Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSo your guess is as good as mine. Will it be tomorrow or Thursday morning that Edwards announces in NOLA? Will he take his time visiting the early states and then announce when he goes home to Chapel Hill for his last scheduled event this week? Only time will tell.

Follow me below the fold for all the event details, links to the recent Hardball appearance and the skinny on the new "Following Edwards" reality TV show. He's got a camera crew following him and his "travel companions" everywhere, including Uganda. They're getting some of the best stuff I've ever even seen and it's very much off the cuff and unscripted. In episode 2, Josh, "job title unclear" or "political mastermind", wonders aloud wether  "travel companion" or personal "bitch" better suits his job description as he tries to fill out his visa application for the China trip. Not kidding. Edwards says, "don't put that down."

So you can see that you're dealing with something completely different here.

First the tour kicks off Thursday or tomorrow, so far the scheduled events are as follows:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usJohn Edwards Events
A Special Event and Town Hall Meeting

December 28, 2006
Des Moines, IA
Click here for your free tickets.

December 29, 2006
Portsmouth, NH
Click here for your free tickets.

December 29, 2006
Reno, NV
Click here for your free tickets.

December 30, 2006
West Columbia, SC
Click here for your free tickets.

December 30, 2006
Chapel Hill, NC
Click here for your free tickets.

All Events

MSNBC video clips of the Hardball appearance from a couple of weeks ago can be found here, they rebroadcast the appearance with Edwards and Elizabeth tonight so you might be able to catch a later show if you missed it. It was a very good interview to start off with and included a great long exchange on Iraq, the ISG report and other issues like embedding American troops with Iraqi security forces:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usVideo: Edwards: Iraq is a mess (8:08) This is a good long clip on Iraq and it includes discussions on the embedding of American troops with Iraqi forces and permanent bases in Iraq.
Video: Edwards: Bush screwed up our values system (5:45) This clips includes the pop quiz on foreign leaders and "the messianic nuttiness" surrounding the national mood after 9/11 is discussed.
CM: "Did 9/11 screw up our value system?"
JE: "No, George Bush screwed up our value system."
Video: On Wal-Mart and unions (4:53) and four big scary guys.
Video: Edwards: McCain Feingold a Failure (5:09) This clip includes footage from Edwards's recent trip to Uganda. I think it's a bit seemly that they [Hardball] chose to strike up the band after such a clip, but that's me. "Don't tell mama, I'm for Obama is included in this clip."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usVideo: Elizabeth: I'd vote for John  (7:51) The now infamous exchange, it includes the great "don't go there," line from Mrs. Edwards. I'm not even touching the "Stepford wives ...  good ole days" weirdness by Matthews. There was just too much wrong with that part of the interview and I had to prioritize for editorial reasons.

You can also check out some clips that were posted on YouTube if you can't get the MSNBC player to play, they're not excellent quality but it might be better than nothing:

John Edwards on Hardball - BuzzClip (5:48)
Edwards on Hardball - Yes (2:40)
Edwards on Hardball - Wal-Mart and unions (4:58)
Edwards on Hardball with Elizabeth (5:13)
Edwards: McCain Feingold was a failure (3:06)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAnd that brings us to webisodes. John Edwards has decided to run a reality TV show showing all the behind the scenes action that takes place when you might be running for President or something like that. Here's a recap of the first three, the only three available so far, webisodes. All the links are to OAC site, they offer every possible type stream you might need. You can always check that page directly for new postings.  

Video: Webisode 1: Plane Truths

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe first installment, "webisode #1" was just posted last week at OAC. Don't miss this kids. Edwards alluded to his desire to provide authenticity and access to him as a candidate when he went to Gnomedex in Seattle last summer, full vlog here. Reality TV was discussed specifically and now here we are. At the conference, they didn't know exactly what the right answer was, but here we can see they have made a quantum leap forward. OAC already does podcasts and One America News webcasts, but this is something new and totally different. Check it out.

Now, with the first webisode, we can see how far the idea has progressed. You gotta love it. The film crew follow him on the plane to an event in Storm Lake, IA where he's set to talk to a teacher convention. Edwards holds up some papers and turns to the camera and says:

You know they gave me this really great memo. It's says that since I'm speaking to the teachers it would be good if I highlighted the importance of public education.

they all start laughing

The importance of public education? Would you agree with that statement? I pay a lot of money for people with this much expertise.

Classic, right into the camera - don't miss it; it's after the credits. The webisode has some decent music and a real guerrilla feel with all the behind the scenes stuff. It's about 6 minutes of pure unfiltered raw footage. Josh and John D are the body men featured in webisode 1.  Pictured at top left are Matt, the advance man, and Josh in Pittsburgh, left to right. Pictured below alone is John D, OAC's "young Bill Clinton", in Iowa.

Video: Webisode 2: The Golden Rule

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usEpisode Two: Senator Edwards tells a story from home and talks about corporate responsibility as he travels to a rally in Pittsburgh, PA.

Featuring the Wake-Up Wal-Mart gig, an "unclear" job title for Josh, advance guy Matt, a great Jack story and a falling down "camera girl" - not me, swear. I was at the WakeUp Wal-Mart rally featured in this episode. I'm pretty sure that I didn't fall down on that job at least not until I misspelled guerrilla in the vlog diary title. It's pretty cool to see this video now with all the behind the scenes stuff surrounding that event.

Check out the full vlog from the "front of the house perspective" including: the Senators full comments which had a different flavor that day from usual stump; interviews that I did with attendees after Edwards spoke including Paul Blank the tour director and a few minutes of real guerrilla footage:

Video: Guerrilla in Pittsburgh (2:16).

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe money quote from the remarks that hot August day in Pittsburgh:

We need, all of us together, to make sure that companies like Wal-Mart step to the plate and are held responsible. That they can't fly below the radar screen... We want every single consumer in America to know that if they walk into a Wal-Mart that their tax dollars are subsidizing Wal-Mart employees... What is wrong with this picture?

It's not bad enough that people make seven to ten dollars an hour, but when you make seven or eight dollars an hour and you don't have healthcare coverage what are you going to do when your five year old gets sick? We need Wal-Mart to take responsibility. We need Wal-Mart to pay it's workers a decent living wage, so they can support their family and support their kids. Lord knows they aren't asking to get rich, are they?  

Really all they want is to be treated with a little bit of respect and a little bit of dignity.

This is not right and all of us know it's not right. This is about responsibility and it's about basic human morality.

Video: Webisode 3: The Plight of Uganda

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usEpisode 3: John Edwards travels with the International Rescue Committee to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp outside Kitgum, Uganda, just over 30 miles from the Sudan border.

At a moment of tremendous global hardship -- from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the killing fields of Darfur -- it is rare to find hope. So when there is the possibility for peace, we must seize it. That's why one of the world's great tragedies, the conflict in Northern Uganda, deserves our attention.

The conflict in Northern Uganda is perhaps the worst humanitarian catastrophe to have gone practically unnoticed by most of the world. Nearly 2 million people have been run out of their homes and forced to live in overcrowded, squalid camps. Tens of thousands have died. 30,000 children have been abducted by an organization called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and forced to fight as child soldiers or used as sex slaves. Hundreds of villages have been abandoned and destroyed.

-- John Edwards, To End Uganda's Nightmare Washington Post October 31, 2006

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usEdwards sits down and has a conversation with a couple of residents who seemed to speak for all of them. One of them, the lady pictured at right,  says:

Since the cease fire we have developed some hope, but we are hearing rumors that the peace talks are not going well and this raises our worries again.

In the WaPo Op-Ed, Edwards outlines a reasonable plan that might allay this lady's fears and allow the whole bunch of them to just go home and try to live out their lives as best they can. They're not asking for much, just a place where they can have a little water, a little security and a modest home where they can sleep with both eyes closed most nights. Edwards wraps up the piece:

In a world of unending troubles for the United States, few would argue that Northern Uganda's future is among the most urgent strategic challenges. But our actions in coming weeks will be a critical test of our global leadership. How we act -- and if and how we lead -- will send a message throughout Africa and the rest of the world about what America stands for. We must not sit idly by as Uganda's people strive for peace.

Pretty simple.

Let's get this party started.

Originally posted to mbair on Tue Dec 26, 2006 at 08:10 PM PST.



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