As Pamela has already noted here and here, “Former vice presidential nominee John Edwards said Thursday that he is a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, promising “a grass roots, ground-up campaign where we ask people to take action.” Several readers have already commented derisively about another Edwards run, and that’s to be expected since we’re largely a pro-John Kerry group. But let me explain why we should take another Edwards run seriously.
Though I’m still of the opinion that Edwards brought nothing to John Kerry’s campaign, failing in the end to even win his home state, Edwards is no empty suit at least in comparison to say Barack Obama (who also has the “swoon factor” going, but nothing to back it up). While Edwards was only a one-term senator, that’s four years more experience on the national stage than Obama has had. And Edward’s anti-poverty efforts since the loss of the election two years ago have been in the forefront of the debate.
Now, some are arguing that’s because Edwards has been running since November 7, 2004. Fair enough. But I can’t deride him too much for picking Nawlin’s 9th Ward to launch another bid this morning, since he was talking about “those people” long before Katrina hit in August ’05. Some of his ideas, if you read his website, are rather progressive, and while I’m not endorsing the guy by any stretch, I do think we should take note of the positions he’s laid out, most of which the readers of this blog would support.
I worked for Kerry here in Georgia during the ’04 primaries, and we delivered the state to him, but barely. Even though he failed to deliver North Carolina in the general election, Edwards has a lot of support in the south, which is why his candidacy is one to be reckoned with and why he no doubt chose the south to announce.
I have no idea where Kerry is regarding ’08, but I do know Edwards is certainly a viable alternative to the Clinton/Obama grudge match which the media is hyping. This is no Vilsack or Biden candidacy. It’s much bigger than that.