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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:10 PM
Original message
The Obama-Edwards Ticket
By David Swanson

A top priority for progressives regarding next year's presidential election should be convincing Barack Obama and John Edwards to join forces as a ticket and defeat Hillary Clinton.

Were one of them to drop out, the other would easily take first place in the polls. But neither of them is likely to drop out. As a result, unless they join forces, we will face a choice between a pro-war, pro-corporate Republican and the pro-war, pro-corporate Hillary Clinton. Jeff Cohen recently laid out the case against Clinton: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/26449

Together, Obama and Edwards could announce their candidacy as a ticket today, take the lead in the polling tomorrow, and keep it through the primaries. They would also stand a much better chance of defeating a Republican in the general election than would Clinton. She is the designated loser, and what's frightening (and motivating) is the thought of how awful our future would be even if she were to win. This is a case that ought to be clear to a wide range of progressives. Even if you're committed to backing whoever the Democratic nominee is, as a progressive you have an interest in making sure it is not Hillary Clinton. And even if you're fed up with the entire Democratic Party, you can recognize the danger of Clinton becoming the nominee.

Personally, I'm a Kucinich supporter. I keep pushing and prodding and waiting for America to come to its senses and back Kucinich. I'm not a party loyalist. I believe that when a party fails, it should be opposed from outside of it for its own good and for the good of all of us. I'm not a fan of Obama or Edwards. Were they to gain the nomination as a ticket for president and vice president, I might or might not vote for them, depending on their positions at that point and the other options available. I consider Cynthia McKinney a true progressive and a hero.

All of that having been said, I think it is high time we all realized that the top electoral priority for progressives (other than instituting honest and credible vote counting) has got to be preventing Hillary Clinton from gaining the Democratic nomination.

Karl Rove opposes Hillary for the same reason Osama bin Laden opposes Bush (in order to give her a boost), but the right really does despise Hillary Clinton. Nothing would be more divisive from the party that refuses to challenge Bush-Cheney, discuss impeachment, end the occupation of Iraq, or undo NAFTA or any of Bill Clinton's other handiwork (like the media-conglomerating telecom act).

But the real problem with Hillary Clinton is that the left cannot stand her. If anything could revive efforts to push a third-party candidate or tempt an egocentric billionaire to jump into the race, it would be nominating Hillary Clinton. If anything could depress voter turnout to the point where a Republican "victory" was just barely credible, it's nominating Hillary Clinton.

Getting Clinton out of the #1 spot, on the other hand, might reduce her influence on Congress, including on Nancy Pelosi, the person primarily responsible for Bush and Cheney's free passes and immunity from impeachment. Even groups like the National Organization for Women that flip-flopped from pro- to anti-impeachment at the end of last year might start to recover their soul were Hillary Clinton's influence reduced.

The strategy of combining Edwards and Obama ought to be especially appealing to those who really support Edwards or Obama. But it's even appealing to those, like me, who support some other candidate.

Edwards, in my view, is a very corporate-friendly, military-friendly Democrat, but decidedly a huge progressive cut above Clinton. Today's John Edwards is a candidate whom progressives could promote without nausea. On many issues he's a candidate we could be proud of. In other areas, he could be worked on. And he's shown himself capable of changing for the better. As an added benefit, if an Edwards election is stolen from him, there is reason to believe that without John Kerry around he might challenge that theft.

Obama is much more of a blank slate than Edwards, and some of the bits he's filled in are pretty disturbing. Others are encouraging. And there is a chance, there is at least a possibility, that Obama would serve as a better president or vice president than what he campaigned as. It's a very slim chance, and this sort of wishful thinking is a very bad habit for progressives. But here's the thing: we know for a fact that Hillary Clinton would govern from the right. She has an established record. And we can be sure she would choose a running mate to the right of herself.

So, how do we do it? How do we make Obama-Edwards or Edwards-Obama a ticket. Well, asking one of them to take the vice presidency is going to be a heck of a lot easier than asking one of them to drop out, which is our other option. And we're asking them to take a likely vice presidency rather than an unlikely presidency. I doubt they'll need a game theorist to explain this one to them. Plus, they can't be unaware that Dick Cheney has turned the vice presidency into the real seat of power. In fact, these two candidates could work out from the start an understanding of the role the next vice president would play.

But which one of them should take the backseat? In favor of Obama stepping back, he has less experience governing, he has less experience campaigning, and his positions are less progressive. In favor of Edwards stepping back, he is behind Obama in the polls, and he is horribly handicapped by his vote to support the Iraq War and the speeches he made in support of it. Of course, we can and must leave it up to the two of them, but I would prefer to see Edwards take the vice presidential nomination, and I think he may have the humility and understanding needed to approach Obama with such a proposal. In the meantime, I think we should suggest it to both of them.
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Colobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. I like it.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Edwards can never be the VP candidate again
Edited on Sun Sep-09-07 10:14 PM by tritsofme
He would be incessantly mocked as the perennial Democratic VP candidate and not taken seriously and for this reason the slot wouldn't ever be offered to him in the first place.

I also wouldn't care to see two candidates that are both so wet behind the ears teamed up on one ticket.
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Colobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Wet behind the ears? Back it up.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Taking a read at their resumes does it for me.
nt
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. interesting just how many years of experience does hillary have?
for some reason edwards must have some experience to warrant kerry to pick him for vice president...
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Kerry was supposed to be Mr. Experience
Edwards was supposed to be the young buck that was supposed to give the campaign some energy...or something, I never agreed with the pick.

Hillary has the unique experience shared by very few people in this world of having a front seat view of the presidency for eight years, not to mention nearly a term and a half of her own in the Senate.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. LOL!
Why don't you just say that Hillary's experience was acquired by injection?

The reality is, that Hillary's experience has come from her law degree and her work in real estate. And realtors are just used car salesmen who shop at better stores.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Interesting idea...
But I really think that Edwards would never take the VP slot....BTDT...

And he does have the greater experience (or so it appears) than Obama...

Ths is an idea I like , should it happen...

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. Correction
There's no way Edwards can be said to have the greater experience of these two candidates. (Though two one-term senators on one ticket would be double suicide.)

Edwards: No previous public service or elected experience whatsoever before running for Senate; spent a few years in Senate (with a record we can all admit was disappointing, in addition to introducing next to no legislation and/or cosponsoring really horrible legislation) before running for presidency; no elected office since then. He's got some national campaign experience, but that is hardly experience.

Obama: Public service as community organizer, and eight years in elected office to the State Senate in Illinois, where he racked up an impressive legislative agenda on key progressive issues that mirror national issues before being elected to US Senate, where he has introduced a fair amount of legislation in his first three years.

Even their legal careers represent a stark contrast: personal injury litigation lawyer (from which made millions) vs. civil-rights attorney and constiutional law professor.

Whenever people make the claim Obama is too inexperienced, you can ditto and double it for Edwards. I cannot see a ticket with both of these men on it.
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's an interesting idea
If that's what it takes to keep Hillary out of the general election then so be it.
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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't expect to see Edwards as a VP ever again.
Not carrying his own state last time means he doesn't bring much to the ticket. Obama will go after someone else.
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. How often does North Carolina vote democratic in the presidential election?
People keep said the same thing about Gore not winning Tennessee in 2000, but Tennessee never goes democratic in the presidential election, so it's pretty much a non-issue.
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presspeal Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. An additional selling point...
in 9 years some vice-president would be in great position to make his own run. :dem:
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. I have always supported this idea. Yesterday,
some obama supporters and I were saying that we thought the two would be a great team. flip a coin as to who is prez and who is vp. they would be so dynamic.
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Colobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm with you, Diane, but...
I'm mad you didn't invite me to that BBQ! :(
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. hey, you are always invited, Katz. next one, just get in your car and drive to rockford!
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penguin7 Donating Member (962 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-09-07 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. I don't see a dimes worth of difference between Edwards and Clinton
except for some empty rhetoric.
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. that's funny
because the lobbyists do

which one apologized for the Iraq vote and is urging Congress to get us the hell out?

which one told their military advisor they plan to still occupy Iraq at the end of their second term?

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penguin7 Donating Member (962 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. It is hard to know where Edwards really stands on anything
Edited on Mon Sep-10-07 11:09 AM by penguin7
He is using timeline in his present rhetoric which is a weasel word.

Kucinich is the only one running that will get us out of Iraq.

Here is Hillary on the war from her website. It is very similar to Edwards.

"America is ready for a leader who will end the war in Iraq and a president who will respect our Armed Forces by properly planning for the missions we ask our troops to undertake. If the Bush administration won't, as president and commander in chief, Hillary will end this war.

The war in Iraq has imposed a tremendous cost on our troops, their families, and our budget. Four years after the start of the war, the violence continues to grow, and there is no end in sight.

Hillary opposes President Bush's plan to escalate the war and proposed, along with Senator Robert Byrd, legislation to end authority for the war in Iraq. The legislation will propose October 11, 2007 -- the five year anniversary of the original resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq -- as the expiration date for that resolution.

The President would be required to come to Congress to seek new authority. Following deauthorization, Senator Clinton would not support any new legislation that did not start to remove our troops from the middle of this sectarian civil war.

She has also proposed a cap on troop levels to January 1, 2007 levels and put forth a comprehensive roadmap for ending the war. If it is followed, Hillary's bill, the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007, will end the war before the next president takes the oath of office. But she has also been clear: if George Bush refuses to end the war, when she is president, she will.

Hillary opposes permanent bases in Iraq. She believes we may need a vastly reduced residual force to train Iraqi troops, provide logistical support, and conduct counterterrorism operations. But that is not a permanent force, and she has been clear that she does not plan a permanent occupation.



In addition to capping troop levels, Hillary's Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007 would:

Require President Bush to begin removing the troops from Iraq within 90 days of passage, or Congress will revoke authorization for the war.
Put an end to the blank check to the Iraqi government and give them real benchmarks with real consequences if they fail to meet them.
Require the Secretary of Defense to certify that all troops sent to Iraq have the training and equipment they need. "


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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. Who cares if he apologized?
He co-sponsored the war resolution and then abandoned the Congress to figure their way out of it and now heckles from the peanut gallery. If all accountability means to us is that somebody has to say they're sorry, I'm sorry I didn't make $30M in my life. Does that mean I get it?

Frankly, David, I'm surprised you are even pushing this (I think dumb) idea. You've done some forceful writing showing why Edwards is the wrong choice. (I agree with that you.) So now he's the guy for the catbird seat or a heartbeat away?

Edwards is going down on his personal finances and how they correspond to the rapidly deteriorating financial health of the American people. Obama should stay the hell away from him.

This isn't New Orleans and this is not going away, and this is not old news, this is yesterday:

A subprime lender with ties to Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has moved to foreclose on more than 130 homes in South Carolina since the S.C. native went to work for its parent company, an analysis of courthouse records shows.

The lender, Green Tree Financial, also was once the subject of a $30 million class-action verdict involving thousands of South Carolinians.

Edwards ties to the company are disquieting to some supporters of the North Carolinian. On the campaign trail, Edwards has insisted he is the champion of lower-income families.

Edwards ties to Green Tree also could hurt him with voters in South Carolina, a state he must win if he hopes to win the 2008 Democratic nomination.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/story/18257...


And this is you only a month and a half ago:

The list of companies invested in is large, but presumably well known to Edwards as a result of his well-paid advising and his massive investment in Fortress. It includes companies from a variety of industries, creating all sorts of conflicts of interest for a would-be public official. ...

Glancing through the full alphabet of companies, it is immediately apparent that Fortress represents the polar opposite of an ethical investment opportunity. Some names jump out at you as surprising companies for a Democratic presidential candidate to sink his fortune into, such as Wal Mart Stores Inc. There are a lot of telecom companies, like Verizon, in the list, lots of oil companies like Exxon Mobil, weapons companies like Lockheed Martin, big agricultural companies like Monsanto, a great many lending companies including several well known for predatory lending practices such as Wells Fargo, and numerous media corporations including Clear Channel. ...

But Fortress has apparently decided to clean up its act. If Edwards is going to be president, and Fortress is going to become the new Halliburton, so to speak, Fortress wants to project the proper image. So it's decided to invest heavily in casinos and horse racing. In June, Fortress announced that it and a partner would buy Penn National Gaming for $6.1 billion.

It's not clear, however, that this move will outweigh the bad PR from Fortress's investment in Humana, the ruthless private health insurance company so pointedly criticized in Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." With the media ignoring Edwards' investment in Humana, the main concern Edwards' supporters have about "Sicko" is that it argues against the sort of health coverage plan their man supports. ..

Edwards may honestly believe that his plan is the best way to help sick Americans. His own financial interest in keeping private insurance companies in existence and boosting their profits may have nothing to do with his motivations. But why should Americans have to take that on faith? Shouldn't a presidential candidate avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest?

http://www.davidswanson.org/?q=node/865


Good question.





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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. She ran for a second term as US Senator, and won. He quit.
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AmericanErrorist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
16. I don't see Edwards wanting to be Veep
until he can't be the top ticket person.

Also, the vice-president thing generally doesn't take place until after the nomination.
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caseycoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. I'm still hoping for a miracle...
That people will start really listening to Kucinich & realize he is the best chioce, but barring that I like your idea. I don't even want to contemplate Hillary as Prez.
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judyc Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-11-07 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
35. People don't just listen...
Americans seem to be looking for a television personality
these days... something about the Kucinich demeanor causes
people not to take him seriously.  TV has dumbed our
presidents down.
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alteredstate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
18. I've been thinking about this, too.
If Obama and Edwards joined forces, they'd be unbeatable.
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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
21. Edwards?? What's the record for losing as the VP candidate?
We really don't want to put a loser (VP candidate) and a quitter (couldn't be bothered to run to keep his own Senate seat) on the ticket do we? He couldn't even deliver NC or SC last time out. I know he has strong fan club of 8-9%, but that sure doesn't deserve a do-over.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
23. I have no trust in Edwards.
I know he has made a lot of representation after the election (or rather had people make them for him), about how he would have fought, but I cannot see anything that actually support his claims.

I do not think he is honest. He is mostly pandering to the progressive crowd, but how can we get some certainty he will do what he says, and how anyway? What he is offering is so vague that it does not matter.

Obama is another question. While he is far from perfect, he has been fairly consistent in his views. Some people may have misinterpreted some of the things he said, but he is fairly clear. He needs somebody who has a REAL progressive profile (acquired outside of the presidential circuit so that it is somewhat credible AND going in the right direction in foreign policy, which is not Edwards's case) and experience, to counter the issue of supposed inexperience of Obama (Edwards does not fit the bill here either). I am sure there are plenty of people with this profile in and outside of Washington.

So, for me, it is Obama/(somebody else than Edwards).
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Obama/(somebody else than Edwards)
Me, too. Further, if Obama supporters decided to go the route suggested in the OP, they would do Obama absolutely no favors. The last thing Obama needs is Edwards around his neck.
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judyc Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-11-07 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. Obama / someone retired military
I think Obama should team up with Clark or another retired
general who opposed the Iraq debacle, and would know how to
end it appropriately.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. I would prefer Obama/Clark, but I'll take Obama/Edwards. Why? Because
Edwards is experienced on the campaign trail--pick someone else for VP, and you'll possibly have someone who will stumble at first--it's a steep learning curve, to jump into a campaign relatively late and start debating, etc. Both Clark and Edwards are ready.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
24. I agree with some.
I just can't stomach an Edwards/Obama ticket. Obama's "disturbing" positions disturb me too much to overlook.

I, too, am a firm supporter of DK, and will work to get out the vote for him anytime I can.

What you say about Edwards is all true. The corporate/military friendly part gives me great concern. The willingness to change and grow, if authentic, is encouraging.

If we have to pair someone with Edwards, I'd frankly rather see Richardson. He's also got a few disturbing things in his record, but he is so much better on the most key issues than Obama, and he obviously trumps both Edwards and Obama with experience.

Personally, if we were going to combine two of the candidates, I'd rather see Richardson/Kucinich. Or Richardson/Edwards. Or Kucinich/either of them. The idea of pairing a ticket during the primaries intrigues me. I need to think about this one some more!
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Apollo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
26. Why not wait until after the primaries?
Let's see which one has the most delegates before saying which one should defer to the other.
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ripple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
31. Won't happen
Edwards or Obama would need someone on the ticket with far more foreign policy experience than either of them have.

Clinton will likely be able to get a pass on this, due to Bill, but Edwards or Obama will need to carefully choose a VP candidate with solid experience in this area.

I personally like Obama/Clark. :hi:
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
32. "the top electoral priority for progressives"
(other than instituting honest and credible vote counting) has got to be preventing Hillary Clinton from gaining the Democratic nomination.

Sorry, my top priority is keeping another Republican out of the White House.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
33. Agreed. But that said, if we nominate her, I'm voting for her.
I'll even fake my enthusiasm. I will accept my half a loaf.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
34. I favor an Obama/Clark ticket.
They compliment each other nicely.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-11-07 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
37. Edwards has more experience than Obama? Has more campaign experience?
He ran a losing primary campaign and was along for the ride for a Prez run as VP.

He has a single Senate term which he has practically disavowed by campaigning against things now he voted for then.
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