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John Edwards

John Edwards

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??? (Rest assured. Guy will ask.) Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It would be unfair to say that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) didn't get much traction in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Sure, he usually came in third, behind Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), but parts of his platform, about domestic issues, especially, did resonate with Democratic voters. Many millions of them.

Edwards focused his attention on the economy and poverty. He launched — and finished — his campaign in New Orleans.

When Edwards stepped aside to let Obama and Clinton fight for the nomination, he told his supporters that his former opponents promised him "that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency."

"And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as President of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their Presidency," he continued. "This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause. "

Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic party's nominee for president, some pundits speculate that Edwards could be his running mate. He'll join us today, in the first hour of our program, to talk about the potential for an Obama/Edwards ticket. And to address many of the issues that compelled him to run for the Democratic nomination in the first place.

Did you support Edwards? What did you like about his platform? If you're a Democrat, has Obama kept his pledge to Edwards, to "make ending poverty central to [his] campaign for the presidency"? Should Obama ask Edwards to be his VP? To be his attorney general?

Comments

 

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Sen. Edwards, Would you take a cabinet post in Obama's cabinet? If so, which department would you like to be head of?

Sent by George Gaston | 2:16 PM | 7-8-2008

I would have voted for Mr. Edwards if he would have stayed in until the Washington State caucus. I think talk of ending poverty has to include the huge amount of military spending the U.S. spends. That is money spend with no return and no positive impact on the future. Estimates are the U.S. spends more the 50% of the world military spending. I can't believe that amount is required for defense. It is bankrupting our country and in turn doesn't allow for funding to reduce poverty.

Sent by Kurt | 2:16 PM | 7-8-2008

You bet I voted for Senator Edwards! And my daughter (age 24) traveled to New Hampshire from CT to campaign for him too!
I think he's honest and has the true needs of the American people at heart. I plan to vote for Obama, but if he's as smart as I think he is, he'll be sure to turn to Senator Edwards as a true populist who would be of tremendous value in his administration. Thanks, Senator Edwards, for putting yourself out there and helping me to continue to believe in our political system.

Sent by Ellen Hildenbrand | 2:16 PM | 7-8-2008

What would you do if you were appointed US Attorney General?

Sent by Tim Sasaki | 2:16 PM | 7-8-2008

I voted for John Edwards, even after he had dropped out of the race because I trusted that he would do right by the American people. Since caucuses were the only "real" way to voice your opinion in my state (WA), an absentee vote for Senator Edwards was best for me.

Sent by Harolynne Bobis | 2:17 PM | 7-8-2008

Edwards was just asked, what was it that Obama tapped into that Edwards could not, that secured a nomination.
I believe that the nomination was not lost because Mr. Edwards couldn't tap into the public adequately.
I believe that Mr. Edwards could not hold a strong place on television. Media conglomerates chose not to cover him as much as Obama or Clinton, which tipped the scales just enough to lose the nomination.

Sent by Robin Carman | 2:17 PM | 7-8-2008

How can we make a decrease in poverty when all the money is going to the war?
The middle class is struggling, college costs are outrageous. Energy costs are skyrocketing. I voted for John Edwards in the NH primary, but it seems like an impossible task.

Sent by Lois Reynolds | 2:17 PM | 7-8-2008

Isn't the fact that housing prices are falling the best thing that could happen for the working poor? It puts housing into an affordable range.

Why need to get away from the idea of making our living off of investments.

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:19 PM | 7-8-2008

I would like for you to address the problem of unemployment compensation. I, like many writers, musicians, graphic designers, construction workers, and others, have worked as an independent contractor for larger companies. In the present economy, those companies have cut back drastically on the number of people they hire. Even though we may not have enough work to survive, yet as self-employed persons, we don't qualify for ANY unemployment benefits. There are millions of people in the same boat, yet none of us are even reflected in the nation's unemployment statistics. Where do we find help?

Sent by Shelley Stewart | 2:19 PM | 7-8-2008

I voted for Sen. Edwards in 2004 and again in 2008. In fact, I voted early in Illinois, during the rumors he would drop out, so that I could vote for him. What both Sen. Edwards and Sen. Obama offer that other candidates have not, is a belief that WE can create change. Sen. Clinton is also wonderful, but her message was always "I" can make a change. I think the voters to whom Edwards and Obama appeal want to be part of that process, and this is what these two amazing candidates offered. I also want Sen. Edwards to know that we absolutely hear his call to end poverty. That issue, and his rational health care stance, are what lead me to vote for him again and again. I just wish he could take Barak's senate seat!

Sent by Alexandra Nelson | 2:20 PM | 7-8-2008

Caring for the poor is a generous thing to do. I am worried that most Americans are too self focused and too scared to make any sacrifices for others.

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:22 PM | 7-8-2008

For Sen Edwards,
Does this plan to cut poverty also include a plan, or does it go hand in hand with the problem of homelessness? Will you work with faith based initiatives instituted by pres. Bush?

Sent by Bill from Philadephia PA | 2:23 PM | 7-8-2008

Isn't it a bit farcical for a man who made millions as a trial lawyer to speak on this issue of poverty? I feel the first step Mr.Edwards could take towards easing poverty in America would be to donate some of his money to charitable organizations, or do some volunteer work in a homeless shelter. Just how well acquainted with the issue of poverty could Mr.Edwards really be?

Sent by Jasper Spurlock | 2:24 PM | 7-8-2008

Senator Edwards,

Thank you for your service - for all you have given for economic justice and being the champion for those who do not have a voice. I am a supporter - I work in the field of philanthropy and I see the gap growing with more families losing ground. Both you and Elizabeth have made valuable contributions to America.
We need you both to continue your work and I hope that when/if our future President Obama asks for you to serve in his administration that you do! We need your thinking and your heart and values.

Sent by Barbara Gunderson | 2:24 PM | 7-8-2008

I have just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi's "The Prosecution of George W Bush for Murder" which despite all efforts by MSM to the contrary has achieved best seller status.

What does Senator Edwards think of the Bugliosi premise and would he consider a spot as Attorney General in the Obama cabinet?

Sent by Aloisia Schmid | 2:24 PM | 7-8-2008

How should Washington handle a chronically depressed state like Michigan? Michigan does not have the resources to help itself.

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:25 PM | 7-8-2008

What can be done about the culture of affluence creating and being responsible to the culture of poverty?

Sent by Sharon Kirkeby | 2:25 PM | 7-8-2008

Is there ever a point where a person, group, city, or state, or country, does not deserve a safety net and the rest of the world should just let them sleep in the bed they made?

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:26 PM | 7-8-2008

How about a system where earned income (salary) is not taxed but unearned income (income through investments) are taxed more heavily to make up the difference? Would that work?

Sent by Jonpaul | 2:30 PM | 7-8-2008

I agree with Senator Edwards that we have to reverse the direction this country has moved in the last 8 years. That's why many of us are concerned today with Senator Obama's unwillingness to take a firm stand against the FISA bill being voted on today. If he cannot take a leadership position against illegal spying on Americans, how can he be counted on to show principled leadership once in the White House?

Sent by Thomas Bachand | 2:32 PM | 7-8-2008

In my opinion, and that of a large segment of the population, the present administration has committed war crimes, high crimes and misdemeanants.
Do you think a serious investigation should be mounted to determent accountability and bring anyone responsible on charges

Sent by Dino Papas | 2:33 PM | 7-8-2008

Dear Mr. Edwards: I strongly think that poverty and food supply need to be separated. No one should go hungry and this is the most important issue. I feel that the food supply is too dependent on the price of oil and big agriculture. We need more people growing their own food and learning to take care of the land! Would you please comment on this?

Sent by Jeff | 2:33 PM | 7-8-2008

I supported Senator Edwards in '00 and '08. Before discounting his attempts to end poverty remember the words of Margaret Meade "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Sent by Ann Sullivan | 2:35 PM | 7-8-2008

Senator Edwards I have heard the argument that the reason far reaching social policies don't work in US but work in countries like Sweden is that our country is so diverse. Because of the United States collective prejudice over race, lifestyle, and so on many won't support those policies. Finally, does this show many of us are Social Darwinist.

Sent by Christine Borden | 2:35 PM | 7-8-2008

How Confident Should Voters Be About This Campaign's Voting Precision And Lack Of Tampering Of Any Sort?

Sent by TEM | 2:35 PM | 7-8-2008

Neal, you've been getting dogged-down by Mr. Edward's failed presidential run.

What a disappointing way to handle such an interesting topic.

Sent by Michael Ashton | 2:36 PM | 7-8-2008

I applaud Sen Edwards' work. I am feeling MUCH more skeptical about Obama than he is. MOSt of the poor world wide and thus in the US as likely are women. An SEn..Obamaa's remarks about faith based communities seems like the poor helping the poor. no national remedy there.

Sent by Barbara lonnquist | 2:36 PM | 7-8-2008

I am so glad that you have Senator Edwards on your show this morning. I supported him in 2004 and again 2008 because of his positive, yet tenacious, campaign approach. He has been through the fire of life. I felt an Edwards/Obama ticket would be unbeatable! Senator Edwards was the first with specifics on his views, published on his web site. He was the first to speak on health care when all candidates were invited to do so by the Kaiser Family Foundation. His plan was already on his web site and he was always ready with his hand up first. His focus on poverty is not just speech, he has led by example in New Orleans. When Mr. Kucinich dropped out, I printed the health care information from Senators Edward, Obama, and Clinton for my 19 year old daughter to review. Based on that, she joined me in supporting Sen. Edwards. Thank you for continuing to speak out on the tremendous domestic issues that must be addressed. I am looking forward to seeing you as VP or Attorney General or the first Secretary of Poverty. My best to you and your beautiful wife and family.

Sent by Melonee Dean | 2:37 PM | 7-8-2008

Mr. Edwards, thanks for your service and for advocacy.

Sent by J E Mcfadden | 2:38 PM | 7-8-2008

I supported JE as the Dem nominee, primarily bec he of his determination to address poverty in this country. Was unable to vote for him due to timing of NC's primary election. I cannot hear the show and do not know if he is still on (can listen tonight when I get home). My question/comment: It seems that not many people are concerned with poverty in America and I don't understand this apathy. It seem like people's consciousness has changed - does Sen. E have any thoughts as to why this is.

Sent by Jane Oliver | 2:44 PM | 7-8-2008

Sen. Edwards,

I would have voted for you in the primaries, and wish this country was ready for an Obama/Edwards ticket, but I still hope to see you as Attorney General. I greatly admire your courage to stand up for populist issues. Best Wishes.

Sent by lioness99 | 2:47 PM | 7-8-2008

John Edwards would have been a great President and could be a terrific VP..
THE PRESS never gave him a chance! All they did was focus on Hillary and Obama! "Oh goody - a black and a woman, there is nothing better for our news"!

Sent by Pat Neary | 2:48 PM | 7-8-2008

Americans are not too self focused to be generous. We are probably the most generous people/nation in the world. Look back at the public outpouring of supplies and money following Katrina, and the typhoons in the Far East. What most here are dreaming of(what Edwards belives in)is a "nanny" state that confiscates money from the evil rich and hands it to the poor...ie "economic justice". The belief being that only through the power of Govt can these problems be solved. "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" (Gee..Who wrote that?)
Only the naive would sacrifice their freedom in order to be fed. Just for giggles...does anyone know where their rights come from?...You didn't say "Government" did you?

Sent by Robert | 2:52 PM | 7-8-2008

Hi, Senator Edwards! What are you doing to keep busy these days? We miss seeing your smiling face here in Iowa! Please give my best to Elizabeth.

Sent by Your friend, Marcia in Des Moines | 4:24 PM | 7-8-2008

For 12 months, John Edwards was so negative toward Hillary, I don't care if I never hear his obnoxious voice again.

Sent by graybeard | 6:59 PM | 7-8-2008

Mr. Edwards-

If he asks you, PLEASE be Obama's running mate! We love you and best wishes to your wife.

Sent by Hudson Pitts | 8:04 PM | 7-8-2008

I would like to ask Senator Edwards how a man who has built a 7 million dollar home and a 4 million dollar beach home, pays $400 for haircuts and who cheated on his sick, wonderful wife and how has an illegitimate child is qualified to understand the normal citizens problems or qualified to be a leader.

Sent by Susan | 2:51 AM | 7-9-2008

John Edwards accurately expressed the outrage that many of us feel about what has happened to our great country. I believe that his approach of aggressively fixing lobbyists and corrupt corporations was correct. The passage of the FISA bill after heavy telecom lobbying is a perfect example showing he was right on the button.
Obama/Edwards 2008

Sent by John Warrener | 4:55 PM | 7-10-2008

Mr. Edwards,please accept a VP position.I went to Iowa and Reno from California to support your nomination. I would do it again, in a snap.
I handed Chair, Howard Dean a letter on my support of you as VP.

There is a National One Corps group with all your supporters in it. They would all rise up quickly to help in this election!
I voted for you in California because I believed you were right on on all the issues.
Please run with Obama...!

Sent by yann123 | 6:51 PM | 7-12-2008