Your Mail: John Edwards Chances, Iraq Withdrawal

In my article on John Edwards’ second run for president, I wrote that he needed more than the poverty issue to have a compelling platform and that it would be tough to pass muster against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Judging by the 10 readers or so who replied to that column, it seems you either agreed or weren’t too interested in Mr. Edwards. In contrast, many more of you had something to say about Cindy Sheehan and the progress of the new Congress on Iraq.

Jim Washam writes:

John Edwards has obviously been concentrating his efforts in Iowa in order to gain political momentum going into other state primaries. However, don't discount his prospects for broad based appeal in other areas of the country.

Two years ago he and John Kerry ran a very close race, and I believe that it was partially due to Edwards, because Kerry's personality and campaign style left something to be desired. Also, it's not like Clinton and Obama don't have negatives, i.e Clinton's divisiveness and Obama's inexperience. John Edwards will make a very fine candidate, and I hope he is successful in raising the money required to be a serious contender.

SRE: Thank you for writing. I think that will be quite difficult, but the results in Iowa will likely be a shock to much of the country.

Thomas Pirotte, M.D. of Springfield, Mo., writes:

You said that Edwards is a trial lawyer, but you didn’t forthrightly say that the term is a buzzword for “plaintiff’s lawyer.” So many of us have been so harmed by the abuses of plaintiff’s lawyers that we’re unlikely to gloss over this part of his identity and see his virtues.

SRE: Thank you for sharing your side of the story as an M.D.

Mike Seeley of Littleton, Mass. writes,

We could debate the wisdom of one last push in Iraq and "civil war" semantics, but your point is well taken. The Democratic Party has no real plan for a redeployment in Iraq. Neither have they a plan for fighting the war against fundamentalist Islam.

SRE: I think they have several recommendations that they could follow, but think it is unfortunate that they aren’t pressing the president on them.

Mike Kovalski writes:

Why did you not speak of the virtues of Noriega, Castro, Kim Jung Ill and Chavez because they too agree with Sheehan?

SRE: Sheehan isn’t my favorite anti-war activist either, but I applaud her for holding the Democrats accountable for the reason they were elected into office.

Janice Miller writes:

Well of course the Democrats are going to lay low on Iraq now. If they start early withdrawal of troops and the Iraqi government collapses, they will have egg on their faces. The president knows the Democrats are going to demand troop withdrawal and cut off the funding for this war, so he probably is going to announce his own early withdrawal plans.

Better to let him have the egg on his face if the Iraqi government collapses. Either way it goes, the American people are going to pay the price.

SRE: I think not acting at this point will cost Democrats in the future. I think we both hope that this isn’t the case.