By this time next week, we should know a lot more about the state of the Democratic presidential primary race. Every time I look at my cell phone, I see the countdown. Every time I check in at the Edwards web site, I see the countdown. When it went from 'more than a week away' to '7 days', I about flipped. Then a little while ago, as time marches on, it become less than a week away. Yow-za! Brain freeze! (and hence the 'unnamed' edition of tonight's EENR)
So, let's all take a moment to do something very very important....
That's right - oxygen is very important to our ability to tolerate the stresses that are coming up over the next 6+ days and beyond as the Edwards Express rolls through Iowa and on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and February 5th. So, whether you're stuck behind your computer screen or getting ready to head out for another round of snowy canvassing or dialing another phone number to another undecided voter, here's a very good exercise for the next month or so:
- Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of three
- Hold deliberately for up to a count of three
- Exhale forcefully and slowly through your mouth to the count of three
Repeat 3 times each, 3 times a day. It helps to have your eyes half-closed, and to have either an empty mind or a positive thought. Don't do this while you're driving (the half-closed eyes can be a problem). Do try this when reading yet another hit diary or inane comment. It can be especially helpful if you tend to watch any of the Talking Heads on TV.
Now, on to the news....
...a strong and calming influence
Obviously, the news of the day has been filled with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, the concurrent attack on former Prime Minister Sharif and his supporters, and the unstable situation so evident in Pakistan. All Democratic candidates issued statements today. Here is the one from John Edwards:
"I want to say a word about the terrible tragedy that occurred in Pakistan earlier today. It's a terrible thing for the process of democratization in Pakistan, it's a terrible thing for the stability of Pakistan, and it's very important that we, America, and those of us who are running for president of the United States, be a strengthening and calming influence in these kinds of times.
"I met the former Prime Minister a few years ago. We spoke together at a conference. And she spoke then about the importance of the democratization process, her personal commitment and risk of her own life, which she recognized, and how the democratization process in Pakistan was, I think her words were, 'baptized in blood.'
"I spoke to President Musharraf a few minutes ago and I urged him to continue the democratization process because of how important it is to the Pakistani people and how important it is to his country. I also urged him to allow international investigators into Pakistan so that, for the rest of the world, there can be credibility in determining what the facts were and what actually occurred.
"It's very important for the Pakistani people, for the stability of the world and for America's interests, that the democratization process continue, and I believe this is the time for America to be a strong and calming influence in a difficult and unstable environment."
Spokesmen for a few other candidates chose to use the events of today to take potshots; the Edwards campaign showed quite a bit more class, imo.
A Fundamental Choice
One important element of the Edwards message that resonates with me is that we have a fundamental choice to make in this election. First, in the primaries, we can choose between the status quo, the big table, or transformational change. Then, we will follow in the general election between an agenda for all Americans or one for the top few. In both cases, I want to choose Edwards and a future where I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I did everything I could to help leave them a better world.
You're not in Iowa or New Hampshire (yet)?
Never fear. With the energy of the Edwards campaign and a decent TV or radio hook-up, you still have several opportunities to hear him or Elizabeth speak to the issues facing our country and the choices before the Iowa and New Hampshire voters in the next 12 days:
[Update]pssst... wanna TRIPLE your contribution to Edwards?
|8:30 am EST (calls welcome)
|Leo Hindry, economic advisor
|Al Sharpton Show
|1:15 pm EST
|Rachel Maddow on Air America Radio
|6:15 pm EST
|Hardwood evening show, CNBC
|5-7 pm EST (exact time TBD)
|Al Hunt Show, Bloomberg
|Anderson Cooper, CNBC
|approx. 10:15 pm EST
If you're still under the $250 matching fund limit, head on over to democracy is coming
's Grassroots funding page
at the John Edwards website. He and a friend are offering to match up to $3600 in contributions made there (and at an earlier ActBlue page for those over the $250 limit). If you're under the limit and contribute through d-i-c's page, your dollars will get matched first by d-i-c and friend and then by the FEC! Way kewl, right?! So, follow me over and open that wallet! Do you really need that Starbucks vente double shot skim latte?
[for a full explanation of what and why, go to his two diaries here
, and see his comment below
Recent Diaries of Interest: