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:

"...in 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.