Well, this little piece of news has definitely brought my week down. sigh. I didn't go for John Edwards in 2004 -- I was a diehard Kucinich fan back then (Kooch!) -- but this time out I liked the guy the best out of the field, having read and heard a lot about him in the intervening time (his book, Four Trials, by the way, is excellent). I respected the heck out of him for stepping down from his Senate seat to run in '04, a courageous and confident step nobody else running was willing to make. Plus, I felt like Edwards was running the most forward-thinking campaign of anybody out there, at least among the front-runners (sorry, Dennis...).
When he came through Houston back in June, stopping at the Armadillo Palace next to Goode Co., the wife & I went, psyched to be able to see a real-live Democratic presidential candidate at something that didn't cost $300 a plate (seriously, DNC folks, we're not all millionaires), and Edwards hit some impressively Kennedy-esque notes in his speech. He talked about fighting poverty, about giving people and not corporations a shot at the American Dream, about healthcare as a right and not something you just can't afford, and about hope in general.
And best of all, he seemed to walk the walk -- he's a lawyer who made his career by fighting Big Evil Corporate Entities and pledged not to take money from PACs or lobbyists, both of which made him a hero in my book right out of the gate. One of my biggest problems with Hillary Clinton is that (according to opensecrets.org, at least) she's received nearly double as much cash from lobbyists as any other candidate running, including Republicans, who're, y'know, supposed to be all about the lobbyists, yo.
Honestly, that scares the crap out of me. I really, truly wish we could head for a political scene where it's the flesh-and-blood constituents and not the business interests that had the power (thank you so much, J.C. Bancroft Davis, you weaselly bastard), and with Edwards, I thought we had a shot of seeing that, at least in the White House. I fear that with Clinton, and maybe even Obama, all we'll see is the same old kowtowing to the people with checkbooks. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...
Anyway, I'm disappointed as hell about this. I can't fault him his decision (I mean, hell, if he can't win in S. Carolina, of all places...), but damn, having a guy like that as President would've been a pretty cool prospect.
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