Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why I support John Edwards

x-posted at The Bayne of Blog's California Notes

Last night I spoke to the Sierra Foothills Democratic Club in El Dorado Hill on behalf of John Edwards. Below is the text of my comments as prepared for delivery.

Thank you, Sierra Foothills Democratic Club for inviting me to speak on behalf of Senator John Edwards. If you get all your news and information from mainstream media you may not have heard about it yet, but Senator Edwards is running for President of the United States.

I probably over thought what I could tell you about Senator Edwards this evening. I could tell you about his plan for universal health care that puts us on the road to a single payer system. I could talk about his plan to immediately withdraw between forty and fifty thousand combat troops from Iraq. I could talk about his support for middle-class families and working Americans. His education proposals may interest some of you, and his energy plan works toward energy independence and fights global warming. I could also spend some time talking about his plan to revitalize rural America.

Sure, I could bore you with the details of Senator Edwards’ bold initiatives, but, if you get your news from alternative media sources, you’ve likely heard them — or something similar to them — already. You see, each of the Presidential candidates also have plans that are similar to Senator Edwards’. On the issues, there is little difference between the candidates.

The difference is, Senator Edwards proposed his plans before any of the other candidates, and many of the details of his plans were incorporated into their plans. If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery... well, John should be flattered.

Senator Edwards’ plans are nothing new. They are Democratic Party principles put to pen and paper and laid out before the American people. They are bold, honest plans to lead America forward.

You can read the details of his "bold solutions for real change" at www.johnedwards.com.

Now that I have not told you briefly about Senator Edwards’ plan, I would like spend the remainder of my time telling you why I support him. People ask me, "why support someone who the media ignores, isn’t polling with the ‘front runners,’ and doesn’t appear to be able to win?"

My support for John Edwards goes back about four years to the last presidential election cycle when I first heard him speak at a library in Sacramento. After hearing him speak, I told my wife Marcie that I felt like I had just heard the next President of the United States. She agreed, and we have been ardent John Edwards supporters ever since. We were understandably disappointed when he dropped out of the race early and the angry when the Republican election theft cost him the Vice Presidency.

Since then, Edwards has been working to bridge the gap between the "Two Americas" that he so eloquently described during the earlier campaign. Our support has grown, and we were relieved to see him enter the race for 2008.

As it turns out, in 2004 I hadn’t heard the next President, but I do believe, and I hope, for America’s sake, I heard the person who will become President in 2008.

John Edwards gives me hope, but more than that, he instills in me the confidence that we are a people and a country that is better than what we have experienced over the last eight long years. I am impressed that Edwards is the only candidate that is talking to the heart of people, he is the candidate that focuses, not on the rich and well healed, but on the poor, on the people that have been left behind and forgotten by a political system that cares more about the size of your pocketbook than the size of your heart.

To be sure, there are important and critical issues that must be addressed, and John Edwards addresses them all, and he is the only candidate that is standing up for working and middle class families.

He stands with us on true universal health care.

He stands with us to strengthen the labor movement.

He stands with us, taking on abusive lenders and helping families get ahead.

He stands with us, strengthening schools and making college affordable.

He stands with us, building a better future for the next generation.

He stands with us to end the occupation of Iraq and restore America’s moral leadership.

He stands with us creating opportunity for all.

Simply put, I believe John Edwards to be the best hope for America in these times. It may not matter much to some people, but I feel it here, in my heart, and here, in my gut. It matters to me.

Don’t get me wrong. Any of the Democratic candidates will move America forward. Any of the Democratic candidates will be a welcome change from the failed policies of the Bush administration. And, whoever the Democratic nominee is, I will support them.

But, John Edwards has given me — he has given all of us — hope that goes deeper than any of the others. He has given me confidence that his bold policies for fundamental change will take hold. He has given me a vision of an America where people, average working stiffs, you and me, matter and make a difference.

I am amazed at the number of people I talk to and hear from who say that they like what John Edwards is saying. They like his policies, agree with him on the issues, and support his bold initiatives to renew hope in America. They even tell me that they align more closely and agree more ardently with John Edwards than the others. Then they look at me and say, "But I’m going to vote for someone else."

Why? When did we start settling for our second or third choices?

We will be voting in a primary election on February 5, and you should vote your heart, your mind, your conscience. You should vote for your first choice, your gut choice, the candidate of your heart. The one with whom you align with closest. And if you are like me that choice will be John Edwards.

Here’s a novel concept. On February 5, instead of voting for the media favorite, vote for the person you want to be President.

Join me in supporting John Edwards for President

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