Friday, December 29, 2006

Edwards announces presidential bid

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I wrote extensively about John Edwards's run for the presidency a couple of weeks ago -- see here (for a post that contains both my thoughts on Edwards and a bunch of links). But now it's official. And he made it official in New Orleans yesterday:

Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina launched his second campaign for the White House from this flood-ravaged city Thursday with a call for the United States to reduce its troop presence in Iraq and a plea for citizen action to combat poverty, global warming and America's reliance on foreign oil.

Edwards was sharply critical of the administration for its conduct of the war in Iraq, and he again recanted his own vote authorizing President Bush to take the country to war, which he called a mistake.

I've long said that my two preferred candidates are Gore and Edwards. And although I prefer not to endorse anyone so early in the process, my support for Edwards is strong.

The transcript of Edwards's announcement is here. Here's a noteworthy passage on Iraq: "And it is a mistake -- I want to be absolutely clear about this -- it is a mistake for America to escalate its role in Iraq. It is a mistake to surge troops into Iraq. It sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqis and the rest of the world about what our intentions are there." And I'm particularly pleased that he addressed both the climate crisis and health care, two issues that need far more attention they've been getting in Washington.

For more on Edwards's "non-traditional campaign model," see here.

For reaction in the blogosphere, see The Carpetbagger Report (and Political Animal), Ezra Klein, The Democratic Daily, Booman Tribune, DownWithTyranny!, Bob Geiger, TalkLeft, and The Huffington Post. (And for a more critical reaction, see Sister Toldjah.)

I thank the Edwards campaign for advertising here at The Reaction. Click on the Blogad over on the right. And go to and the John Edwards '08 Blog (formerly the One America Committee Blog).

And here's a video of Edwards's pre-announcement announcement from Wednesday (via Shakespeare's Sister):

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  • Edwards = used goods.

    Of the announced candidates so far, I like Vilsack the best.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:01 AM  

  • However much I like Edwards, I do think I would support Gore if he entered the race. For a number of reasons, but not least his focus on the environment and I consider his incredible understanding of the complexities of the world.

    I do not think, however, that Edwards is "used goods". And I do think things have changed somewhat since '04. He did very well during the campaign, I thought, even holding his own against Cheney on national security at a time when Iraq and terrorism seemed to be in Bush's favour as issues. He may have lost, but it's different for a Veep candidate. Kerry was the one who lost, and he far more than Edwards is "used goods" (although I still like him). What Edwards has proved is that he can make it through the rigours of a national campaign. He's not "used," he's tested. And what's changed since '04 is that he's deepened his views on foreign policy, both on Iraq and on other areas like nuclear proliferation and Africa, he's continued to focus on poverty and related issues (more relevant than ever given Katrina), and he's branched out to develop reasoned positions on key issues like health care. All this sets him apart not necessarily from Gore but certainly from Clinton and Obama, both of whom display far more style than substance.

    I'm curious, Anonymous, why you like Vilsack. He's not bad, from what I know of him, but he seems bland and uninspiring.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 1:37 PM  

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