Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Kerry-Edwards '05

In case you missed it, John Kerry and John Edwards, the two components of last year's Democratic presidential ticket, have gone on the offensive, with Bush as the target:

President Bush came under withering criticism for his handling of Hurricane Katrina yesterday, with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) charging that the storm exposed the administration's incompetence and ideological blinders and former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) asserting that even in its response, the administration backs policies that support the privileged over the working poor.


Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said in a speech at Brown University that Michael D. Brown, who quit under fire as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's director, exemplified the administration's failures over the past five years.

Using the nickname Bush used for Brown, Kerry said, "Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq, what George Tenet is to slam-dunk intelligence, what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad, what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy, what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning, what Tom DeLay is to ethics and what George Bush is to 'Mission Accomplished' and 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' "


Edwards, who has made poverty a signature issue, said the plight of many of those displaced by the flooding in New Orleans underscores an urgent need for the nation to attack the problem again. He offered policy initiatives aimed at ensuring that Americans who work full time do not fall below the poverty line.

The former senator -- who was tapped by Kerry to be his running mate last year and, like Kerry, is contemplating a 2008 presidential run -- said the administration has long favored wealth over work. He criticized Bush for suspending a law requiring federal contractors along the Gulf Coast to pay prevailing wages on reconstruction projects.

"I might have missed something, but I don't think the president ever talked about putting a cap on the salaries of the CEOs of Halliburton and the other companies... who are getting all these contracts," he said in a speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. "This president, who never met an earmark he wouldn't approve or a millionaire's tax cut he wouldn't promote, decided to slash wages for the least of us and the most vulnerable."

They're right. Just as they were last year.

(See my post on President Clinton's criticism of Bush at The Moderate Voice -- here. It got me a mention at Slate. See also the full text of Kerry's speech -- here.)

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  • Maybe some Dems will wake up and find that there is a spine back there behind their heart. I'd sure love to see some momentum for the mid-terms in 06... Who do you think is the man or woman to lead in 2008?

    By Blogger Gary, at 1:35 AM  

  • It seems to me that Edwards has the best shot. I think he is a very attractive candidate even though the specter of being a trial lawyer will hurt him. He has a better chance of making inroads into the South than anyone else. And he struck me in 2004 as someone who knows how to tell a story unlike Kerry. Kerry never was able to connect with anyone, which I think Edwards can do. And I think he is better able to articulate traditonal Democratic themes while not appearing too radical. IMO, Hilary just has too many ghosts in the closet and, while I never considered her some hard core radical, I think her obvious efforts to tack toward the center in recent months just looks too calculating to many people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 AM  

  • I tend to agree that Edwards could emerge as the candidate in 2008 -- it's just so hard to go against Hillary, though I agree with Marc's assessment. I think that she's a sincere moderate (a DLCer), but the question is, are Americans ready for yet another Clinton administration? Or is it not time to move forward, away from the Clinton-Bush era?

    Other than Edwards, I'm not sure who else there is. Biden looks incresingly mad and Dean already is mad. But, you know, why look to Washington? There are some excellent Democrats who have done well at the state level and who could be serious national figures: Vilsack (Iowa), Sebelius (Kansas), Richardson (New Mexico), Bredesen (Tennessee), and Warner (Virginia).

    Look for Warner to emerge from this pack.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:54 PM  

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