John Edwards announced his presidential bid this morning from the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans having been scooped already by his own website which made the announcement yesterday by accident. So things are going well so far.
“Tomorrow Begins Today,” reads his website banner and the basic message is that Americans can’t wait until 2008 to start taking action. (Ironically, he’s got that part right since technically “today” did begin yesterday in his case.)
Call me a cynic, but I get suspicious when I see an unemployed multi-millionaire trial lawyer standing in a poor person’s yard in rolled up sleeves and dirty jeans.
Yet despite his legislative legacy of one full term in the Senate, Edwards is due some measure of being taken seriously since he successfully won the spot on Kerry’s ticket as the Veep candidate.
So what will his platform offer, you ask?
There are 5 basic principles so far: moral leadership in the world, strengthening our middle class/ending poverty, universal health care, leading the fight against global warming, and getting America off our addiction to oil.
But when asked about how it is that he plans on paying for things like an end to poverty, universal health care and energy initiatives, Edwards offered this answer:
“Those things cost money. So we're going to have to invest if we're going to transform America the way it needs to be transformed to make us successful in the 21st century, which is going to require rolling back some of these tax cuts, in my judgment, that have been put into place.”
If I can offer some free advice here: Announcing your plan to raise people’s taxes right after most Americans just blew the bank on Christmas presents is a bad strategy.
And speaking of timing, perhaps it would have been more appropriate to wait a few days and let the nation pay her respects to Gerald Ford before attempting to dominate the media for whom most are on vacation or covering the funeral.
But the $64,000-question is “what would Edwards do in Iraq?”
“We ought to be taking 40,000 to 50,000 troops out now, and that ought to continue over time… I want to be absolutely clear about this -- it is a mistake for America to escalate its role in Iraq. It is a mistake to surge troops into Iraq. It sends exactly the wrong signal to the Iraqis and the rest of the world about what our intentions are there. So it's not -- and by the way, it's not just Iraq that'll help establish America's leadership role in the world again. We have to show that we have the moral authority to lead. You can't lead through raw power. And in order to do that, we're going to have to lead on things that, at least in the short term, seem like they're beyond our self- interests, things like the genocide in Sudan and Darfur. We said after Rwanda we'd never let anything like this happen again. Well, it's happening right now. America needs to lead.”
So the plan is to pull our troops out of Iraq and put them into Darfur? Uh OH!
This campaign is going to be more fun than watching Gene Wilder aboard the Silver Streak.
And for the record, “Tomorrow Begins Today” is already being used… It’s the title of a recent book out by the National Council of Negro Women – Tomorrow Begins Today: African American Women As We Age.
I can be reached for questions or comments at Griffsnotes@foxnews.com.