Alexa

2 years after his loss, John Edwards shoots for White House again

2 years after his loss, John Edwards shoots for White House again

Former vice presidential nominee John Edwards declared his candidacy Thursday for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, saying the United States needs to re-establish its leadership role for an unstable, chaotic world, starting by withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Clad in blue jeans, an open-necked shirt and with his sleeves rolled up, Edwards chose the backyard of a victim of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' devastated Ninth Ward for his unorthodox announcement.
"We want people in this campaign to actually take action now, not later, not after the next election," the former North Carolina senator said, sounding as much like a recruiter as a presidential campaigner.
Edwards, 53, is calling for an increase in community service and cuts in poverty, global warming and troops in Iraq. He said he made a mistake in voting for a resolution to go to war with Iraq, but also noted that he did not conduct the war. He said the Bush administration's leadership in Iraq has been a disaster and that it would be a mistake to send in more troops.
"The biggest responsibility of the next president of the United States is to re-establish America's leadership role in the world, starting with Iraq," Edwards said.
"We need to make it clear that we intend to leave Iraq and turn over the responsibility of Iraq to the Iraqi people," Edwards said. "The best way to make that clear is to actually start leaving."
Edwards said it is not just Iraq that is in chaos and in need of moral leadership from the United States. He said the United States should be leading an end to genocide in Sudan's Darfur region and to atrocities in northern Uganda.
He also said the country should provide universal health care for all Americans and end its dependence on foreign oil. He said he would tax oil company profits and eliminate President George W. Bush's tax cuts to pay for his priorities.
"We need to ask Americans to be willing to be patriotic about something beyond war," he said. He said that will include a National Call to Action Day on Jan. 27 where Americans can contribute their time to help enroll children in government health care programs, fight for an increase in the minimum wage or other efforts.
Edwards also criticized Bush for not doing more to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"If I'd been president, I would have had somebody coming into my office every morning, and I would say to him, `What did you do in New Orleans yesterday?'" Edwards said.
Edwards' campaign got a little ahead of itself Wednesday and announced his intentions online a day early. His Web site briefly featured the logo "John Edwards 08" and its slogan, "Tomorrow begins today" _ literally, in this case _ before aides quickly removed them.
In his message to supporters, Edwards listed his priorities to change America. Among them: "Guaranteeing health care for every single American," "Strengthening our middle class and ending the shame of poverty," "Leading the fight against global warming," and "Getting America and the world to break our addiction to oil."
Edwards has been working to build his campaign ever since he and Sen. John Kerry lost a close race to the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004.
The campaign could pit Edwards against his former partner on the Democratic ticket. Kerry has not said yet whether he will run, nor have other big names like Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, but Edwards did not wait to find out who will be his competition.
Edwards has positioned himself as a serious contender. He has been strengthening his ties to labor and other Democratic activists behind the scenes, rebuilding a top-notch campaign staff and honing his skills. The efforts have made him the leading candidate in early polls of Iowa Democrats who will get the first say in the nomination fight. The Iowa caucuses in January 2008 start the process of choosing delegates to the party's national presidential nominating convention.
Edwards planned to travel to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina _ four states which hold early primaries or caucuses in 2008 _and his home state of North Carolina in his initial campaign-announcement tour.
Edwards' challenge over the next year will be to show that he can keep up with front-runners Clinton and Obama, should they get in the race, in terms of fundraising and support.
The son of a textile mill worker, Edwards has been on a fast track most of his life. A standout law student who became a stunningly successful trial lawyer and millionaire, Edwards vaulted from nowhere politically into the U.S. Senate and then onto the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket _ all in less than six years.
Edwards began building support for his first presidential bid shortly after winning election to the Senate in 1998. He launched a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2003 and quickly caught the eye of Democratic strategists. Although he won only the South Carolina primary, his skills on the trail, his handsome, youthful appearance and cheerful demeanor, and his message of "two Americas" _ one composed of the wealthy and privileged, and the other of the hardworking common man _ gave him a measure of star quality, one of the reasons Kerry selected Edwards as his running mate.
___
On the Net:
http://www.oneamericacommittee.com


Updated : 2021-04-17 05:22 GMT+08:00