Bill McCann former NH State Rep from Dover introduces Edwards with some very brief remarks. He has endorsed Edwards in the primary and discusses how Edwards at the top of the ticket would help NH Dems rid themselves of Son of Sununu.
I’m happy to be here today and have the privilege of introducing to you someone who I think will make a tremendous candidate for president.
He has a record that would make any Democrat proud. He’s in the tradition of FDR and JFK, caring about people, caring about working people, caring about poor people… And he’s someone who I believe will be able to take it to the Republicans next year so not only will we be successful and make him President but we’ll continue our Democratic majority in NH and … rid ourselves of one Republican US Senator: Mr. Sununu
Son of Sununu is definitely going down in 2008.
Edwards always starts with “Elizabeth is doing great,” and a Jack story. This one is pretty good and it has the added bonus of Elizabeth delivering the punch line. Suffice to say that he’s still sore from the Lance Armstrong bike ride in Iowa recently. And that Mr. Armstrong is a gentleman.
And it’s right down to business:
My view is that Washington is broken and the system there is rigged against you. It’s rigged on behalf of big insurance companies, big drug companies, big oil companies.
These people run your government just in case you don’t know and we have got to take them on. I feel strongly that we need big change in this country, big serious change. We will never bring about this change without taking on these entrenched interests. Now there are some people who believe that, you know there are some people who would say that the way to do this is to sit at the table with them and negotiate. I think that is a complete fantasy. The idea that these people are going to give away the power that they have had for decades … it will not happen. We have to take them on … and take back the government on behalf of you … And I don’t know about you but I’m not interested in trading one group of insiders for a different group of insiders. That’s the last thing we need.
This government doesn’t belong to that crowd of insiders in Washington. It belongs to you.
And I just want to make a comment that is a little controversial so I’ll warn you in advance but I believe it. I think the last thing when we’re having to take on these powerful interests to bring about the change we need in this country, the last thing we need is two Democratic presidential candidates fighting with each other instead of fighting for the change we desperately need in America.
I agree and though there has been a lot of intelligent discussion and passion expressed at dailykos over the latest Obama-Clinton kerfuffle, face it: it’s a cat fight. At least the way the media has been covering the issue is completely brain dead and meaningless. I know that many here would say that Obama is merely fighting back and that is true on the whole, in my opinion, but the media exploit the willingness of the campaigns to go after each other and reduce the whole issue to tripe. I’m not a big fan of tripe. And judging from the state of the union I suggest you just say no to scraps and demand real meat in your political coverage. Good luck getting it, but first we have to demand it.
This clip details his proposal for ensuring that Universal Health Care in this country stops being a campaign slogan and starts to be a reality for real people who really need it in a real and unambiguous way.
He talks about a man he met on the Road to One America Poverty Tour a couple of weeks ago, a man named James Lowe. Although politicians regularly anecdotal-ize their position papers to put a human face on the issues they discuss, this one is more than that. This one is straight from the heart. Based on Edwards’s background I can’t help but think that James Lowe is John Edwards’s Doppelganger of sorts, at least to the candidate. Edwards has always impressed me with his compassion for people which is a very different thing from condescension. The ability to walk a mile is one that eludes so many of us in our daily lives. It’s not easy to teach and it’s damn hard to practice in your daily life. You know you should be doing it, but you can’t quite divorce yourself from the demands of your daily life and your own ego or your preconceived notions of how others should act. And when you do manage to understand, it’s awfully hard to put that understanding to work as wisdom or generosity of spirit. Edwards meets my threshold.
Edwards on James Lowe in Dover:
So I was sitting with him and I had a little trouble understanding him and he explained to me that he was born with a severe cleft palette. And he didn’t have the money to get it fixed. And he was grateful for somebody voluntarily taking care of it for him… The problem was that it was fixed when he was fifty years old. For fifty years this man lived in the richest nation on the planet and couldn’t talk because he couldn’t get the health care that he needed. And I was glad that he was proud and thankful and very noble about the whole thing. But that’s not what I felt. I felt outrage; outrage that in the United States of America someone could live for fifty years without being able to talk when all that was wrong with him was completely fixable.
Imagine growing up with the taunts because kids can be really cruel. I know because I used to be one. Imagine the severe and lasting injury to your spirit when people called you stupid or refer to your “problem” in hushed voices when all it would have taken is a six hour elective surgery in a local hospital for you to speak. It ain’t rocket science, cleft palettes have been extremely treatable for decades.
Tying it back to the opening salvo Edwards continues:
One thing I can tell you for sure is that James Lowe has no lobbyist in Washington, DC. You can take that to the bank.
And I’d be willing to bet that there aren’t many of you who have a lobbyist in Washington, DC either…
This has to change.
He talks about his plan for coverage and he states that the first thing every plan must include is coverage for everyone. As a MA resident, I now live in a state where the government has mandated that every single resident have health care. The law went in to effect July 1, 2007 and no one knows for sure what will happen long term up here, but in the discussion leading up to the passage of the law by the state legislature one thing was definitely agreed upon by all parties: without the universal mandate you’re going to get stuck fast and hard into a system with many falling through the cracks.
It is true that we need not just health care, but we need universal health care. Truly universal health care. For me the initial test of any health care plan is: does it cover everybody? Is it required by law to cover
In this clip Edwards delivers his remarks on economic inequality in America and slaps the press core for their vapid coverage and branding of the brilliant Two Americas speech that transformed his run and turned him from an also ran into a serious contender for the nomination last time around.
Some of you have heard me talk about the Two Americas and so the press always says to me, “Why do you talk about the Two Americas? What is that the rich and the poor?”
No. The Two Americas are big multi-national corporations and really rich Americans and [then] everybody else. Those are the two different Americas, it’s not just the rich and the poor.
You look at what’s happening to middle-class families, the vast majority of Americans. Last year, the top 300,000 income earners in America earned more than the bottom 150 million. You think we don’t have, we have the worst economic inequality that we’ve had since the Great Depression and it didn’t happen by accident… The effects of globalization have been accelerated by George Bush. He’s made it more, more and more. More help to the people who need the least help.
You know what it took to confront that inequality at that time. It took a progressive populist millionaire with compassion, understanding and a commitment to advocate for the vast majority of people who get by without lobbyists or paid fixers on speed dial. He fought for the voiceless to have security and dignity in a chaotic and volatile time. He dedicated himself to everyday people in this country and he chose to abridge our constitutional freedoms set out in the first amendment with the freedom from want and the freedom from fear. FDR fought for the James Lowes out there in all their permutations of want and fear and he fought against America’s disgraceful lack of redress of the most grievous of grievances.
Bill McCann nailed it in the intro.
Edwards turns to poverty in his remarks:
And besides the middle class, universal health care is a big issue to strengthen the middle class in this country. But besides the middle class we have 37 million of our people in this country who wake up in poverty everyday.
How in the world can that be? And how can we think it’s okay?
You know one of the great myths that exists in America is that people who live in poverty are just lazy and no account and they won’t work. The vast majority of them work. Many of them work full-time. The problem is they can’t earn enough to support their families.
And there is a lot that can be done. So don’t allow the right wing talking points on Edwards and poverty to just waft through the airwaves and across the country unmolested. It is not class warfare. It is not a political curiosity to be greeted with scorn and derision. It’s not about condescension for the poor; it’s about the whole ball of wax. It’s not about poverty over there; it’s about fairness right here. And it all comes tied up in a frame on morality that makes the GOP apoplectic and rightly so. Because what church, synagogue, temple, mosque or other house of worship does not have ingrained in their charter a passion and commitment to serve the least of us? This one plank will give all “values voters” pause when deciding who has earned their vote in November 2008.
As Edwards said in his remarks: It’s a change election. The Edwards agenda has the potential to change the entire paradigm in this country. It has the potential to reunite our party with those Reagan Democrats that started voting GOP in the eighties. It has the potential to welcome home voters that don’t like those crazy liberals, comme moi, on the coasts. Edwards is a throwback and hopefully, if we nominate him, the Edwards agenda is the future of our party. Because we can’t win it on rhetoric alone. We can’t win the next one on been there and done that. We can’t win the election on Bush bashing alone. We have to offer a positive vision and specific ideas of where we want to be as a country; where we need to be as a people. Edwards meets my threshold on that score too.
And it’s not a moment too soon because economic mobility is another complete myth in this country today. America is no longer a meritocracy. Hard work, talent and/or luck is not nearly enough to guarantee any kind of freedom from want and fear. Today the best way to predict a child’s financial stability in the future is by what their parents do. The Economist tells us that the “pick your parents paradigm” is A-okay with Americans for various reasons and consequently there should be no political ramifications to this alarming and completely unamerican trend in our country today, but it’s not okay. Poverty has become an institution in this country once again. If you’re born into it then you’re just going to have to survive in it for a good long time. You’re just going to have to make due until someone comes along, if they come along that is, to fix your cleft palette out of the goodness of their heart.
That’s not right in America.
This clip deals with Global Warming. Offered with no comment here from yours truly.
This clip covers Iraq. Again this clip just posted in the interests of completeness, I didn’t have time to really write up the speech in the full detail I usually do.
For details on any of these issues or a look at the Road to One America Tour check visit the campaign website.
Tomorrow, I’ll try to post the questions from the Town Hall in Part 2. Two questions in particular were very noteworthy. The first one was a question about how the transition to a clean fuel economy will affect ordinary people in this country and Edwards goes off on a very interesting tangent in his answer. The second was a very tough and detailed question on Iraq from a knowledgeable Granite State voter with an equally detailed and frank answer from Edwards.
See you out there…
cross-posted at dailykos