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Hey, all you wonderful Edwards supporters.  Has this been a wild and crazy 10 days or what!?  It's hard to even remember what 2007 looked like, in less than 2 weeks we've had the first caucuse and the first primary.  2 down, 48 to go!

"John Edwards has helped set the terms of the Democratic presidential debate on many issues... on issue after issue, Mr. Edwards has been the first to stake out where the party's consensus message seems to end up." - Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2007

Starting tonight, we're going to add a new feature to EENR -- a step back of sorts.  We're going to take the staples out of the 80-page policy book and look at the different detailed progressive policy sections one by one.  In the midst of running from one state to another, it's easy to forgot what a monumental task Edwards set out to accomplish in January 2007: setting forth the best, most detailed proposals he could so that Americans would know just what he values most, just what he believes we can accomplish together.  So, follow me over the fold for today's news and our first Policy in Review.

Coming up tonight:

  1. Real Life
  1. "Mill" TV Ad
  1. Not all endorsements make the NYT front page.

Policies in Review
Stand Up For John Edwards!

 1. Real Life. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what each of us does day in and day out is Real Life. The homeless man selling the local Street Sense newspaper is Real Life. Taking your kids to school and reading to them as they fall asleep is Real Life. The 200,000 veterans living under bridges in this country is Real Life. Volunteering at the rescue center for abandoned dogs or cats is Real Life. Another janitor fired for trying to organize a union is Real Life. Yes, politics is real life too, and for some of us probably takes us away from what we could be doing with our families or in our communities too much these days (you're here reading this, aren't you? just like I spent time writing it, and waiting to respond to your comments!).

John Edwards spent some Real Life time this evening helping members of a Charleston, SC One Corps chapter sort food at "the Lowcountry Food Bank, where he helped about 100 volunteers from his One Corps campaign sort food. Spokeswoman Teresa Wells said this Charleston chapter of One Corps is the largest of the 27 chapters in South Carolina and members help at this food bank once a week. She said One Corps serves as a way to get Edwards supporters and undecided voters involved with the campaign while volunteering in their communities." (MSNBC

Next up for Edwards, starting tomorrow, his real life will take his Main Street Express on a 3-day sprint across the Palmetto State.  This latest bus tour, called the "Bringing It Home" South Carolina bus tour comes on the heels of his homecoming tour, which saw crowds exceeding 1,000 South Carolinians in Clemson and 500 in Columbia. On Saturday, he'll hold town hall meetings and rallies in Hilton Head, Barnwell, and Aiken (with Rep. Bill Clyburn).  Then Sunday, you'll find him in church in the morning at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter, then on to Florence in the afternoon.  (The energy of Edwards, his family and campaign staff never cease to amaze me!)

2. "Mill" TV Ad.  The punditocracy and elitist like to complain that John Edwards is always reminding us of where he came from (like I haven't heard a bazillion times about Hawaii or Harvard or Arkansas or Illinois or whatever).  Sometimes, I wonder "if he came from someplace more fashionable, would they tire quite so quickly?"  Well, guess what? John Edwards grew up in mill villages in the South, and he's proud of his roots! He's proud of his mother and father, and the lessons they taught him.  He's proud to have known the people he grew up with, and the ones he worked along side of as he made his way through high school and college.  He's proud of working hard and making something of himself.  He learned a lot from his family and his home town; his values were born not from books or distant images but from experiences and close witness.

This is a very short ad, but it sums up Democratic values very well:  "The men and women who worked in that mill, with my father, were worth every bit as much as the man who owned that mill."

3. Not all endorsements make the NYT front page.  But each one adds to the grassroots support for John Edwards.  Like this one out of Florida:

TampaBay Blue endorses John Edwards in the Democratic Primary. We are union members and think that John Edwards has demonstrated the greatest commitment of all the candidates to labor concerns. If labor flourishes, the whole nation flourishes.

Tampa Bay Blue was the winner of the 1st Annual Florida Netroots Award for Best Local Blog.

[h/t to okamichan13 for passing this on.  He found it by following a link from Pushing Rope, another very good blog with some pithy commentary.  There's a whole world on the inner tubes outside of Daily Kos, folks.]

Do you know of local or state blogs that are endorsing Edwards? Pass them on in the comments!

Policies in Review:

 When John Edwards came out with his book outlining his range of policy proposals during the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, my first thought was "really? who's going to sit down and read all that?"  Of course, my first thought was dead wrong.

People have been grabbing this since the day it came out; staffers and volunteers in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada all report how hard it is to keep printed copies in stock. I've sent it electronically to friends from Washington State to Florida and plenty of places in between.

People are hungry for real change in this country - incrementalism may be what the Very. Smart. People. Who. Are. Always. Wrong. tell you is all that can be accomplished in Washington, but fewer people believe that and fewer still think it's a good idea.  Maybe that's why the other two leading candidates decided they'd jump on the "change" bandwagon.

Here is a look at what's inside the covers, and what we'll be reviewing over for the next several EENRs:


"You have a uniquely important responsibility. You are the guardians not only of what kind of president we will have, but what kind of future we will leave to our children.
"You deserve real substance, not mere rhetoric. By describing my detailed plans, I hope this book will allow you to make an informed decision." -John Edwards

The 80 pages of this book are packed with information, written in an accessible manner, much like Edwards himself explains it on the campaign trail.

A Message from Senator John Edwards
I. Standing Up for Working and Middle Class Families
 -True Universal Health Care
 -Building One Economy with Tax Reform that Rewards Work
 -Smart and Safe Trade Policies
 -Strengthening the Labor Movement
 -Restoring Hope to Rural America
 -Enacting Comprehensive Immigration Reform
 -Taking On Abusive Lenders and Helping Families Get Ahead
II. Ending the War, Restoring America's Moral Leadership
 -Ending the War in Iraq
 -Reengaging with the World, Restoring America’s Moral Leadership
 -A Counterterrorism Strategy that Will Actually Counter Terrorism
 -A New Strategy to Contain Iran
 -A Strong Military for a New Century
 -A Sacred Contract with Our Military and Veterans Community
 -Restoring America’s Moral Leadership by Fighting Global Poverty
 -A Plan for Action in Darfur and Uganda
 -Protecting the Constitution and Respecting Our Freedoms
III. Building a Better Future for the Next Generation
 -Achieving Energy Independence and Halting Global Warming
 -Strengthening Our Schools and Making College Affordable
 -Ending Poverty within a Generation
 -Building One Democracy
 -Recharging Our Commitment to Innovation
IV. Opportunity for All
 -An Agenda for American Women8
 -A Declaration of Independence for Older Americans
 -An Equal Opportunity Agenda for Communities of Color
 -Securing Equal Rights and Benefits for LGBT Americans
 -Breaking Down Barriers for People with Disabilities

Let's end this introduction to our new series here at EENR with John Edwards's message to us:

Dear Friend:

America is facing great challenges. We need bold ideas for change that are equal to the problems we face. And especially now, our country needs to hear the truth from its leaders.

The truth is that Washington is broken – rigged by the powerful special interests and lobbyists to benefit the very few at the expense of the rest of us. Because our government no longer works for most families, we risk becoming the first generation of Americans that fails to pass on a better life to our children.

This is not the America I believe in. Together, we can reclaim our government and redeem the promise of America for our children. You have a uniquely important responsibility. You are the guardians not only of what kind of president we’ll have, but what kind of future we’ll leave to our children.

You deserve real substance, not mere rhetoric. By describing my detailed plans, I hope this book will allow you to make an informed decision. It includes my proposals to:

  • End the War in Iraq: We should immediately withdraw 40,000 to 50,000 combat troops and bring home the rest within nine to ten months. We also need a "diplomatic surge" to engage all nations in the region in reaching a political solution in Iraq.
  • Guarantee Universal Health Care: This is a moral issue. I will stand up to the big drug and insurance companies and guarantee health care for every American, while cutting costs and improving care. My plan costs $90 billion to $120 billion. To pay for it, I will repeal the Bush tax cuts for families above $200,000 a year to pay for it.
  • Support Middle-Class Families: I will raise the minimum wage, strengthen workers’ rights to organize and reject bad trade deals. I will help families save, cut taxes for middle-class families, protect pensions and lift millions out of poverty.
  • Teach Our Children: We must end No Child Left Behind’s punitive approach and restore a comprehensive curriculum. I support universal early childhood education, smaller classes and better teacher pay. My College for Everyone plan will make college affordable for every student willing to work part-time.
  • Achieve Energy Independence and Fight Global Warming: The crisis of global warming demands action today. I will cap and reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050, as scientists say is necessary, and invest in innovation and renewable energy to create new jobs that cannot be sent overseas.
  • Revitalize Rural America: My Rural Recovery Act will invest in local Main Street businesses, attract new industries like renewable energy and strengthen rural schools. I will stand up for family farms with country-of-origin labeling, antitrust enforcement, a ban on packer ownership and a moratorium on building or expanding concentrated animal feeding operations.

I hope you will read my plan. You might not agree with every detail, but you deserve to know where I stand. When you’re done, I want to hear your ideas, suggestions, and thoughts. Please call me at (919) 636‐3131 or email me at

Together, we can – and will – redeem our country’s promise and our children’s future.

Yours sincerely,


Recent and Interesting Diaries:

I'm sure I missed some diaries along the way, but that's a pretty hefty list to get you started!

Stand Up for John Edwards! He's standing up for you!

Can't get to South Carolina or Nevada? Not sure what to do to help? Give up a latte a week, brown bag it one day a week -- most of us (not everyone) can trim something somewhere.  Take that newly found spare money and put it to good use!  Donate to John Edwards at this secure link.

What's that you say? You CAN get to South Carolina or Nevada in time to help?  Absolutely Wonderful!  Contact the South Carolina office to see where you can do the most good for the campaign. Or, check out the Nevada campaign office and information centers.

Originally posted to edgery on Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 07:40 PM PST.

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