So it has come to pass that Elizabeth Edwards has died.
Despite having more things thrown at her than anyone I've ever had the chance to support in my entire political life, she managed to represent, in her very presence, a sense of grace and kindness and concern for those who were looking to have a better life than the one they had now, and I don't know that I could ever live up to the quiet courage she showed as her life came to an end.
And, bless her heart, it appears that she took the time to make sure that her kids knew her, and that she helped them put away enough "past" to, hopefully, ease some of the pain of the future.
But now the time has come to look beyond death, and, John...that's why I want to talk to you today.
Bad news for Edwards fans: If you guys can stomach another male politician behaving badly, it seems that while his wife was half-dying of cancer, John Edwards was running around with the campaign trollop. Worse yet, the woman got pregnant.
Although he has belatedly admitted to the affair, he's now crying Billie Jean "the kid is not my son".
WASHINGTON - Former presidential candidate John Edwards, who won praise and sympathy as he campaigned side-by-side with his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, admitted Friday he had had an extramarital affair with a woman who produced videos for his campaign. Edwards acknowledged a sex scandal he had dismissed as "tabloid trash" only last month. However, he denied fathering the woman's daughter, who was born in February.
The former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. He said he had not taken a paternity test but knows he isn't the father because of the timing of the affair and the birth.
If that's not bad enough, it seems as if the former Presidential contender was sharing the woman with at least one of his staffers...
A former Edwards campaign staffer says he is the father.
And neither one of them thought it was a good idea to use condoms? Ewww... gross! Definitely NOT good judgment!
David Bonior, Edwards' campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, is absolutely livid at the news.
"Thousands of friends of the senator's and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him, and he's let them down," said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. "They've been betrayed by his action." Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards' future aspirations in public service, Bonior replied: "You can't lie in politics and expect to have people's confidence."
Former Democratic Presidential candidate and current "voice of the people" John Edwards was at the national ACORN conference in Detroit today giving a rousing speech centered on combating poverty, fighting for universal healthcare, demanding equality in education in America, firing up the grassroots for Barack Obama and making pointed criticisms of Republican John McCain.
Edwards' speech was a riff on the endorsement speechhe gave in Grand Rapids when he combined the Hope and Change message of Obama with his own Two Americas theme by discussing how Obama will tear down walls while McCain will build up the wall that divides us (in the Two Americas).
"It's time to have an economy that works for everybody. It is a moral outrage that in a county of our wealth kids go to bed hungry, families live in cars, and our seniors have to pick between food and medicine. We can end the shame of 37 million people living in poverty. We can do anything together. We can lock arm in arm and end this moral shame.... We need to tear down the wall around Washington, we're going to put Barack Obama in the White House and tear that wall down for the people who are suffering every single day.... Eight is enough. Let's take this wall down for mothers and fathers who just want a decent job, for our heroes in Afghanistan, for the kids who just want a chance to go to college, so the world can see the world America and can see our angels. We can take this wall down with Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Yes we can! Yes we can!"
Let's finally see the One America we all believe in. Where we finally do something about global warming, create green collar jobs ... where we raise the minimum wage, guarantee access to childcare. We can cut the poverty rate in half in the next 10 years and end poverty in America in 30 years. One America where we give affordable healthcare to everyone. One America with high quality schools for everyone, invest in people, have successful schools, expand pre-school. We can see the walls fall when the Iraq War finally comes to an honorable end and our service men and women come home as heroes. We will honor our vets.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Democrat John Edwards endorsed former rival Barack Obama on Wednesday, a move designed to help solidify support for the party's likely presidential nominee even as Hillary Rodham Clinton refuses to give up her long-shot candidacy.
The surprise endorsement came a day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in the West Virginia primary, and it helped the Obama campaign steer much of the evening news coverage away from a painful subject. The West Virginia outcome highlighted Obama's challenge in winning over "Hillary Democrats" _ white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in significant numbers before he exited the race in late January.
Edwards made the carefully timed announcement at an Obama rally here, as the Illinois senator campaigned in a critical general election battleground state.
Florida Governor Crist said that he would be open to a “redo” of his state’s Democratic primary.Michigan’s Governor has not been so generous.
The Democratic Party stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates for moving their primary before February 5th in violation of party rules.
Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan said in February that, “The DNC created this problem by the sanctions they used and unfairly applied. The DNC has to fix this problem.”
As both a Democrat and a resident of Michigan, I have to say she could not be more wrong.Moving the primary ahead to January 15th brought Republicans and Democrats together in Lansing in ways they would not previously.
If Barack Obama and John Edwards wanted to back up their blustery tough-talk about "change" and "the courage to take on the Washington establishment," they had the chance to show the world that they are willing and able to do whatever is required to get down and dirty and deal directly with the country's, and Michigan's, most pressing problems. But when push came to shove, these anti-establishment crusaders politely followed the Howard Dean-provided status-quo script.
If these two do not have the courage to challenge the Democratic National Committee's archaic rules, like Michigan can't move up its primary, why should we think they would or could ever muster the 'ganas' to take the bold actions required to effectively address real problems like corporate welfare, labor law, trade policies, education, health care, defense spending, infrastructure, civil liberties, climate change and more? The very problems at the forefront of why Michigan moved up its primary in the first place. Their cowardly actions in the Michigan primary tell us we simply cannot count on them to do what's right if the 'good old boys' say it's wrong.
Understand, Clinton's willingness to leave her name on the ballot does not, by any stretch, mean she would or could fights those fights either.
However, the whole ordeal certainly left this voter proud of his support for Dennis Kucinich.
This is a horrible idea dreamed up by a Californian. Democrats should vote in the Democratic Primary where something is at stake -- the media reports after the "primary." They can either read "Hillary On a Roll, Wins Michigan" or "Uncommitted Defeats Hillary, Clinton Can't Win Against Nobody." Supporters of John Edwards and Barack Obama along with those angry at Granholm (trying to get a job in a possible, if now less likely, Hillary Administration) for strong-arming this through the MDP should VOTE UNCOMMITTED.
The main problem with Kos' scheme is that we Michigan Democrats need to worry about picking our own nominee, rather than attempt to have some small impact on their nominee. It's more imperative that we Michigan Democrats do our little part so that we do not end up with Hillary, our weakest candidate and least progressive potential president.
Every vote for Romney is also a vote for the headline "Hillary Wins Michigan, Controls Race."
So, think before you follow a bunch of out-of-staters trying to get you to vote for a Republican and instead
(Cross-posted, and poll choices shortened due to space considerations, from Daily Kos)
It was alarming yesterday to see Kos actively supporting a Republican like Mitt Romney (I thought Kos wasn't a Repub any more...), and then to have the "Democrats.COM" gang send at Kos' request a mass e-mail, irresponsibly titled "Voting Fun in the Michigan Primary", endorsing that, too. What?
Actually, Kos' diary has an irresponsible, joy-riding type of title too, Let's have some fun in Michigan! He argues that keeping Romney in the race, by Dems voting for him and thus preventing a catastrophic Romney loss in Michigan, will keep an additional moving part in the Repub machine to muck it up, rather than letting Mich maul Mitt and knock him out. (Which would make life simpler for John McCain and other Repubs)
True, maybe, but is it worth the price? And what if, uh...Romney becomes President? with our help??
Democrats should vote for Democrats, and help stop Hillary too, in Michigan, by voting for uncommitted delegates. And Kos should publicly withdraw his misguided support for Romney, before he does any more damage.
As the results from
places like Dixville Notch and Hart's Location begin to trickle in, figured I'd share with you a
anecdote about an angry exchange between a particular former first lady and a young hotspur U.S. Senator and
author - and I don't mean Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama. I'm talking about Eleanor Roosevelt vs. John F. Kennedy.
While working on another project, I recently came across this
intriguing series of documents from George Washington
Not that I ever really gave it much thought, but I suppose I would have
assumed such vaunted Democratic figures as John F. Kennedy and Eleanor
would have been best political buds. Nope.
1958: Roosevelt, of course, is the widow of FDR - the
leader the Democratic Party has ever known. She's also a
columnist, author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and one
of the world's leading voices for social justice. John F.
five years into his first term in the U.S. Senate. Good publicity from
book Profiles in Courage (winner of the 1957
Pulitzer Prize) -
and his near-selection as the 1956 Dem candidate for vice president
have made Kennedy a strong contender to be the Democratic candidate for
president in 1960.
But Kennedy has his detractors. His unwillingness to take
on Sen. Joseph McCarthy and what is perceived as a lack of
committment to civil rights has earned Kennedy some foes in the liberal
wing of the Democratic Party. And many liberal and conservative members
of the Democratic party old guard alike simply feel this young
of privlige lacks the maturity and experience the
nation's highest office requires.
Eleanor Roosevelt can be counted as a
member of this group. And it is a TV appearance by the former first
lady that ignites what amounts to a 1950's flame war between Democratic
Party titans. Kennedy registers his displeasure in this
letter, dated December 11, 1958:
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
211 East 62nd Street
New York, New York
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:
I note from the press that on last Sunday afternoon, December 7, on the
ABC television program College News Conference, you stated, among other
things, that Senator Kennedy's "father has been spending oodles of
money all over the country and probably has a paid representative in
every state by now."
Because I know of your long fight against
the injudicious use of false statements, rumors or innuendo as a means
of injuring the reputation of an individual, I am certain that you are
the victim of misinformation; and I am equally certain that you would
want to ask your informant if he would be willing to name me one such
representative or one such example of any spending by my father around
the country on my behalf.
I await your answer, and that of
your source, with great interest. Whatever other differences we may
have had, I'm certain that we both regret this kind of political
John F. Kennedy
A week later, this was Roosevelt's reply:
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
301 Fifty-sixth street west
New York 19, N. Y.
Dear Senator Kennedy:
my comment is not true, I will gladly so state. I was told that your
father said openly he would spend any money to make his son the first
Catholic President of this country, and many people as I travel about
tell me of money spent by him in your behalf. This seems commonly
accepted as a fact.
Building an organization is permissible but giving too lavishly may
seem to indicate a desire to influence through money.
Very sincerely yours,
This back-and-forth continued over the next month...
I want to try a "meta" experiment, i.e., whether it's o.k. to discuss posts from another Michigan blog, e.g., Blogging for Michigan, without starting a "blog war" or whatever.
I'm not even going to offer any editorial comments, I just want to see what people think.
No war please! Or bad language. Thx!
...Obama strikes me as intelligent, thoughtful, definitely someone you want on the team, but also inexperienced and arrogant. Sorry bandwagon jumpers, but it seems the times that he faces criticism or tough questions, he tunes out and dismisses it with a wave of the hand. You get the impression he won't listen to your concerns if he doesn't agree with you. There is also the problem of this idea that Republicans are just going to join with him and sing "Kumbaya". Has he not been paying attention these past seven years? Still, I see incredible potential there; I just want a bit more seasoning. He hasn't been put through the fire yet, and I'm not sure how he will react when it happens. ...
But the person that could walk in and be president right now is Hillary Clinton. ...
...Obama's vision is downright dangerous to the larger progressive agenda.
Obama is running his campaign on change and hope. He's tapped into a powerful current: Americans are desperate for both. But the type of change that Obama is selling is fundamentally flawed.
Obama wants us to believe that he can bring together the Democrats and the Republicans. He wants us to believe that he can walk into the White House, butter up Congress like a biscuit, and then get all his legislation passed. There will be no opposition, because he's so sweet.
And he won't just save America ... speech that good works all over the globe. Just imagine: the world will live together in peace and the American Dream will be within everyone's reach. Mike Bishop and Governor Granholm will be homeys.
But Obama has a fundamental flaw in his vision; his premise is that it is possible for Republican Party to compromise, for the sake of good government. It's a false premise. It is not possible. ...
(You remember the color blue? It's one of those colors that Barack Obama doesn't see, except when he's counting potential electoral votes that he doesn't have to campaign for)
Progressives need a candidate who is willing to stand up for progressive values, not someone who will capitulate to the GOP for the sake of seeing purple. How do we know that Obama is that guy? He certainly hasn't mentioned our values in any of his speeches. In his Iowa victory speech, he never once mentioned our values. ...
And to keep things interesting, here's the "Hillary Clinton's Heated Response" YouTube video from the NH debate last night, here. (Cf. Jake Tapper of ABC, "Political Punch", Hillary's Debate Moment,
It won't come across on the transcript, but Sen. Hillary Clinton got angry during the debate tonight.
She was bickering with Sen. Barack Obama about their differences on health insurance, and whether Obama's plan leaves millions of Americans uninsured.
And then she ... well ... she got angry.
Frankly, I don't even really understand what she was saying. What I was getting was how angry she is. Not about an issue, so much, as about the fact that Obama is beating her.
The clip, I predict, will be played again and again and again.
Pundits will say that her tone made male voters recoil. And led some female voters to sneer.
Clinton people are spinning this as her projecting strength. I do not think that will be the widely-head [sic] view. ...
UPDATE: She just had another weird moment, too, where she seemed to blame Natalie Sarkisyan's death on John Edwards' inability to get the Patients Bill of Rights passed in the House.
I should add that this angry Hillary Clinton is NOT one I've ever seen at the Senate, on the stump, or in interviews. But I feel her performance tonight, in contrast to Obama's coolness and Edwards' Southern drawl, feeds into stereotypes about her. ...
I watched the New Hampshire debate on line this monring from Ankara, Turkey. Quite a marvel of technology. I think it's really getting down to it. This clip is the answer I liked the most and it came from John Edwards.
My friends here who are not Obama supporters have generally been very
gracious following Barack's historic triumph in Iowa yesterday. So I'll
try not to crow. I will, however, now do a happy dance:
Ahem...now that I have that out my system...here's my two cents on what
happens from here - and what this means for our January 15th
Michigan so-called "primary."
Prediction: Obama will win New Hampshire
Yes, the polls leading up to yesterday generally showed Barack as about
6.5% behind Hillary. But...just like what happened
in Iowa, I
fully expect we will find the pollsters have significantly
understimated the number of Obama backers who will turn out.
On top of that, of course, is this new Obama momentum we're all now
hearing so much about. I suppose I may get shot for saying this, but I
actually think David Brooks was right
on the money this morning:
Iowa won’t settle the race, but the rest of the primary
season is going to be colored by the glow of this result. Whatever
their political affiliations, Americans are going to feel good about
the Obama victory, which is a story of youth, possibility and unity
through diversity — the primordial themes of the American
And Americans are not going to want to see this stopped. When an
African-American man is leading a juggernaut to the White House, do you
want to be the one to stand up and say No?
This isn't just any
momentum. It's contagious runaway
freight train momentum. It may be stoppable, but probably not before
Tuesday. To make matters worse for the Camp Hillary, two of the three
days she has to derail this freight train are over the
when the audience for news typically drops way off.
Before yesterday, it wasn't clear if Obama was just another flash in
the pan. Today that doubt is about gone. Barack Obama IS for real.
Outlook for Michigan
Ah! But wait! Even if she blows Iowa and New Hampshire, Hillary still
has a firewall in Michigan!
To this I must respectfully say: dream on. In fact, it's conceivably
than that for Team Hillary.
(Continued below the fold...)
Well, we're only having a fake "primary" here in Michigan (thanks Debbie, Jennifer and Hillary), so if you want to do anything more than vote Uncommitted, it's time to pack up and head out to Iowa for a few days.
A bunch of Michigan folks for Edwards will be driving to Dubuque, Iowa to take part in the Iowa caucuses from 1-4 January. This is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in this incredible event that goes a long way to choosing our next president. We won't just be going to make phone calls and canvas, we'll actually be co-precinct captains -- we'll be inside the caucus room talking with caucus-goers and making sure we get wins for Edwards.
Regarding the limited participation in their questionnaire, the Midwest Democracy Network issued a statement saying that
"Unfortunately, the vast majority of the presidential candidates chose not to address voters' concerns about the health and direction of American democracy. Their silence is disappointing, and, of course, the American people have every reason to feel let down and badly treated."
...The legislation the Senate voted on Thursday aims to mak[e] the problematic clause separable from the rest of the legislation. That would allow the primary to be held even if that portion of the law is again challenged in court. The law would give party leaders until Nov. 14 to inform the Michigan Secretary of State whether they would proceed with a primary. It also has measures to try and make sure all major candidates from both parties would be on the ballot. ...
On the ballot against their will, that is. Obama, Edwards, etc. Classy move. Clas-sy. Any Democrat supporting this should be recalled, I'm tempted to say. (Though one can't exactly "recall" Debbie Dingell, who is working hand-in-glove with the Repubs and Saul Anuzis on putting a gun to Obama/Edwards/Richardson/etc.'s heads, see my previous diaries...)
DFP: Granholm: Save kids' health bill. Another lovely quote from Trent "I Speak for Joe" Wisecup in this article: "It's a $35-billion expansion of the program, and the only way they can pay for it is to get 22 million more Americans to smoke." Speaking of Joe, you can read his op-ed in yesterday's Freep here. Meanwhile, AARP is urging Michigan's Congressional delegation to override Bush's SCHIP veto.
Livingston Daily Editorial: Garcia deserves credit for facing constituents on budget agreement. For once, an editorial I (mostly) agree with: "He made his choice, and it was clearly a decision of conscience. Many voters will likely disagree with him. But he did what a good legislator should: He made what he thought was the best decision, rather than the politically safe one."
Michigan Future: UM, SPARK incubator in Pfizer space to support life science startups. This is certainly good news: "UM and SPARK, the economic development and marketing organization for greater Ann Arbor, with the help of a $1 million state grant, have assumed Pfizer's lease of a 34,400 square-foot lab space at the Traverwood office park on Huron Parkway, north of Pfizer's main Ann Arbor campus."
Michigan Future: UM engineering college adds entrepreneurial center. "The University of Michigan announced Tuesday a new Center for Entrepreneurial Programs at the UM College of Engineering. Thomas Zurbuchen, professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and Aerospace Engineering, will direct the new center."
DFP: 4 new projects could create 1,600 jobs. "Four new company projects that will attract more than $1.56 billion in capital investment could create as many as 1,600 jobs across Michigan." Head over to the Freep article for more details.
State News: $50M plan for housing, retail in Lansing to attract grads. ?Upon completion of Market Place and Ballpark North, downtown Lansing will have created an entertainment district that will rival other thriving Midwestern cities,? Gillespie said. You can read more over on the LSJ.
Michigan Messenger: MIS is more lucrative to Michigan than the Super Bowl. "A report released today by Gary Wolfram, an adjunct scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, says the Michigan International Speedway in Jackson County has an economic impact greater than the Super Bowl, bringing in more than $400 million to Michigan's economy."
AP: Jackson prison begins closing. "The state Department of Corrections plans to close the Southern Michigan Correctional Facility by November 15th... Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration wants to close the Jackson prison to save $35 million and help balance the state budget."
BFM: More buyouts hit the newspaper industry. Clearly not a good time to be in the print business. The Flint Journal is trying to cut 110 positions.
Flint Journal: Jesse Jackson here today to decry predatory lending. Speaking of the FJ, here's a nice re-cap of Rev. Jackson's foreclosure event in Flint yesterday.
Battle Creek Enquirer: Schauer calls for Walberg to override SCHIP veto. "I think what it really boils down to is, who is the member of Congress listening to?" [Schauer] said. "If they're listening to their constituents, they would support this legislation."
Michigan Messenger: SEIU-MI Endorses John Edwards. Hmm. Can you endorse a candidate whose name won't even appear on the ballot? Apparently so.
Capitol Journal: Triplett moves out front. I realize this is just a local race, but these are endorsements that will actually matter in this particular campaign: "Triplett today announced the endorsement of super-popular retiring Mayor Sam Singh, along with former mayor and current Rep. Mark Meadows."
Did I forget anything? Drop your links in the comments section...