union Hall, 1142 Morrison Drive.

Check out John Edwards on Meet the Press on Sunday below, talking about Universal Health Care. There is also a nice excerpt from his DNC speech last Friday.

Feb 5, 2007

John Edwards Leads on Universal Health

Following on from his powerful speech on Friday, and his hints on the subject yesterday on Meet the Press, John Edwards has today launched his policy for Universal Health Care.

The plan by Edwards will cost billions extra each year will be paid for by such measures as taking away the Bush Tax cuts for household who earn over $200,000, the collection of now unpaid capital gains taxes and through streamlining and providing a more efficient health service.

Over 47 million Americans do not currently have any health insurance. The Edwards plan will help low income families get insurance by providing them with tax credits or subsidies. He will also expand Medicare and establish a Federal Health Insurance Agency.

It is a bold plan, and Edwards is certainly leading on this issue. On Friday, he told delegates at the DNC Winter Meeting that it was time to stop talking about "access" to health care, and time to provide Universal Health Care.

Edwards' plan contains the following:
  • Require businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
  • Make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
  • Create regional Health Markets purchasing pools to ensure that every single American has a way to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
  • Once these steps have been taken, require all American residents to get insurance.

Streisand Gives to Dem Frontrunners

Barbara Streisand has made a contribution to the 3 leading contenders for the Democratic nomination, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The maximum allowable amount for an individual to donate to a campaign is $2300. Streisand said that she wants to ensure that the front runners have a good financial backing to run good campaigns. She is excited about the strength of the Democratic contenders, and may yet give to other candidates as the race continues.

Streisand has previously been close to the Clinton family, and has given money for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaigns in New York.

Feb 4, 2007

Edwards with Russert - Meet the Candidate

John Edwards was the first potential nominee to appear on Meet the Press today, in a series called "Meet the Candidate".

This was a detailed interview, taking up the entire 1 hour slot. For the first third of the show, Edwards was quizzed by Russert repeatedly on his stance on the Iraq war.

Although Edwards voted for the war in 2002, in 2005 he said that he made a mistake, and the decision to go to Iraq was wrong. Edwards repeated his personal stance:

" my case, I came to the conclusion, turned out to be wrong, that the president should be given this authority.

I do think it’s important—again, not defensively—but important to point out that I didn't run the war and neither did the other people in Congress who voted for the war. The president’s the one who made this extraordinary mess. I mean, it’s been mistake after mistake after mistake. But I did cast this vote, and I’m the person responsible for this vote, no one else."

On the troop surge, he is urging Congress to take control of the situation, and stop playing around with non binding resolutions. Edwards said that "..complaining at this historic moment in American history is not enough. I mean, we won the election. We’re now in charge of the House and the Senate. We have—we have the power to actually do something about this escalation."

John Edwards also gave a hint of his plans for Universal Health Care, a policy he spoke about at the DNC Winter Meeting on Friday, and one he will release tomorrow.

Edwards said that the plan was to "...take the 46 million, 47 million people who don’t have health care coverage, we expand Medicaid, we provide subsidies for people who don’t have coverage. We ask employers to play a bigger role, which means they either have to have coverage, or they have to buy into what we’re calling health markets. We’re going to create health markets all across the country which will help provide some of these efficiencies."

Asked whether he would need to raise taxes to pay for this plan, Edwards responded plainly - yes. It's refreshing to see that honesty!

On whether openly gay men and women should serve in the military - yes - and would he make that happen as President - absolutely.

Edwards said that there were substance differences between him and Hillary Clinton, particularly on Iraq, perhaps on Universal Health coverage. He said there were less differences between him and Barack Obama.

Read the full transcript here.

Feb 3, 2007

Edwards On Meet the Press Sunday

John Edwards is scheduled to appear on Meet the Press with Tim Russert tomorrow morning. This will follow up from his strong performance yesterday at the DNC Winter Meeting.

And on C-Span's "Road to the White House Program" tomorrow evening (6.30pm ET), John Edward's speech to Dartmouth college will be featured.

Feb 2, 2007

John Edwards at DNC Winter Meeting

"It Doesn't Have to Be that Way"

John Edwards arrived on stage today at the Democratic National Committee's Winter Meeting to the sound of Bruce Springsteen and the loud cheers of his strong supporters in the audience.

Edwards then proceeded to give one of the best speeches of the conference. Whilst it started slowly, it built up to a passionate plea for the future of the American people.

As a tireless advocate for those in poverty, those who have been left behind, Edwards called on Democrats to "stand up" for those whose lives could be so much better with a little help. He called on them to stand up for the 37 million Americans who live in poverty, for those who cant get a decent education, for those living in refugee camps around the world, and for the 47 million who don't have any form of health insurance.

Edwards also called on Democrats to stop using the term, "access to health care", saying that what America needs is Universal Health Care.

On Iraq, Edwards said that it is a betrayal for the President to escalate this war. And he continued his attack on the Congress, saying that it is a betrayal not speak out against this war in Iraq, and it is a betrayal not to stop this war. . silence is a betrayal.

In a specific reference to other potential nominees, Edwards said that we cannot be satisfied in passing non binding resolutions, that the president will ignore. He said that Congress has the power to stop the escalation.

Edwards said that this is not the time for political calculation, rather it is the time for political courage. It is time to start now, not wait until 2009. Tomorrow begins today.

This is a speech worth watching, it was full of passion and commitment. Watch it here.

Jan 31, 2007

An Iowa Traffic Jam

In Iowa, one could be mistaken for thinking that we are already in primary season.

With 12 months to go before the first vote, traffic is already slowing to a crawl, thanks to the influx of candidates, their entourage, the media and the supporters of the wide field who have expressed an interest in the Presidency.

It was Mike Huckabee's turn yesterday. Oh, and also Sam Brownback's. On Saturday and Sunday it was Hillary Clinton. And Tommy Thompson.

Then there is local Tom Vilsack who is always campaigning.

John Edwards has been here at least 17 times in the last 2 years, and you can expect more visits in the coming weeks from Joe Biden and Bill Richardson who have been here nearly 20 times between them since the end of 2004.

And just wait for Barack Obama - could it be a bigger media event than Clinton's?

That's just some of the close to 30 candidates who are running, exploring, or actively considering a tilt for President. Yes, it's a traffic jam.

But a necessary one for all of the candidates. Many of the millions they spend over the next 12 months will be in Iowa, such is the power of securing an early victory, or polling well.

So expect more school visits, more packed public hall meetings and more meet and greets. This is politics local style.

Well, local, except for the heavily stage managed events, more press and photographers than the Oscars and the fact that everything you say is being beamed live around the country.

Jan 30, 2007

I've Learned from 2004 - Edwards

Speaking at Wake Forest University yesterday, former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards said he has learned lessons from the election in 2004.

Edwards said that perhaps he was too inexperienced to run, and was concentrating too hard on being a good candidate.

This time, he said he is thinking about what he wants to do as President of the United States.

Edwards has also reiterated the mistake that he made in previously supporting and voting for the war in Iraq, and he is not interested in blaming anyone for that mistake.

Pushing again for Diplomacy in the region, Edwards said that if he were President he would be pursuing talks with Iran and Syria. He said U.S troops should be withdrawn from Iraq within the year.

Jan 29, 2007

Edwards Says Minimum Wage Overdue

John Edwards is calling on the Senate to pass the minimum wage legislation when it comes before them in a few days.

Edwards has long been a campaigner for an increase to the minimum wage - so far through his campaigns he has helped to raise the minimum wage in 6 states.

The last increase to the minimum wage was over 10 years ago, and since that time the cost of living has gone up 25%.

Edwards said that "It's a long overdue change that will immediately help over 13 million people, many living at or below the edge of poverty."

John Edwards has set up a petition to tell Senators how important this increase is for working Americans. You can sign the petition here.

John Edwards Taking Action on Energy

John Edwards taking part in the One Corps National Action Day in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Edwards has said that it is time for America to be patriotic about something other than war.

Jan 28, 2007

Edwards to New Hampshire Again

John Edwards will be campaigning in New Hampshire again this week. This will be at least his 10th trip there in the last 2 years.

Edwards has benefited from his trips to key states in the recent past. In Iowa, he leads the polls, having visited there at least 17 times. Hillary Clinton is making her first visit to Iowa in more than 3 years this weekend.

In New Hampshire, Edwards has been polling in 3rd place. More than 800 came to hear him speak at a school cafeteria there, just after he announced his run in late December last year.

Edwards will be speaking tomorrow at Wake Forest University, N.C at 4pm.

Jan 27, 2007

Edwards Would Beat McCain

In a just published Newsweek Poll, John Edwards would beat Republican frontrunner John McCain in a Presidential election, 48-44, and is in a statistical dead heat with Rudy Giuliani.

The poll was conducted between January 24 and 25.

The same poll showed that President Bush's approval rating had dropped to the lowest point in the poll's history - just 30%. And this coming after the State of the Union address where he might have hoped to get a boost.

Edwards and National Day of Action Today

John Edwards is calling on all One Corps Chapters to "get together and take action to help conserve energy and fight global warming." The first National Day of Action is today, January 27.

Check out the information on the John Edwards Blog here. It has some great tips for saving energy.

Jan 23, 2007

John Edwards - Vision for Change

Responding to the State of the Union Address by President Bush, John Edwards tonight said that the next President must offer a vision for fundamental change.

Edwards said that the Address was "heavy on rhetoric, but light on everything else".

Emphasising again that the escalation plans for Iraq were a big mistake, Edwards called on the President to immediately withdraw 40-50,000 troops.

And Edwards fired a shot at Congress, reiterating his belief that they should block the funds to increase U.S involvement in Iraq. "Congress has the power to stop this escalation - they should use it." Edwards said.

John Edwards also made reference to the President's failings on health care, saying that the Bush plan will do little to help working Americans. Edwards said that "We need universal health care in this country and we need it now."

Edwards responds to the State of the Union on Hannity & Colmes

Clinton Wont Admit Mistake on Iraq Vote

In an interview this morning on NBC Today, Hillary Clinton refused to admit that she made a mistake on the Iraq vote before the invasion in 2003.

In stark contrast to John Edwards, who has said that he was wrong on Iraq, Hillary said that everybody has made mistakes, but she has taken her responsibility, although what that responsibility is remains unclear.

In a thinly veiled attack on Edwards, Clinton said that she is "not looking backwards", nor is she sitting on the sidelines regarding the Iraq issue, she is trying to find a solution in Congress.

There is sure to be more to come on this issue.

Jan 22, 2007

People Prefer Edwards - Newsweek Poll

John Edwards is the most favored Democrat over leading Republican Candidates according to the latest Newsweek poll.

In regard to the two top GOP candidates, Edwards leads John McCain 48%-43% and Rudy Giuliani 48%-45%.

Interestingly, in the poll conducted late last week, Giuliani has a slight lead over both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Have a look at the full results here.

Jan 21, 2007

POST/ABC Poll - Edwards 3rd 11%

In a national poll of 561 Democrats and Democrat leaning independents conducted by the Washington Post and ABC, John Edwards ranked third behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The poll, which has a margin of error of about 4%, was conducted between the 16th and 19th of January, during the time that Obama declared, but prior to Clinton on Saturday.

Edwards: 10%
Clinton: 41%
Obama: 17%
Gore: 10%
Kerry: 8%
Biden: 3%

Jan 20, 2007

Edwards in Iowa City - Leads Poll

(Photo - Matthew Holst - New York Times)

John Edwards was on the campaign trail yesterday in Iowa City, to conduct a "Town Hall" meeting on the President Bush plan to escalate the War in Iraq.

Edwards was joined by his wife Elizabeth, who also spoke at the meeting, attended by a large number of people, many who had travelled miles to see him.

John Edwards has a good record in Iowa- he polled second behind John Kerry in early 2004.

That status seems unchanged - a Zogby poll earlier this week showed that Edwards led the race in Iowa with 27%, followed by Barack Obama on 17%. Hillary Clinton and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack were tied on 16%.

On Tuesday night, John Edwards will conduct a live online video discussion on the President's State of the Union Address. The discussion will take place at 9.30ET, 6.30PT, and can be viewed here.

Jan 18, 2007

Edwards - Congress Must Act on Iraq

In a bold move that will conflict with some of the other Democratic hopefuls, John Edwards is calling on the Congress to block the President Bush plans for escalation in Iraq.

The Edwards Campaign are calling on people to sign the petition, to show how much anger there is in the community about the new plan for Iraq.

John Edwards plans to run a full page ad in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, which will feature the petition and call on Congress to act to block funding for the new plan.

It has also been reported that Edwards' speech in Harlem on Sunday was seen by the Clinton camp as an attack on her credibility on the Iraq issue. While Edwards who had earlier supported the war, then retracted and apologised, Clinton has taken her time in being vocal on the issue.

Up until yesterday, where she called for a reduction in troops, she had not made her position clear. Further, in contrast to Edwards, she has not yet admitted that she made a mistake.

Edwards speech on Sunday drew a swift response from the Clinton team, labelling Edwards' campaign "negative". After the Obama announcement this week, we would expect to see Clinton in the contest sooner than later, and when it happens, expect some fireworks.

Jan 14, 2007

John Edwards speaks in Harlem

John Edwards will today be at the Riverside Church in Harlem to give the "Realizing the Dream" speech.

This is the same church where nearly 40 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told of his opposition to the war in Vietnam.

In his speech today, Edwards will compare the war in Iraq with Vietnam and make it clear that the same problems that existed then, exist now.

Edwards is taking the opposition to the Iraq war one step further than his Democratic colleagues in Congress. He is calling on Congress to refuse to commit extra funds to pay for the President Bush escalation plans for the Iraq war.

Edwards also takes a swipe at leading GOP candidate, John McCain, calling the decision by Bush the "McCain Doctrine", which will cost America dearly.

Edwards will today state that there is no military solution to the problem in Iraq, and the only way forward is politically and diplomatically.

Following in King's own style, Edwards will be making a call to the people of America to speak up on this issue, to contact their Senators and voice their opposition to the escalation in Iraq.

Watch the speech live here.

Jan 11, 2007

John Edwards - the first 2 weeks

John Edwards campaign for the Democratic nomination was hampered by breaking stories which took his announcement out of the media spotlight.

Announcing his decision to run for President between Christmas and New Years, traditionally a slow news week, seemed like a good plan.

That was until President Ford passed away, followed by the death of James Brown, followed by the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Add that to the increasing speculation of the impending announcement of President Bush's new plan for Iraq, and the Edwards campaign was off to a slow media start.

Nevertheless Edwards went on a whirlwind tour, visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. In New Hampshire, Edwards was greeted by 750 people in a school cafeteria, and apparently as many as that were turned away.

John Edwards has also made a
statement on the troop escalation in Iraq, saying that escalating the war in Iraq would send "...the wrong message to the Iraqi people, to the region, and the world."

The Washington Times reports today that Hillary Clinton's campaign in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire is falling behind, with Edwards and Obama tied for first place on 22% from a poll of 600 people in Iowa, and Edwards scoring a third place with 16% in New Hampshire, behind Hillary and Barack.

Time reports that while Edwards has limited funds in his campaign account, he has made 15 visits to Iowa and 9 to New Hampshire since Nov. 2004. He is ranked in third as a 5-1 shot.