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Time to Unify Behind a John Edwards Candidacy

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Message Michael Martin

 By this time next year, after the first Iowa caucus, New Hampshire primary and now delegate-rich Super Tuesday, the Democratic nominee for president will be apparent, and that nominee absolutely should be former Senator John Edwards. With all due respect to the other Democratic nominees, none of them have the comprehensive policy platforms and overall vision for the country that Edwards has demonstrated, and there is good reason that he is receiving incredibly favorable reviews for his forthrightness on the campaign trail, his inspirational speeches and policy statements, and his ability to catalyze national days of action amongst his supporters.  Sen. Edwards is the candidate whom the Democrats need to restore dignified leadership to the White House and deserves to carry the mantle for the Democratic Party in the next presidential election.


On the policy issues that differentiate those candidates who emphasize rhetoric over substance, Edwards is making comprehensive domestic and foreign policy initiatives the benchmarks of his campaign.  In particular, Edwards’ universal health care proposal, which would require employers to provide health care if employees were lacking and creates diversified, savings-rich health markets, is commonly-viewed as the best one offered by any Democratic candidate. On the issue of Gen. Pace’s recent unfortunate remarks on homosexuality, Edwards, unlike Obama and Clinton, directly answered that he thought that homosexuality wasn’t immoral when first asked, and this is a microcosm of his campaign thus far: He is not retreating behind a wall of advisors in order to formulate an opinion and instead is being as straightforward and honest as any politician in recent memory.


 Regarding foreign policy, he’s made sharp policy speeches on Iran and calls for a regional dialogue with that country and Syria to encourage their participation in stabilizing Iraq, and he was one of the first Democratic candidates to call for an immediate withdrawal of thousands of troops from Iraq.  In short, Edwards understands that a stabilized Iraq is dependent upon the U.S. withdrawing troops from that country and instead focusing on terrorist activity; his vision is long term and pays respect to the complexity of the ethnic and regional makeup in the Middle East.

 Strategically speaking, without even mentioning Edwards superior oratorical skills, an Edwards candidacy would expand the electoral possibilities for Democrats in 2008, putting previously-Republican areas within play for the Democratic ticket, and this includes Florida (he’s Southern, after all, and viewed as authentic), Ohio (he has strong labor ties), North Carolina (his home state), and Arkansas (would return to B. Clinton allegiance with an Edwards candidacy). Edwards represents arguably the greatest chance for Democrats to retake the White House and consistently polls better against top Republicans – including a recent Rasmussen poll that had him +28 over Mitt Romney – than any other Democrat.  His appeal is broad and far-reaching, and having Edwards serve as the nominee would give Democrats a very good chance of winning the White House.
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The author lives in Haddonfield, N.J., and is a graduate student in the English department at Temple University.
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