Democratic Presidential Hopeful John Edwards in Dallas, lauds Young Activists
Edwards got right down to business, claiming early on in his speech, "We have to end this war in Iraq," which obviously was well received by the convention delegates. He said that it is the responsibility of Congress to force President Bush to end the war. If they don't force him, Edwards said, it won't end.
He spent time on his campaign theme of Two America's. He said that one side of America is represented by the "very rich" and the other is "everybody else."
Edwards went on to speak about some of the ideas that he has to make America better were he President. Besides ending the war, he said the first day that he was President of the United States, he would close down Guantanamo Bay, which drew a huge applause from the crowd.
He went on to say that he would restore America as a country that is worthy to be followed. A good first step, he said, would be to stop the genocide in Western Sudan and Darfur. According to Edwards the U.S. declared that a genocide is taking place, yet has sat on the side and watched it continue.
Another huge applause came when Edwards called for Universal Health Care for all Americans. Edwards said his plan would not be cheap ($90-100 billion), but would be paid for by rolling back the George Bush tax breaks.
Other issues touched on in his address were the need for alternative fuel sources, raising minimum wage to at least $9.50 an hour, a law against predatory lending, and paid college tuition and books for all high school graduates who qualify.
Edwards ended by telling the group of young activists how important they were. He called the prevailing thought that young people don't care and aren't involved "the great lie in America." Edwards said young people have lead the country on issues like Darfur, global poverty, global warming and the right to vote.
After he concluded, Edwards took a few question at a small gathering of press members that were present. When asked about the Republican assertion that his efforts on poverty are questionable due to his own wealth, he responded that it was partisan politics. Edwards said that fighting poverty was "the cause of his life," and that he was working in the area before he entered politics.
When asked if he thought the party should give up on Texas, he pointed out that he has spent lots of time and resources throughout Texas. Edwards said he is running a national campaign and that includes Texas.
I couldn't help but be impressed by John Edwards and the -for lack of a better term- youthful energy exuded by the 54 year-old candidate. He focused squarely on the issues without one mention of the other Democratic contenders.
It almost seems like Edwards is a victim of bad timing. If he had the experience and recognition he has now 4 years ago, Kerry wouldn't have stood a chance. But now he is caught behind the star power of the Obama and Clinton campaigns.
Edwards had an outstanding showing tonight at the Adam's Mark. But then again, Dennis Kucinich would have hit a home run with this crowd.