In the Arena

Speaking of Edwards

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There’s this from the estimable Roger Simon at Politico. I always thought Edwards’ nicey-niceness was gaggingly dreadful in 2004. He did John Kerry no favors by refusing to dispute him on the issues in the primaries. It’s good he’s speaking his mind now. Especially when he takes these positions with Simon:

To reduce carbon emissions, Edwards recognizes that people may have to pay more for gasoline. And he is not ruling out new taxes or increasing old ones.
The universal health care plan he wants is going to be expensive and some people will have to pay more.
Eradicating poverty, his signature issue, will also require more money from taxpayers.
And Edwards does not favor any new tax cuts for the middle-class.
Isn’t there a risk in asking voters to sacrifice while other candidates are promising them things? I asked him.
“There is clearly a political risk, no question,” he said. “But I actually believe this is what America needs.”

Yes, we’re going to have to see more details on all of the above. Yes, Joe Biden is right that Edwards doesn’t know nearly enough about foreign policy. And yes, I’m concerned that Edwards may slouch toward the darker shores of populism–nativism, isolationism and protectionism–when crunch time comes. But this is a very promising start.
Update: A number of readers have informed me that it’s bad blog etiquette to edit substantively–to change “Frenchy” to “him” in midstream. Sorry. New at this. Didn’t know. As for making fun of Kerry, Frenchy was more accessible than “The-Jerk-Who-Actually-Held-Focus-Groups-To-Figure-Out-What-To-Say-About-Abu-Graib-And-then-Decided-to-say-nothing-because-that’s-what-his-consultants-told-him-to-do.” But I must ask: no comments on the courageous positions Edwards took with Simon? Don’t you guys care about substance?

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