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John Edwards is back—with a retooled résumé and a lot of love for Iowans [View All]

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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-09-06 09:22 AM
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John Edwards is back—with a retooled résumé and a lot of love for Iowans
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By Jonathan Darman

July 17, 2006 issue - It's friday night in iowa and an old politician is trying some new tricks. John Edwards is back—back, with the familiar deep drawl, dark tan and honeyed hair. Gone, though, are the old catchphrases—"two Americas" and "hope is on the way." In their place: a long meditation on America's moral obligation to confront the plight of its poor. "Thirty-seven million of our people, worried about feeding and clothing their children," he said to his audience. "Aren't we better than that?" It's not the stuff of great sound bites, but it's part of Edwards's new political plan: a presidential campaign with fighting poverty as a central plank. It's a risky strategy in today's Democratic Party—Edwards may be the most viable national candidate since Bobby Kennedy to tie his destiny to a fight for the destitute. "Yeah, I heard all that stuff: 'Who cares?' or 'It's a dead end'," Edwards tells NEWSWEEK. "Well, it's what I want to do."

Rebel outsider is an odd role for the Democratic Party's most recent vice presidential candidate to play. Yet Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign—still hypothetical but proceeding at high speed—is all about breaking with the established script. He's largely opted out of the buzz primary—leaving candidates like former Virginia governor Mark Warner and Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh to convince Beltway insiders and media types that they're the best alternatives to front runner Hillary Clinton. Instead, he's using the name recognition he built up in '04 and hitting the campaign trail early and often—quietly raising $6.5 million in 105 appearances for Democrats running in 2006.

His under-the-radar strategy is paying off, in Iowa at least. A June Des Moines Register poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers had Edwards leading a pack of potential presidential candidates that included other widely known names like Clinton, 2004 ticketmate John Kerry and even Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Edwards is certainly not the only candidate hustling in corn-country—Warner and Bayh visited within days of his most recent visit—but with 10 trips to the state since the beginning of 2005, he's logged more time there than any candidate in either party. This time, they're counting on Iowa, which brought John Kerry's candidacy back from the dead in 2004, to propel them into New Hampshire, and beyond. To win, Edwards must leverage his 2004 visibility, shake off the disappointment many Democrats felt at the campaign and emerge from Kerry's shadow as a worthy candidate in his own right.

Edwards talks about 2004 like it was a lifetime ago. His wife, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after the election. "We just threw ourselves into it," he recalls. "I went with Elizabeth to every chemo test." The twin traumas—losing a national election and watching a spouse suffer—were an enormous emotional load. But Elizabeth's illness helped Edwards keep the election loss in perspective. "The adjustment wasn't that hard," he says, "because I was so focused on getting her well." /

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  -John Edwards is back—with a retooled résumé and a lot of love for Iowans IDemo  Jul-09-06 09:22 AM   #0 
  - Edwards would make a great candidate. Not my first choice, but he  acmavm   Jul-09-06 09:26 AM   #1 
  - He is a southerner but he remembers where he came from  Warpy   Jul-09-06 09:30 AM   #2 
  - I think the numbers show that more people and more  pooja   Jul-09-06 09:44 AM   #5 
  - Very true  OzarkDem   Jul-09-06 11:14 AM   #15 
  - It's the same message.  1932   Jul-09-06 10:40 AM   #10 
  - I assume the NE candidate you point to was told  karynnj   Jul-09-06 01:17 PM   #29 
  - I would rather have someone that would make a great President.  sandrakae   Jul-09-06 09:38 AM   #3 
  - Bubbas from the South? Founded in the North?  acmavm   Jul-09-06 10:12 AM   #6 
  - I'm from the South and I don't think he'd fly  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:35 AM   #67 
     - Clarkies against Edwards  PurityOfEssence   Jul-19-06 03:00 PM   #92 
  - He's no Bubba  Warpy   Jul-09-06 10:16 AM   #7 
  - Really?  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:36 AM   #68 
     - And I figure I know who Morris Dees would support  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 01:45 AM   #75 
  - What a load of crap...  AmericanDream   Jul-09-06 10:34 AM   #8 
  - I thought the first English child was born in NC - we have a play called  patricia92243   Jul-09-06 10:36 AM   #9 
  - This man WILL be a great President  Inspired   Jul-09-06 10:51 AM   #12 
  - What pandering multiple-term senator? McCain?  blm   Jul-09-06 10:56 AM   #13 
  - You're obviously very ignorant of American history.  Spider Jerusalem   Jul-14-06 12:40 AM   # 
  - He's my first choice... and I ask everyone to consider voting for him...  Sapphire Blue   Jul-09-06 03:22 PM   #38 
     - Considered him the first time around  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:38 AM   #69 
     - My first choice, too. And my second choice, and third.  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 01:50 AM   #76 
     - I would indeed support him if he could win..............  PaDem   Jul-16-06 09:14 AM   #89 
  - The Nation we live in fighting porverty a losing strategy.  Skink   Jul-09-06 09:43 AM   #4 
  - Fighting for what you really believe in is a winning strategy  1932   Jul-09-06 10:42 AM   #11 
     - Why didn't he believe in fighting for the poor when he was my senator?  NCarolinawoman   Jul-09-06 11:01 AM   #14 
        - A couple weeks ago I met someone who worked in his Senate office  1932   Jul-09-06 11:56 AM   #19 
        - Here is a link to the Israeli story.  NCarolinawoman   Jul-09-06 09:16 PM   #54 
           - That story is a little light on indictable facts, but I'm willing to hear  1932   Jul-10-06 09:23 PM   #65 
           - What a crock. Edwards absolutely did visit hurricane-hit areas  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 01:59 AM   #77 
           - What a crock. Edwards absolutely did visit hurricane-hit areas  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:00 AM   #78 
              - Thanks for that post.  1932   Jul-16-06 08:08 AM   #86 
        - I remember him dissing the vast Muslim population after 911  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:40 AM   #70 
           - Another lie. Clarkies have no moral fiber when it comes to Edwards  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:05 AM   #79 
           - I'm still waiting for Clark2008 to give me the page number in Pelosi's  1932   Jul-16-06 08:12 AM   #87 
              - Edwards is Mr. Clean  DemDogs   Jul-19-06 08:14 AM   #90 
           - Back that up  tkmorris   Jul-19-06 03:57 PM   #94 
  - Doesn't resonate with me. Sorry!  imlost   Jul-09-06 11:30 AM   #16 
  - what does he have to do?  AmericanDream   Jul-09-06 11:41 AM   #17 
  - Like I said he isn't my top choice.  imlost   Jul-09-06 12:22 PM   #21 
  - I percieve that you  GreenArrow   Jul-10-06 08:33 AM   #63 
  - Edwards worked on poverty years before politics  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:09 AM   #80 
  - Nope, that doesn't cut it...  Iowa   Jul-09-06 02:07 PM   #35 
     - right on!  GreenArrow   Jul-10-06 08:39 AM   #64 
  - I could point out  DemPopulist   Jul-09-06 06:30 PM   #51 
  - Great article, especially this part:  Catchawave   Jul-09-06 11:49 AM   #18 
  - I no more want to vote for a rock star for president than I do a  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:42 AM   #71 
  - He's my first choice. It's ESSENTIAL to run a Southern populist in 2008,  AirAmFan   Jul-09-06 12:08 PM   #20 
  - Kerry received more votes than any candidate in American history - they'd  blm   Jul-09-06 12:39 PM   #23 
  - And Gore, a Tennesseean, actually DID win both the popular and electoral  AirAmFan   Jul-09-06 01:13 PM   #27 
     - There's no such thing as having a lead that overcomes rigging -  blm   Jul-09-06 01:25 PM   #33 
  - I don't know about that.  calico1   Jul-09-06 01:16 PM   #28 
  - Just expressing my opinion (backed up by overwhelming data!)  AirAmFan   Jul-09-06 01:22 PM   #31 
  - Overwhelming data from when? From the last race with an impartial media?  blm   Jul-09-06 01:27 PM   #34 
     - Data from election RESULTS. Think back to past Democratic Presidents  AirAmFan   Jul-09-06 05:59 PM   #47 
        - ALL were long BEFORE the GOP controlled most media and voting machines  blm   Jul-09-06 06:29 PM   #50 
        - Ha!  Awsi Dooger   Jul-10-06 03:32 AM   #58 
           - Did you hear Bill Clinton now believes RFKs article and that Ohio was  blm   Jul-10-06 06:03 AM   #61 
           - So, you don't think...  CarolNYC   Jul-10-06 06:30 AM   #62 
        - Bahahahahahahaha!  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:48 AM   #74 
  - Exactly right. It is about character not accent n/t  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:11 AM   #81 
  - Some of those he fought as a lawyer were corporations,  karynnj   Jul-09-06 01:23 PM   #32 
  - And if Edwards runs in the General Election  TayTay   Jul-09-06 02:37 PM   #36 
  - Show me those polls  DemPopulist   Jul-09-06 05:20 PM   #42 
  - I'm not sure which part of the link you are looking at.......?  FrenchieCat   Jul-09-06 05:39 PM   #46 
  - I didn't say Edwards was currently beating McCain  DemPopulist   Jul-09-06 06:28 PM   #49 
  - Maybe you are right, maybe Edwards is "strong"....but that doesn't  FrenchieCat   Jul-09-06 09:34 PM   #55 
     - I don't either, considering he was DLC  Clark2008   Jul-14-06 12:46 AM   #73 
  - Edwards versus Guiliani! That's a slam dunk.  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:13 AM   #82 
  - Head to head polls don't matter in the slightest right now  Awsi Dooger   Jul-10-06 03:55 AM   #59 
  - If it turns out to be John Edwards heading our ticket in 08 he will  Old Crusoe   Jul-14-06 12:26 AM   #66 
  - The world is exploding all around us, and you think we need  FrenchieCat   Jul-14-06 12:42 AM   #72 
     - 1992 is not Edwards  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:14 AM   #83 
  - Watch this great interview with Edwards  Reckon   Jul-09-06 12:33 PM   #22 
  - As long as we are involved in turbulent relations with most countries  FrenchieCat   Jul-09-06 12:46 PM   #24 
  - Good point.  Reckon   Jul-09-06 01:02 PM   #25 
  - He's raised 6.5 million for 2006 candidates.  Catchawave   Jul-09-06 01:12 PM   #26 
  - Since you've given your prediction...  AmericanDream   Jul-09-06 01:21 PM   #30 
  - The media showers Clinton with love  Inspired   Jul-09-06 05:04 PM   #40 
  - Yeah - but who is most able to TROUNCE McCain in 3 debates?  blm   Jul-09-06 06:31 PM   #52 
     - My guess is that the best debater is  karynnj   Jul-09-06 11:26 PM   #56 
        - True...  Inspired   Jul-10-06 02:25 AM   #57 
           - GOP controls most media and voting machines, and nowhere do I see  blm   Jul-10-06 05:59 AM   #60 
  - Edwards has raised 6.5 million for 2006 candidates  DemDogs   Jul-16-06 02:22 AM   #84 
  - Poor John Edwards.  Placebo   Jul-09-06 02:45 PM   #37 
  - Save your pity for less honorable men  Inspired   Jul-09-06 04:59 PM   #39 
     - While sitting in the Oval Office...  Placebo   Jul-09-06 05:28 PM   #44 
  - There should be more to see......  SeaNap05   Jul-09-06 05:20 PM   #41 
  - Great man.  Fabio   Jul-09-06 05:26 PM   #43 
  - Hey you!!  sandnsea   Jul-09-06 05:35 PM   #45 
  - I like Edwards, but we need to focus on 06  politicasista   Jul-09-06 06:16 PM   #48 
  - Raising the States  Catchawave   Jul-09-06 09:09 PM   #53 
  - I just can't see Edwards as a serious candidate in 2008  Daniel K   Jul-16-06 05:04 AM   #85 
  - up that seat hurt NC...Two Repug Senators who are Bush  KoKo01   Jul-16-06 08:20 AM   #88 
  - Edwards has more character than charisma, and he has a lot of that  DemDogs   Jul-19-06 08:18 AM   #91 
  - I heard him speak in Des Moines in 2004  mycritters2   Jul-19-06 03:12 PM   #93 

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