John Edwards will give a major speech on poverty today in New Orleans, where he began his primary campaign, and will announce that he's dropping out of the race.
He just couldn't break through the media's obsession with Obama and Clinton, or the historic nature of a race that might give the presidency to a woman or a black man. He's led the race on issues, pushing for universal health insurance, an end to the war in Iraq, and economic justice for the middle class and the poor, and his rivals have followed in his trail all the way. Hopefully they will continue to follow his lead, and do more to address issues of poverty, hunger, and economic and social justice. To me the race now looks like a decision between hiring a skilled manager and an inspiring motivational speaker, but we've left behind the option of getting that guy who'll cut through all the bs, roll his sleeves up, and get the job done.
Unfortunately, we need all three. After eight years of Bush, we are badly in need of competence in the Oval Office. But we also need to be uplifted, and we need hard workers who can focus on neglected issues with laser intensity and fix things. With luck, the Democrats will stop tearing each other down and instead concentrate on winning the White House and accomplishing the difficult tasks ahead.
NOTE: In the Comments I've included the text of Edwards's speech.
Watching the Florida speeches last night, I was struck by Romney's concern that American jobs are being taken by "countries like Asia and India." That's almost Bush-league in its idiocy. I'm sure if I was on national TV after a contest like that, I'd say stupid things, too--but that's why I sit at a keyboard instead.
I keep being struck by what an awful public speaker John McCain is. Last night's wasn't as bad as his New Hampshire victory speeches, which was truly one of the worst I've ever heard. But it was pretty lame. I'm also tired of hearing what a "maverick" McCain is--he's a guy with one of the most conservative records in the Senate, elected several times by the state that brought us Barry Goldwater. How much of a maverick can he be? I guess it's "truth by repetition." Maybe if I claim to be a New York Times bestselling author often enough...
And, is it just me, or...?