John Edwards and the "Big Heart" Campaign

Political Wire:

While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will chase history in their 2008 campaigns, early clues from former Sen. John Edwards suggest that he will take a different route, running as the candidate with heart. You can read it in the recent book Saving Graces by Elizabeth Edwards and Home, the coffee table picture book by John Edwards about the places where famous and not-so-famous Americans grew up. You can also see it in the schedule -- announcing his candidacy in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the new symbol of the forgotten America.

The subtext of the Edwards campaign will be that it's not enough to represent Americans who have been locked behind walls of power, you need to tear down those walls and deal head-on with issues of poverty, job creation and health care accessibility, the three prime impediments to expanding and strengthening the middle class. While others will try to craft the perfect Iraq policy, Edwards will take the more emotionally satisfying approach of bringing 40,000 troops home immediately and the rest as soon as possible.

…[T]here's no doubt that the Edwards' have put a great deal of thought behind this race and will be formidable, tough opponents that no one can take lightly.
This only reinforces my impression of Edwards as the antidote to Dubya. I said before that, "By virtue of being everything Bush is not, both aesthetically and ideologically, he may just be the cure for that which ails us," and I'm doubling down on that idea as I contemplate "Big Heart" vs. "Heartless" and recall Bush the Heartless Wonder posing in front of a fake backdrop of reconstruction.

I noticed some similar grousing in the blogosphere about Edwards' choice of locale to announce his candidacy, replete with references to its being a distasteful "photo op," but, quite honestly, I feel a guy who's started a poverty center has earned the right to not be questioned on his motives when he walks among the poor, has earned at least our willingness to set aside a cynical presumption of his exploitation of the Lower Ninth Ward long enough to consider whether, perhaps, he instead intended to exploit the media interest in his candidacy to call attention to the continuing plight of the Lower Ninth Ward.

Sometimes people still do things for the right reasons, and I refuse to give up my belief in that. If I do, I won't be me anymore.

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