Saturday, January 12, 2008

Conversion Of Conveniences

Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards.
The former North Carolina senator's chosen profession alone raises the hackles of business people. Before entering politics, he made a fortune as a trial lawyer.
In litigious America, trial lawyers bring lawsuits against companies on behalf of aggrieved individuals and sometimes win multimillion-dollar settlements. Edwards won several.

We hear how he helps the poor and wanted to stop big business, but did you know this?

Speaking of the poor and how he will try to fight the big business man, did you know that Edwards, working part-time as an academic focused on poverty, "worked part-time as a senior adviser," says AP. Since his job was to help Fortress Investment get richer, poverty would presumably not be his main concern. See Fortress

Four months later, he began working for the kind of firm that to many Wall Street critics embodies the economy of wealthy insiders -- a hedge fund. See Business

Edwards, however, was not known as an outspoken champion for the poor during his six years as a senator, and his campaign could point to no major bills in that regard that he authored and got passed into law. He did help push a patients' bill of rights and he joined other Democrats in Congress in backing proposed increases in the minimum wage.

In 2000, he voted for permanent, normalized trade relations with China, which gave American businesses access to China's huge market, but which labor and other opponents said would hurt domestic manufacturing. Edwards has called the vote a blunder. He also voted, in 2002, for a bill giving President Bush broad authority to negotiate trade agreements. Edwards says he regrets that vote, too.

Edwards has disavowed other major votes as well. In 2001, he joined 81 other senators in voting for bankruptcy legislation making it more difficult for consumers to clear debt. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, who dropped out of the presidential race last week after a poor showing in Iowa, has attacked Edwards for his vote, saying it belied his stated commitment to fighting for the middle class.

Last month, Edwards told reporters that he was wrong to vote for the bill, but that it was an exception.

"I voted hundreds of times in the interests of poor people," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "If you look at anybody's record you'll be able to flyspeck one thing here or there. My life work makes absolutely clear what I'm committed to."

Edwards similarly expressed contrition for his 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq, saying he was "wrong to vote for this war." And he has apologized for his support in 2001 of No Child Left Behind, President Bush's controversial education initiative requiring public schools to meet certain benchmarks. Edwards has called it one of the worst mistakes of his Senate career.

Edwards's approach to policy-making has evolved as well, as he has grown far more confrontational than the candidate whose sunny disposition, both as a presidential contender and eventual running mate, was a hallmark of the 2004 race.

He often, for example, casts rival Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, as hopelessly naive for being willing to let drug companies and insurance companies participate in negotiations over healthcare. "That is a complete fantasy," Edwards said last week in Iowa. "The only way we're going to get their power away is we're going to have to take their power away."

In February of last year, however, when Edwards was asked by a writer on the liberal blog about the role of business, labor, healthcare groups, and doctors in the healthcare debate, he said, "I think you try to bring everybody to the table. You want their participation. You want to make the system work for everybody."

Edwards's campaign insists that a focus on inconsistencies in his record misses the larger arc of a career spent representing plaintiffs in lawsuits against corporations, winning accolades from major labor groups even though he came from a right-to-work state, and, in the years between his presidential campaigns, creating an academic center to study ways to reverse poverty.

But compared with 2004, when he was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, his rhetoric has escalated considerably. He now contrasts himself with Obama on the basis of his personal, lifelong commitment to fighting corporate greed.

His shift in tone may have helped him win over some Democrats this cycle. Indeed, his second-place finish in Iowa over Senator Hillary Clinton and his continued viability as a candidate bear that out.

But the more confrontational tone has also turned off some voters who preferred the John Edwards they knew in 2004.

Denise Hawks, a 49-year-old donor relations specialist from Des Moines, said she was with Edwards four years ago, but went with Obama this year, in part because of Edwards's transformation into an angrier, more strident candidate. If he was such a fighter, she asked, where was he when Republican operatives helped sink the Democrats' 2004 presidential hopes with their attack ads?

"Four years too late," Hawks said. "They were asleep at the wheel."

Edwards has said that he wanted to fight back against attacks on his running mate, John F. Kerry, but was overruled by the Kerry camp. Kerry and more than a half-dozen former high-ranking Kerry-Edwards campaign officials, however, have disputed his contention that he favored a tougher strategy, saying Edwards often refused their requests to go after Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney more forcefully. See Edwards

He talks about how he apologized for signing to go to war and jumps all over Hillary, but did you know this?

Just as Hillary he never read the NIE report but claimed he did and later retracted. Yet as John Kerry's 2004 ticketmate, the former North Carolina senator was anything but eager to acknowledge error on Iraq. Instead, according to several Kerry-Edwards campaign aides, Edwards argued repeatedly that the two should stand by their votes, even after it had become apparent that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction nor collaborative ties with Al Qaeda. See Kerry

He has been mean and wrong about a lot of things and I feel he was wrong to Hillary Clinton when this occured: Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said, "You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political it's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it."

Edwards jumped on the chance to express his readiness to face the strenuous demands of the presidency: "What I know is I'm prepared for that and I'm in this fight for the middle class and the future of this country for the long haul, through the conventions, straight to the White House."

However, in an interview with ABC News' David Muir, Elizabeth Edwards offered more compassion than her husband. She noted that everyone on the campaign trail can relate to how grueling the task can be. In the end, Elizabeth Edwards did not pass on the political opportunity and added that voters will decide whether or not they want to see watery eyes.

Later, at another campaign stop, Edwards appeared to adopt his wife's more sympathetic tone.

"These campaigns are very grueling," he said, "they're tough and difficult affairs, running for president is a tough process."

During a campaign stop at Jake's Coffee in New London, New Hampshire, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was also asked to comment about Clinton's teary moment.

"I didn't see what happened," he said, but added, "I know this process is a grind. So that's not something I care to comment on."See Hillary

John Edwards has been wrong about a lot of things and he sure was wrong to Hillary Clinton. Have you heard an apology as of yet?


Mary Ellen said...

Holy cow....this looks like a great post. I promise to get to it tomorrow when I have more time to look at every thing you put out.

Thanks for taking the time to do this, let's talk!

Now I have to go to bed, it's been a very long day. :-I zzzzzzz......

LET'S TALK said...

I await what you think about this Mary Ellen.

Jolly Roger said...

They've all been wrong about a lot of things, and they've all been in the pockets of the oligarchs. Obama (or his wife) are no exception.

It is good to ask these questions, because we all need answers. I do believe that people can change, but I also believe that many times some answers as to "why" are in order. I've heard precious few of those from either "front runner."

As soon as Barack or Hill get into a pissing contest with Huck, I am growing increasingly concerned that either one of them is finished. Edwards, in my opinion, is the only one who can stand in that kind of a contest, because he knows the language Huck speaks. He's been down himself. Reagan and Clinton were both able to communicate with the masses because they'd been FROM the masses. Like them or hate them, that never changed. Look at what's happened since we started elevating privileged sons to the top. Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004. Someone that "knew the language" could have toppled Chimpy, to a degree that maybe even the SCOTUS couldn't save him.

enigma4ever said...

First off...
Your blog looks great...all new wallpaper etc....

You put alot of thought and hard work into this post....I am very impressed....( after the insufferable past few weeks of Tweety, and other MSM debacles- it was lovely to read something that had been carefully thought out)...

You want my thoughts...

(1) As far as I know he does indeed admit that he did have a relationship with Fortress, but also that he ended it with too many issues and complications- some ethical arose. I have known lawyers that have had different investment situations that later they had to alter due to case load complications etc. I frankly don't know enough about WHY and How he ended his relationship with them. From what I have read and heard - he has tried to invest only in Ethical companies, and he does not accept donations or funds from War Profiteers, Oil or other ehtically challenged companies.

(2)About the Iraq War- and his vote, I have to say that he like many others did make mistakes, but he has apologized and admitted wrong doing....I have yet to hear Hillary do so.....

(3) He also like others has started and did sooner than most question Laws and Acts affecting our civil Patriot Act.

(4) You ended the post about he should aplogize to Hillary- I don;t know what for ? I maybe confused....but I don't remember anything untoward that occurred( but maybe I missed something...)

(5) about Poverty, I do think for the most part his voting record did not harm any of the lower income, but I admit that while he served he was not an advocate as he is now...I also think that in the past 4 years he has changed , evolved into more of a concerned citizen- esp after Katrina. I don 't think that is a bad thing- esp. that he even acted upon his concerns, even making multiple trips there to work- even when he was not running...

(6) I do think that he has stood up regarding the Healthcare mess and spoken out..but each other candidates will have to explain WHAT they want to do....I find it interesting that the Federal Workers basically have soicalized Medicine provided by Pirvate Insurance- that only they qualitfy for- yet they do not suffer problems of acceissiblity or availability or affordability that the rest of us suffer...for right now those with insurance are no beter off than those without in many ways ( pre-existing condition clauses, capp programs, denials, and med board reviews refusing care).....I do think that mulptiple solutions will be needed and aspectes of many programs will be needed to create a workable single payer nationwide healthcare plan for ALL americans....

But please hear was an excellent post and we see things differently...but mostly we are thinking on the issues...I think all the Candidates have a higher level of Intergrity and Compassion than King George.....but how much substance and their strengthes and critical thinking problems soulving skills hopefully will be revealed over the next monthes.....We can not have ANY MORE of the Same Satatus Quo....we have too much at stake and too many good people suffering....en masse.


enigma4ever said...

My apologies for all of the typos...tried to do this without reading glasses- it was disastrous...sorry....

LET'S TALK said...

Jolly Roger, I do plan to do a story on both Obama and Hillary as well.

It's just that most try to make Edwards out to be something that he is not and his record shows that he is not.

I know people change just as they said Bush changed , even though we know he did not really.

I am just saying watch and listen and remember what went on in the past with these folks that have made these changes since running for President.

LET'S TALK said...

Thanks for the comment enigma4ever and I understand how it is without reading glasses.

I question Fortress because he always claim how he is for the poor yet he worked for this company who is all but for themselves and most notably not for the poor.

There are videos with Edwards defending this war and even lying about reading the NIE report when he He sounds like someone else in that department.

While in office he did very little to help the poor and pass only one law that helped at all.

I will follow up with the other candidates but he angered me when he made his remarks about Hillary when he has no room to talk himself.

enigma4ever said...

I am still confused as to what remarks you are talking about- did I miss something ? ( I only ask because I don't know if you are talking about the debates? or something else, are they available to be read? )

About Fortress, he did not work for them , he did invest with them, and have a financial relationship-
more of an investment relationship, which he terminated...

Over at Watergate Summer Fran in the Comments did post his earnings- as well as Hill and Obama...
if you are interested...

Anonymous said...

I think that if you kicked every single politician out of office- every congressman, every senator, and both executives- but all you did was replace them with other Democrats and Republicans, then absolutely nothing would change.

That's why I don't vote anymore. I really believe all we're deciding is which earings to put on the pig.

Mary Ellen said...

Hi Let's Talk-

Ok...there's so much to cover. Regarding the Iraq war, I'm angry at all of the House members who voted for that resolution, not just Edwards. There are too many of them who don't take the time to do their jobs and read the material before voting. Oftentimes, they aren't given enough time to read it and they just skim over it or have an aide read it and give them a synopsis, which is wrong. However,the White House is great at putting out pages and pages of stuff that is almost impossible to muddle through and hope that no one will notice some of the "small print". Edwards is a lawyer, and he should know about the small print, IMO.

I don't think that just by saying your sorry, that's enough. But then again, two out of the three top runners in this campaign did the same thing. Obama didn't for only one reason, he wasn't in the Senate at the time. He claims he was against it, but there is proof by his speeches that this isn't true.

Regarding the Fortress thing, enigma said what I was going to. There were ethical problems and that's why he pulled out.

Regarding's true, civilians can't get in there without the permission of the White House, and they wouldn't do that unless he was a Republican.

Admittedly, John is weak on national defense and the Iraq war. He is the only one who wants a complete pull-out, though, and I like that.

Regarding this: "Denise Hawks, a 49-year-old donor relations specialist from Des Moines, said she was with Edwards four years ago, but went with Obama this year, in part because of Edwards's transformation into an angrier, more strident candidate. If he was such a fighter, she asked, where was he when Republican operatives helped sink the Democrats' 2004 presidential hopes with their attack ads?

"Four years too late," Hawks said. "They were asleep at the wheel.""

This is very unfair. It sounds like she was angry when he was running with Kerry that he didn't fight hard enough, and now that he is, she doesn't like that he's "mean". I'm sorry, but that's pure BS.

That said...I did not like what he said about Hillary (and I'm not a huge fan of Hillary--but I don't hate her either). His remark about her crying was uncalled for. I also didn't care for his performance in the last debate in NH. He was so busy trying to align himself with Obama that he spent more time on personal attacks of Hillary than giving any substance. Each answer he gave was part of his stump speeches, word for word. I didn't like that at all and that debate is why I've pulled away from him. Hillary on the other hand was the only one who gave a dead on answer as to how to handle Pakistan. Obama and Edwards looked and sounded like the Bobsy Twins in that debate, it was ridiculous.

I'm sure I missed some stuff,there was a lot of material and I'm trying to remember everything I read and watched.

Let me know if you want me to comment on any other specific areas.

Thanks again, Let's Talk, you put a lot into this.

Ooops...I also want to say, regarding Elizabeth Edwards, I wish ALL the spouses would stay out of the campaign. I'm not voting for who they married, and could give a rats ass how much they love and respect their spouses. If the candidates want someone to get up and talk about them, they should get an outside source, someone who is in government or someone who has worked with them. If the spouses want to be supportive and be with them on the campaign trail, fine...but they should keep their mouths shut. Elizabeth is particularly annoying to me because she interrupts John in the middle of his events and takes the microphone to "clear up a few points". I don't like that and it's a total turn off to me.

LET'S TALK said...

enigma4ever, I reference the information that said that yes, Edwards worked for fortress and the video even talks about the period he worked for them. See Fortress and Business

LET'S TALK said...

I'm sorry Thomaslb, I have to put my two cents in and vote regardless if it counts or not.

LET'S TALK said...

Hi Mary Ellen between you Jolly and Enigma, I am sure glad I did my homework.

I love the way you dissected each subject and some.

I know that they all have there faults and just as you I am tired of Elizabeth always jumping in. I will tell you this though. She saves him a lot.

Remember in 04 when he had a different view on homosexuals and Elizabeth stepped in and help change his views as she did with what was said about Hillary and the crying as well.

Mary Ellen said...

Let's Talk-Yeah, Elizabeth does jump in to save his ass, but what happens when he has to make quick decisions regarding national security---and she decides that she doesn't like the way his national security adviser is handling a situation, who does he listen to?

Or...heaven forbid, what if something happens to Elizabeth and she loses her fight with cancer (I hate bringing this's too sad to think about),but then who will be there to save his ass when he stumbles?

I equally think that Bill is hurting Hillary and Michelle Obama is hurting him. She's said some really stupid things and not just in this campaign, but I've seen her when he was campaigning in the Senate. In a way, she's probably saying exactly something she's heard from Obama himself, but he's smart enough not to say it out loud. She's not as nuanced as he is.

LET'S TALK said...

You know Mary Ellen you are correct and I did not think about how the front runners mate are to involved in this race.

I seemed to concentrate on Edwards because his wife is always shows more compassion and get's him out of a lot of things.

Now I recall Bill all over the place and saying a lot of things on her behalf and I remember Obama's wife snapping back at something Hillary had said.

Great observation!

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

I'm not impressed with either Hillary Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama. There is a lot about John Edwards that bothers me (his lie about telling the story about his son only one time to John Kerry for example). I was supporting Edwards, but I'm beginning to move towards Obama. He was not a senator at the time of the Iraq War Resolution, yes, but at that time he said the following:

" don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."

In this respect, I think he showed more intelligence and insight than either HC or JE.

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

Obama also said the following, October 2002! (and this demonstrates that he had a lot of intelligent ideas at a time when everyone else was busy waving the flag and not engaging in critical thinking)

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

Oh and here is his full speech.

It was brilliant! And this in October 2002!

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

That Barack Obama went against the grain and dared to say that we should not be starting a war in Iraq... in October of 2002... He is the only one with the requisite foresight and intelligence at that time.. Except for Kucinich and Grave, but they're out of the race now!

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

But this statement from Obama is most important... and again.. he said this in October of 2002... Sure, they're all saying this now, but did Clinton and Edwards step up to the plate in 2002? No...

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

oh and Larry... forgive me for leaving so many comments, but I just wanted to say that I like how you have not made up your mind and how you continue to ask questions about all of the confusing facts.. This is one of your more endearing qualities..

I haven't made up my mind yet either. So many decisions to make! ;)

Tom Harper said...

Interesting post; you really did your homework. I don't think Edwards can get elected in any case. His personal wealth, his prettyboy image and the fact that he's a trial lawyer will all provide too much ammunition against him.

I did like his pledge a few weeks ago that if he's elected, he'll give Congress 2 choices: either pass universal health coverage or forfeit their own health coverage. I don't know if he meant it or if he'd even have the authority to do that, but at the time I thought it put him ahead of the other Democrats.

Who Hijacked Our Country

LET'S TALK said...

Oh Anajo, I've truly missed you and the beauty of your site. Once again welcome back.

I've also enjoyed the pictures you've posted during your trip.

I enjoyed reading the speech Obama made in 02 and I just wonder what he would have done had he been a senator than.

Now a word of warning Anajo, my next topics will be Hillary and Obama. So I'm not partial to any of them as yet, it just angered me when Edwards said what he did about Hillary fake tears and the fact that he always talks about corporate this and corporate that, then this guy was working for Fortress and not caring or passing any laws that helped the poor while in the Senate.

LET'S TALK said...

I forgot to say that I enjoy your comments, so please do so as much as you wish!

LET'S TALK said...

Tom Harper, the guy just don't seem to be honest, but whivh of them are.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

In litigious America, trial lawyers bring lawsuits against companies on behalf of aggrieved individuals
But they bring a hundred times as many suits company v company, because that's where the long term money is, and plug up the court system in the process.

Edwards made much of his fortune from class action suits, which pay the lawyer thousands, if not millions, and the plaintiff's pennies.

When I first entered union politics (we were just organizing Jurassic park then), an old timer told me: "If you ever want to see animals that only mate once every four years, watch an election."

This was a fantastic post! Thank you for your hard work.

Emmanuel M Liu said...

I hope john edwards apologize for all the nasty things he said about sen clinton, it seems he is just fighting for 2nd place now on the obama team.

Mary Ellen said...

I just noticed a speech that John Edwards gave in South Carolina in some church and it convinced me that he isn't running for president, but he running for Obama's VP. Throughout the speech he is heaping praise on Obama and dissing Hillary Clinton. He's even using the bogus argument that the press is trying to push through about Hillary Clinton, supposedly, dissing MLK. I saw the entire tape of her speech and she wasn't dissing MLK. She tried to get that across to Tim Russert and didn't allow him to take anything out of context---which he and the NYT's has been doing. Now, Edwards is doing the same thing.

Really, if you read the speech, it sounds like HE'S going to vote for Obama.

I have to wonder if he and Obama struck a deal somewhere down the line. Ever since NH, Edwards has been constantly aligning himself with Obama.

I'm liking Edwards less and less.

TomCat said...

LT, this is an impressive list of smears. At fortress, he worked as a consultant analyzing European law, and was not involves with the sub-prime lending schemes there. He apparently was unaware of them, because they did it through subsidiaries and agents. At the time he also worked for the poverty law center. They were fully aware of Fortress and did not object, so they most have thought that what he was doing there fostered poverty.

On Iraq:
Clinton voted for it, and refuses to acknowledge her vote was wrong. Her plan to "end the war" leaves 50,000 - 100,000 combat troops there and includes continuing offensive operations.
Obama spoke out against it initially, but in 2004 he told reporters that his position was not that different from Bush's plan. In 2006, he said on Meet the Press that immediate withdrawal would be irresponsible. His plan to "end the war" leaves 30,000 - 50,000 troops there and includes continuing offensive operations.
Edwards voted for the war and subsequently admitted it was a mistake. His plan to end the war leaves 3,000 - 5,000 troops there to secure the embassy and protect humanitarian workers.
Of the three, only Edwards backs his statements about ending the war with policy.

On Health Care:
Clinton's "universal" plan leaves some people uncovered and leaves decisions about care in the hands of the greedy insurance companies.
Obama's "universal" plan leaves more uncovered than Clinton's and leaves decisions about care in the hands of the greedy insurance companies.
Edward's "universal" plan covers all and offers a single-payer option for those who don't want the greedy insurance companies making decisions about their care.
Of the three, only Edwards backs his statements about health care with policy.

On the economy:
I just posted a major article on that today, comparing all the candidates' positions.

S.W. Anderson said...

First, LT, it would be helpful if you would set quoted material off in blockquotes or use attribution and quotation marks to separate quoted stuff from your own writing, making it clear which is which.

So, Edwards is mean, dishonest or at least disingenuous and a closet wealthy elitist. What, no video of him kicking the tin cup out of a beggar's hand on his way into a swanky restaurant? Tsk tsk.

Seriously, I'm not going to try to change your mind, LT. You've obviously decided Edwards is no good. I will venture a couple of observations.

First, Edwards is an attorney, a trial lawyer. He signed on as an advisor for a hedge fund. He might sign on to defend a murder suspect. Would you have us believe that would be proof-positive Edwards is in favor of murder?

I remember watching Edwards' campaigning in Iowa in '04, before he became Kerry's running mate. His message about going after excessive and abusive corporate political and economic power, lobbyists, rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy and doing things to help the less affluent were all part of his stump speech. His tone was less combative, but the message was much the same.

I don't think Edwards has to cast off his wealth, move into a trailer park and wear second-hand clothes from Goodwill to be an effective advocate for the poor, whether he's in or out of office.

I remember a president who came from a very wealthy, upper-class background. He probably did more for more financially ruined Americans than any president in U.S. history. That was Franklin Roosevelt, and he made no apology for not being from a poor background or not being poor himself. BTW, he also got really rough on opponents at times, whether fellow Democrats or Republicans.

Edwards was wrong about voting Bush authority to invade Iraq — like plenty of other senators — but he's owned up to having been mistaken. I've yet to see the elected official who never makes a mistake, but I've seen plenty too feckless to admit their mistakes and change their policy. Good for Edwards, for owning up.

I think Edwards took to heart the heavy criticism heaped on Kerry and to a lesser extent himself for not being more responsive and combative in the '04 election. I think he's determined to make it clear that if he's the nominee this time, he'll fight and toss the inevitable GOP jeer-and-smear attacks right back at them. I don't blame him for taking that approach. Clinton has certainly said plenty about her willingness and ability to fight back, and for good reason.

On that score, there's an old saying, "Politics ain't beanbag." As I said in another comment, Edwards could've been more diplomatic about Clinton getting emotional. Like her, he was surely fatigued and frazzled. I don't think he said anything so harsh as to require a formal apology. Clinton's one tough lady, and not likely to be laid low with the vapors because Edwards waxed critical. You seem to be blowing this out of proportion because you don't like Edwards.

As has been mentioned, none of the candidates is perfect. They've all put their foot in their mouth. They've all made mistakes. They all have weaknesses.

I see Edwards as an exceptionally bright, honest and decent guy who's dedicated to making a difference. He could be making pots of money in the private sector. He could've served a long Senate career or maybe gone back to N.C. to become governor, or whatever. Or, he could've just retired early to enjoy his new home and time with his family. He seems to have a sense of purpose and possibilities.

There are far worse attributes for a politician to have.

S.W. Anderson said...

Correction: He could've served a long Senate career or maybe gone back to S.C. to become governor, or whatever.

LET'S TALK said...

From Tomcat:"LT, regardless of the legal issues in the way, we have to be4gin the process no matter how long it takes. I read your article and must confess it disappointed me. It will take me considerable research to answer such a broad spectrum of smears against Edwards. On Fortress, that's pretty old news. Edwards worked for them as a consultant,primarily in the area of analysis of European Trade Law, so he would not have been involved in insider trading and was not even aware of their practices in sub-prime lending. That was done through subsidiaries and agents. His primary motivation was to use the opportunity to learn how financial markets work from the inside. He worked for The Poverty Center concurrently. They knew of his consultation for Fortress and had no problem with it, so they must not have seen his work there as contributing to poverty in any way. I must commend you on a thoroughly professional hatchet job. Was that your own research?"

To be honest some of you could not have went to any reference or video to say that I am smearing Edwards.


2. Six million dollar home

3. Fortres
4 Fortres and the real reason he left. HE RAN FOR PRESIDENT!

5. Home / News / Nation "Edwards's populist message evolves
Fight for the poor not a hallmark of his Senate career
John Edwards was surrounded by staff at a campaign event in Keene, N.H., yesterday. While a US senator from 1998 to 2004, he backed some bills he now repudiates, including a free trade measure and a bill making it harder for consumers to clear debt. (Steven Senne/associated press)"

"This fight is deeply personal to me," he said in Saturday night's Democratic debate at Saint Anselm College. "I've been engaged in it my whole life, to fight for the middle class, to fight against powerful special interests. And it is a fight I will wage on behalf of the American people as president of the United States and win, as I have for 54 years."

But an examination of Edwards's record shows that his positions on leading issues, his rhetoric on the campaign trail, and his approach to solving the country's problems have evolved in significant ways since his presidential bid in 2004 and his tenure as a North Carolina senator from 1998 to 2004.

Edwards has made fighting poverty a signature issue of his campaign, using even more urgent language than he did in 2004, when he famously talked about "two Americas" - one prospering, another falling behind.

Edwards, however, was not known as an outspoken champion for the poor during his six years as a senator, and his campaign could point to no major bills in that regard that he authored and got passed into law. He did help push a patients' bill of rights and he joined other Democrats in Congress in backing proposed increases in the minimum wage.

But his fierce condemnation of rapacious corporations today stands in contrast to the more moderate voice he has been in the past.

I'm not smearing any one

LET'S TALK said...

My next topic was going to be Obama which was worse. I think I will stop now and let others find out what I've looked into and came up with.

S.W. Anderson said...

LT, for my part in this, I did not say at any point that you were smearing Edwards. I did say it's pretty obvious you don't like him. I will add that at least one of the items you link to is a smear job.

It's perfectly legitimate to say you don't like a politician. The same is true for linking to news stories that cast that politician in a bad light.

Keep in mind, though, that when you do that in a blog where your readers get to comment, you're probably going to hear some opposing views. That's true even when your commenters follow your links and read the negative stories.

Why? Because two people can read the same item and come away with very different ideas about what was said in the story and what it means. That's human nature.

For example, I read about Edwards' expensive haircut and super-expensive home. Evidently to you and to some others, those are evidence of insincerity or hypocrisy on his part. I simply don't agree. He earned his considerable wealth and is free to spend it as he sees fit. For the life of me, I don't get how expensive haircuts and a fabulous home make him two faced, dishonest or any less willing and capable of being an effective advocate for the middle class and the poor.

The Washington Post piece you linked to, by two reporters whose bylines are unfamiliar (interns?) comes off to me as a hit job, and not a very good one. Not that I dispute their facts. It just seems obvious someone told them to go get any negative or seemingly negative stuff they could find on Edwards, and they did — with virtually no balancing explanations or rebuttals from Edwards, his friends, associates and family.

I skimmed the Bluestarch Chronicles post. The blog is obviously the work of a right winger who's never going to give a Democrat/liberal a fair shake. Two examples from that post convince me of what I just said:

1 — "The Breck Girl candidate has built himself a 29,000-square-foot mansion. TWENTY-NINE THOUSAND SQUARE FEET!!!!"

2. — "Ambulance chasing has obviously paid quite well!!"

There's fair comment, fair criticism and fair debate, and then there's snide name calling. Sorry, but Bluestarch blew his/her credibility with me because of the name calling.

(Also, I wonder if that blogger is getting paid by the exclamation mark.)

LT, we're in a campaign season and this is your blog. If you've got a post in mind about Obama, you should write it, along with any others you feel are worth your time and trouble.

If you're going to enjoy blogging, though, I urge you not to be brittle. Don't expect or require that everyone agree. In the end, everyone gets to make up his/her own mind — bloggers, readers, commenters — everybody. The back-and-forth of debate and disagreement can lead to better understanding or at least interesting exchanges of differing opinions. Or, unfortunately, it can just generate hard feelings. I hope that's not what's happening with you.

LET'S TALK said...

I concur S.W. Anderson, it' not dislike of any candidate. I am tired of hearing the same story after story, so I decided to look into just where these folks actually stand and this is what came up with on Edwards.

I asked for critical criticism, but never did I think I would hear that I was smearing anyone , that was not the case. I gave the links and facts as I found them.

On my part and for the readers, I will not report on the candidates anymore, because what I have ready to post on Obama is not very nice at all and some were really insulted about the truth on Edwards.

On Hillary, some of what I have just started to find is really mind blowing and I just prefer to leave things as they are for now.

Thanks for the advice.

LET'S TALK said...

Thanks The Future Was Yesterday, even though some are upset about this report.

LET'S TALK said...

Emmanuel M Liu, I feel that he shuld apologize as well. That's not how you run a race and his wife pointed it out to him.

LET'S TALK said...

Mary Ellen, great observation, a lot of people seem to get that same opinion.

LET'S TALK said...

Look, maybe it's unfair on my part because I'm not sure who I support right now and I'm not bias and I'm looking at the facts on what these people say now, but did different in the past.

I have not thrown my hat in for Hillary, Obama or Edwards, I'm tired of someone telling me that they are looking out for the poor, but got rich doing it and did only one thing to help the poor while in Senate.

I'm tired of someone saying they have been there the longest fighting and knows what to do . But a closer look shows she have only been in the Senate just 7 years and was only the Presidents wife and made some chilling business decisions that affected a lot of poor and middle class people.

I'm sick of hearing change , when the only thing that you've changed is the brand of cigarettes that you smoke, and how you say that you were out in the street with them, which them? those that helped allow you to move from one great position to another while those you were out in the street with are still out there catching hell!

I'm just looking for the truth and I'm not trying to be a Mr. smarty pants, I don't know how. I'm just sick of the crap we hear and thought I would look into it for all the Democratic candidatse.

TomCat said...

LT, I think I owe you tan apology for the word smear, if that was not your intent. Because you have spoken against Edwards often, it appeared to be a hatchet job.

If I may suggest, limiting your articles to one or two issues at a time gives people a better opportunity to respond and appears less antagonistic.

Anajo/Anijo/JoAnn said...

Woah! Hatchet job?! Would someone care to dispute the facts here?

Larry is just discussing all of the things that are out there about any of the individual candidates. He has not yet made up his mind. And all of these issues will have to be addressed in the general election. Might as well address them now.

I don't think that Larry owes anyone an apology.

It seems to me that too many people have already chosen a candidate and are all up in arms if anymore dare mention anything bad about their chosen candidate.

Larry, I like your blog just the way it is and I hope that you don't feel threatened to not post whatever it is that you feel like posting.

LET'S TALK said...

TomCat, I accept your apology and respectfuly agree to disagree about Edwards or any other topic.

I gave you what I found on this report and decided not to hold anything back.

Yes I to tend to be upset with how Edwards allow his wife to run his race for President. After all, we are not voteing for her.

LET'S TALK said...

Oh my beautiful Anajo, thank you so much for the support. I just do not have the words.

I will continue to blog what I feel, but for now the article I have on Obama are worse and I just do not want to go through this again so soon.

Then I have a few reports I've picked up on Clinton that will surely anger a lot of people as well.

Once again Anajo, thanks so very much!

TomCat said...

Frankly, my biggest hope is that the media will start covering issues.

Mauigirl said...

LT, I welcome any research on the candidates, as I am still not positive who to support. I am most excited about Obama but am open to read more about him as it's early days yet. The NJ primary isn't until Feb. 5th so I have a couple of weeks yet to decide. I have already ruled out Edwards for various reasons, and although I like Kucinich's views and would have voted for him, it seems as if it is a lost cause. I hope you do post whatever you find out about both Hillary and Obama. I agree with another poster that it is important to only use legitimate sources. Anything factual will be of interest to me.

David said...

L.T. I think we should eliminate all politicians and bring in working people returning government to a "part-time job".

Edward's words are the right thing unfortunately he is a politician.

Since our politicians have no accountability they may say one thing and do another. There is no correlation between the campaign rhetoric and the policy of an elected official.

We are left voting for "which candidate will do less harm."

Snave said...

Thanks for posting all of this information. It is similar to the post I did not long ago with all the reasons I listed for not voting for Ron Paul.

I don't have a problem with Edwards being a trial lawyer at all. If he knows the law inside and out, well, that is a good skill to have in public office. I also don't mind that he has made himself wealthy from that line of work. But it seems to me all the mainstream media really tells me about Edwards is that he spent $400 on a haircut, his parents were mill workers, and that the only time he gets any press is when he complains, thus making him look like a whiner. That's why your post on Edwards is helpful to me, because it takes a somewhat deeper look at the man.

With his wife's serious health problems, I personally would question him as to why on earth he would even consider running for president at such a time. My wife and I have talked about this extensively, and we agree that he should not even be running. If he won, and had to be halfway around the world while she was at home possibly dying, how would that work out? Is he really so driven that he would be willing to leave his ailing spouse for extended periods of time? The Edwards' obviously have an understanding about that, but it isn't something my wife and I understand now, or would likely ever understand... but that's just us.

I know I would have a hard time voting for anyone who voted for No Child Left Behind or for its reauthorization, even if they were apologizing about the vote later. I believe NCLB was designed by the rightwingers as a sort of stealth method of defunding and eventually privatizing our public schools, but that's my soapbox for another time and place. If Edwards now admits he make a grave mistake in voting for NCLB, I'll accept his apology.

Good work here LT.. ! I have gravitated towards Obama recently, so I am not sure I want to read unpleasant things about him, but I will be back by to check out what you've posted! Like you, I vote, regardless, and the best way to vote is to be armed with as much information as you can get!