Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One America

John Edwards:

One America, one America that works for everybody.

One America where struggling towns and factories come back to life because we finally transformed our economy by ending our dependence on oil.

One America where the men who work the late shift and the women who get up at dawn to drive a two-hour commute and the young person who closes the store to save for college. They will be honored for that work.

One America where no child will go to bed hungry because we will finally end the moral shame of 37 million people living in poverty.

One America where every single man, woman and child in this country has health care.

One America with one public school system that works for all of our children.

One America that finally brings this war in Iraq to an end. And brings our service members home with the hero's welcome that they have earned and that they deserve....

John Edwards, who spoke with passion about the challenge of a nation split into haves and have-nots, into "two Americas", has dropped out of the 2008 Presidential race. In doing so, he reaffirmed his commitment to the cause of those whose voices are often not heard, the voices of those who have fallen by the wayside in a globalized economy, of workers without health benefits and veterans without shelter, of parents and families that struggle in a country that has allowed the greed of a few outweigh the needs and purposes of the broader population.

He has been called a phony, a class-warmonger, a populist, and worse, but he is an American hero. He drove the agenda of Clinton and Obama. His positions and policy proposals were deeply defined, well-considered, and extensively communicated; in a campaign that often dissolved into silly and even embarrassingly petty personal attacks, ridiculous protests, and phony claims of racism and sexism, Edwards was focused on specific proposals to achieve worthy goals. He may have been beaten, but he was never outclassed.

Now, I wish him and Elizabeth well. I hope they will take some time for themselves and for their family. He should take some time and think about the role he might want in the next administration. Personally, I would like to see him take on the repairs needed at Justice. Attorney General Edwards in 2009.

Tomorrow, I hope Edwards will endorse Obama. It has to happen. Listening to Obama on Saturday, after he won South Carolina, I couldn't help but notice that he had picked up the Edwards line -- it sounded as if he had adopted the Edwards stump speech. The music was Obama's but the lyrics were clearly crafted to reach the ears and touch the hearts of every Edwards man and woman in America.

Now, today, I hear in the words of Edwards an important theme of Barack Obama's. Edwards, who frequently addressed the problem of "two America's", was talking about "One America" - the frame usually expressed by Obama. Words matter to these men, and I think before we go to the polls on Tuesday, Obama will have Edwards's endorsement.

Let us go forward now and do what is right and just. It is about time.


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