Elias is a Korean War veteran and he’s an active advocate for vet issues. He introduces Elizabeth in this clip and tells us why he’s supporting Edwards for President. This clip also contains about a minute of the whole family arriving.
Elias is a supporter today because Edwards and the campaign not only listened to the vets at the highest level, but they came up with a plan that Elias can support.
I hope he can work with it too, since that’s the deal with the campaign. We have to make it work out there in the country and not just in the context of the election either.
Good luck Elias, I’m counting on you.
The story of Steve. She looked radiant and believe it or not she also looked well rested.
You have a great responsibility in this process because the rest of the nation looks to you to determine who we should be nominating.
They know that you have a chance that they’re never going to have.
That is to look these candidates in the eye, to actually ask them a question to judge their demeanor, the depth of their answers and to determine who is the best nominee for our party. The rest of the country doesn’t get to do it, you get to do it and it’s why we honor this process.
John goes, everyplace he goes, he makes certain he answers your questions no matter what the forum or environment so that you have an opportunity to do what you’re responsibility is…
Our responsibility is to make sure that you know everything he stands for.
Then she told us about Steve, the video-grapher and NH Republican state party operative assigned to the Edwards beat last time around. He taped them everywhere and they became friendly, naturally.
And he listened to John… listened to him and made an evaluation… and after listening to John … and listening to questions coming from every quarter, at the end of that process Steve admitted to me that he was going to be voting for John.
So if we can convince someone employed by the Republican party certainly we can convince good Democrats that this is the man to support, my husband of thirty years, John Edwards.
Steve sounds like a real smart guy.
Update :: Speaking of “respecting the process” I found this article after I posted the diary: More Candidates to Skip Rogue Dem States
It’s wonderful to see such a great crowd. Here’s what I think, I think that we need big ideas in America again. I think we need bold change not little change, and I mean bold and substantive change – not the rhetoric of change.
I believe the system in Washington, DC is corrupt and it’s rigged. It’s rigged against you. (applause) Rigged by insurance companies (more applause) drug companies (applause) and oil companies (still more applause) their lobbyists. They stand between you and what America needs.
Here he talks about confronting the entrenched interests head on. He’s often said since the beginning of the summer that: “You can not negotiate at the table with these people, you must take their power from them because they will never give it up voluntarily. It will never happen.” And he’s taken that a step further with this line, “I think that if you give them a seat at the table they eat all the food.” But Edwards is now taking the whole issue to a higher level in the stump by fleshing out the vision he has for the movement for change blossoming around the country today. Now we can see why a movement is needed outside the context of a political campaign and he hat tips Hillary here though not by name.
They’ve killed health care reform once before and they will fight us every step of the way, but we have to bring the American people to confront them.
The President of the United States has to bring the American people to confront them because without it we will not have universal health care, etc… We have to take the system on and we need a candidate and President who has a history of beating these people, fighting them and beating them over and over and over. I’ve been doing it my whole life. I did it in courtrooms for 20 years.
Edwards has been talking about the change needed in this country for a couple years and it’s been a central theme in this campaign, but now, through these remarks, we can clearly see that the need for a real movement for change in this country is a necessity outside the campaign itself; it’s now the tool needed to actually govern.
All the candidates talk about change, especially this cycle, and make a case for themselves as the best change agent, but Edwards is saying that even if he is the right person to lead the fight he really can’t deliver on anything he’s proposing. It’s not possible anymore to do the reforms we need in government from the top down on issue after issue today. We need to challenge the entrenched interests on campaign money because they’ll be funding the elections forever unless we get campaign finance reform right. We have to confront insurance companies and drug companies directly through our local representatives in Congress because otherwise we’ll end up with Hillary care, DOA, or Medicare Part D, written by the lobbyists to protect a vital revenue stream. We have to get more active in the whole process because the confluence of money, politics and lobbyists forms a strong ruling class in this country and they are not going to give up their power willingly. We need to think about a 5 or 10 year process of waging a war to restore accountability and trust in nearly every single one of our government institutions in this country today.
And we need to choose a leader for that movement too.
Send us a president NH. Send us John Edwards. Send us a message and a specific detailed agenda that we can run on and win.
Here we go with this topical discussion and it’s a master stroke. In 2004, the Two Americas speech had a discussion about lobbyists and how they corrode the process in DC. About lobbyists he used to say, “we ought to cut them off at the knees.” Since that time and in this race in particular, the lobbyist issue has evolved in the message and I think this issue
is or at least should be Edwards’s ticket to a one on one dialog against Hillary as the change candidate in the mainstream media. I know it will never happen, but it should. Edwards even tips his hat to Obama in this passage:
But where are the places that we need change? Let me start with one very simple but symbolic change. One of the things that I’ve challenged all the Democratic candidates, this is not about the past, it’s about the future, to say: we’re not the party of Washington insiders we don’t want to represent Washington lobbyists we want to represent the people. And we’re going to say from this day forward (smattering of applause) we will never take a dime (applause) from a Washington lobbyist that’s what the Democratic presidential candidates should do. (applause)
I’m proud of the fact that I’ve never taken any money from a Washington lobbyist. Senator Obama has joined me in this campaign, he should be applauded for that. (applause) All of us should do it.
And now I’m going to ruffle feathers even further, not just the Democratic presidential candidates, the Democratic party should say we are done. (applause) We are not taking money from Washington lobbyists. (applause) And I don’t know how you feel about this, but I don’t personally want to see a bunch of corporate Republicans replaced by a bunch of corporate Democrats. I want to see the power in the government given back to you and we need to take these entrenched interests on together.
Do you need anymore? How could you need more? Okay, we have health care coming up. Scroll with me. Edwards also believes that public financing of elections in this country is the key to the issue and he supports it.
They have the best health care plan in the race because the Edwards health care plan includes a universal mandate.
So here’s where he’s picking a fight with the other candidates on health care; they all talk about having universal health care, but can it be universal if millions are excluded?
He draws sharp contrast with the field and turns the page on this issue by presenting the audience with the human face behind the numbers in these proposals.
We have 46 -47 million Americans without health care coverage. Premiums are up 100% over the last 5 or 6 years and anybody who comes to your community, running for president, democrat or republican, if they tell you what their health care plan is your first question should be: is it universal?
Does it actually cover every man and woman in America? Because if it doesn’t I want them to explain to you: what man and what woman is not worthy? What man and what woman, what single mom is not entitled to health care coverage? Health care coverage is not a privilege for the privileged but it is a right that ought to be available to every single American.
He also says something amazing here about single-payer, “I have no problem with the system going that way eventually. I think that would be fine.” The Edwards health care plan has been criticized because it is not single-payer, but his plan does in fact include a path to a single-payer system in that all Americans are covered and Medicare is an option on every plan provided to you by law, as a right.
Details on the Edwards Universal Health Care Plan for every American are provided in the clip, you can also read them at the website.
A most excellent riff on what is the central and enduring theme to the Edwards message. Poverty, minimum wage, unions, college for everyone, everything is here. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes but I see him about once a month at this point and I can see that his stump is changing to include topical material and timely criticism of his opponents, but the stump is also evolving in another way. The current stump has retained the passion and concentration of the message on economic fairness, but now we can see that the need for a movement to change and reform our government also transmits and connects the fairness and morality frame in the overall Edwards message. That was always the way the poverty issue looked to me, but now he’s doing it with the message for change too. That’s not easy to do, but this part of the speech here has always been the central organizing principle of the whole effort – click on the link and watch a master at the top of his game.
He runs through the remarks here quickly because he needs to get to questions and was running late that day, but he really winds the crowd up once he starts in on the issue of trade agreements:
The first question I will ask on any trade agreement is: is it good for working middle-class Americans? Does it have real labor standards, real environmental standards? Does it have protections against the manipulation of currency? Does it have prohibitions against slave labor, child labor, sweat shops? These are moral issues, these are not just economic issues.
Judging by the response from the “well healed” crowd that night in Portsmouth, they are not just economic issues. Portsmouth is the kind of town with a lot of salmon colored pants, on men, and enjoys a high BMW quotient, but they ate this up.
Send us a President, NH. Send us the Edwards message for transformational change that can restore fairness and opportunity in this country.
It’s a Gore approved plan, need more?
Edwards has said and he’s been saying this for a year now, that:
The next president of the United States needs to ask Americans to be patriotic about something more than war.
When it comes to driving gas guzzlers.
Still need more? How could you need more?
Try the website for the details.
I don’t think George Bush has damaged America’s leadership role in the world, I think he’s destroyed it. (applause)
And what can we do to change it and what can the next president do to change it.
First we have to reverse the damage and then we’re going to have to actually do some good.
Reversing the damage, we’ve got to end this mess of a war in Iraq. And I want to tell you something about this: that issue is hot and its going to be before the Congress in September. The Congress, they have a mandate from the American people and that mandate was to end this war. There should not be a single funding bill for this war sent
to the president that doesn’t have a time table for withdrawal. Everyone should have a timetable for withdrawal. And if Bush vetoes it they should send him another with a timetable and if he vetoes it then they should send him another bill with a timetable for withdrawal. They should never back down from this president on … (inaudible over the standing applause)
He actually gets a question from the audience about timetables for Iraq, asked by a 12 year old kid. Only in New Hampshire. A heckler appears in this clip and asks Edwards what we’re going to do when they follow us home from Iraq. The guy didn’t stick around to ask the question once the Q & A started, but I got a really good shot at him. He was close.
Edwards had a very detailed and honest discussion with a NH voter last month in Dover on Iraq and the Middle East in general. The remarks in Portsmouth did not focus on them, but if you want to hear Edwards on Iraq then check this clip.
The first day that I’m president I will close Guantanamo which is a national embarrassment. No more secret prisons, no more illegal spying on the American people, no more engaging in or condoning torture. This is not America.
I think it’s absolutely amazing that a serious candidate for president has to say these things. I mean really, if you think about it.
There is a great opportunity for America to not just end the damage but to do good things in the world again, really.
He gives us a few excellent ideas and then he tells us this:
And it’s very much in our selfish interests because there is an entire generation of young people right now in the Muslim world who are sitting on the fence. On one side is al Qaeda and bin Laden, on the other side is us. Which way will they go? That depends on us… If we are meeting our responsibility to humanity, if we are a country that creates hope and opportunity for all people in the world we will pull them to us like a magnet.
That’s what America should be again. We should be an example here at home by ending poverty in this country, by standing up for universal health care, by standing up for individual freedoms and individual liberties and being the light for the rest of the world. We can be that country again and we will be that country when I’m president of the United States.
It truly is amazing that a “serious candidate for president has to say these things,” but that is exactly the result of 10 years of wedge politics in DC, a fractured and ineffectual media, an administration with nothing but disdain for the sacred freedoms set out in the constitution of this country and a muddled choice for voters on the issues at the ballot box. It wasn’t until 2006 that politicians across the country started presenting us with clear distinctions and when we did that as a party, we won. But even if fear and cynicism are a powerful combination it’s only a short term strategy because you can’t keep people silent and disenfranchised forever. It’s long past time that we have a true leader for the people in DC that represents the core values of the Democratic party. It’s long past time that we have a clear choice on the ballot that represents the core values of the Democratic party. We have that choice now with Edwards.
Send us a president, NH. Send us John Edwards.
And then came the call the action after the questions:
John Edwards: “Your Country needs you now.”
I’m not associated with the campaign in any way although I do volunteer. I support Edwards for the nomination and I do all these vlogs as an ordinary person with a cheap mini-DV, a PC and free tools available on the web.
See you out there