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The John Edwards Endorsement: A Last Chance To Prove He's No Phony [View All]

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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-18-08 08:44 AM
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The John Edwards Endorsement: A Last Chance To Prove He's No Phony
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from David Corn at Mother Jones

A few weeks ago, I was talking to an influential Hillary Clinton fundraiser. When the subject of John Edwards (still in the race at that time) came up, she started sputtering about his hypocrisy. His expensive hair cut, his big house--the guy's a phony, she exclaimed derisively, and his populist, anti-Washington, help-the-poor rhetoric was all just for show. He won't last.

She was right on that final point. As for his authenticity, that was a question that chased Edwards. During his six years in the U.S. Senate (1999 to 2005), Edwards was no working-class hero. He did not develop a reputation as a firebrand willing to take on the powerbrokers of the nation's capital. At that time, Senator Paul Wellstone was the populist champion in the Senate (until his tragic death in October 2002). Wellstone waged one fight after another against corporate interests, lobbying influence, and the sway of big-money. I don't recall Edwards standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him during all these uphill battles.

Yet on the campaign trail, Edwards became Joe Hill in a suit.

Wellstone once told me that you always have to allow for redemption within politics. And perhaps Edwards' conversion was genuine. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt? His message was powerful and well-delivered--even if not embraced by a plurality of Democratic voters. But if Edwards wants to prove he was truly speaking his heart and mind, he has no choice when it comes to endorsing one of the remaining Democratic contenders. He cannot support Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign, as he called for ending poverty, Edwards pointed to Clinton as part of the problem. Let's roll the tape on a speech he gave in New Hampshire last summer:

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  -The John Edwards Endorsement: A Last Chance To Prove He's No Phony NYCGirl  Feb-18-08 08:44 AM   #0 
  - I think we're beginning to see who the real phony is. These threats are disgusting.  chimpymustgo   Feb-18-08 08:45 AM   #1 
  - Look, I believe John Edwards, but if he endorses Hillary then I'll have to take a second look.  dkf   Feb-18-08 08:48 AM   #3 
  - I would be flabbergasted...  TwoSparkles   Feb-18-08 09:06 AM   #12 
  - Threats? nt  NCevilDUer   Feb-18-08 09:00 AM   #10 
  - Obama is no more or less phony than George Bush. They are both smarmy panderers.  Yossariant   Feb-18-08 08:47 AM   #2 
  - A Harvard Graduate takes a job as a community organizer and you doubt  dkf   Feb-18-08 08:50 AM   #5 
  - and considering who you would surely know "phony"  Tarheel_Dem   Feb-18-08 08:55 AM   #9 
  - Yup, if you're not for Obama, you're scum...  joeybee12   Feb-18-08 08:49 AM   #4 
  - What a hit piece  Botany   Feb-18-08 08:50 AM   #6 
  - He can endorse either one and that's fine with me. I'm with the nominee.  onehandle   Feb-18-08 08:51 AM   #7 
  - Cynics take nothing for granted  cyclezealot   Feb-18-08 08:51 AM   #8 
  - I think we all have to stop thinking like children and shopping for the perfect dad and mom  melody   Feb-18-08 09:03 AM   #11 
  - Such an excellent and eloquent post. As an Edwards  demokatgurrl   Feb-18-08 10:27 AM   #21 
  - Thank you for that post.  ThatPoetGuy   Feb-18-08 01:14 PM   #24 
  - John Edwards is in the same position as the rest of us.  AndyA   Feb-18-08 09:14 AM   #13 
  - But, using Edwards' own words:  NYCGirl   Feb-18-08 09:31 AM   #14 
  - Hasn't the Clintons always been about povety, ?  surfermaw   Feb-18-08 09:43 AM   #15 
  - NYC Girl, we don't need you to tell us anything about Edwards  surfermaw   Feb-18-08 09:47 AM   #16 
  - Tell it to David Corn. He wrote that.  NYCGirl   Feb-18-08 09:51 AM   #18 
  - Welcome to the Obamanation-  asdjrocky   Feb-18-08 09:50 AM   #17 
  - David Corn is right wing now? Mother Jones is right wing?  NYCGirl   Feb-18-08 09:52 AM   #19 
     - I'm talking about the term 'phony'-  asdjrocky   Feb-18-08 10:26 AM   #20 
        - My first vote was cast in 1972 for George McGovern. I'm not "week" behind  NYCGirl   Feb-18-08 10:30 AM   #22 
           - Funny, it's seems you'd know better.  asdjrocky   Feb-18-08 11:03 AM   #23 
  - Maybe Edwards is having a tough time with Obama's position on tort reform.  Straight Shooter   Feb-18-08 01:19 PM   #25 
  - Please. John Edwards doesn't neet to "prove" he's no phony  NastyRiffraff   Feb-18-08 01:26 PM   #26 

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