Campaign 2008: Edwards Transitions From "Fresh Face To Crusader"
The Evans-Novak Political Report writes this week that while an inordinate amount of attention is being paid to Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards "should not be written off."
According to the report, Edwards "is the apparent front-runner in Iowa and is ahead of Clinton and Obama with key labor unions. He is a contender for support from Change to Win unions who left the AFL-CIO (Teamsters, SEIU, Laborers, Hotel and Restaurant Workers)."
Edwards may have a message that will resonate with a broad batch of primary voters -- built on the "Two Americas" theme he unveiled as a candidate in 2004. As the National Journal's "Hotline" wrote: Edwards is going from fresh face to crusader.
Who is Edwards crusading for? The same people he has sought to help since the 2004 election cycle, through his work as director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.
"You can also see it in the schedule -- announcing his candidacy in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the new symbol of the forgotten America," writes blogger Dan Conley. "The subtext of the Edwards campaign will be that it's not enough to represent Americans who have been locked behind walls of power, you need to tear down those walls and deal head-on with issues of poverty, job creation and health care accessibility, the three prime impediments to expanding and strengthening the middle class."
It's a crusade worth fighting, on the heels of a Republican leadership that has so overwhelmingly looked out for the well-to-do, and time and time again left behind lower-income families.
Republicans have for six years spun about being "compassionate conservatives." It's meaningless words, not backed by actions. Edwards has a message that he plans to back up with action, and it could lead him to the White House.