A brief look at some recent outbursts from John Edwards, spring-boarding off of this excellent Joe Trippi profile in today’s WP.
It’s difficult in a ‘Cast to get into the specific charges Edwards makes against Clinton in his “rapid-response” releases that I refer to, but I’ve included excerpts here. Mostly, they hammer her with as an insider, but they also draw attention to a couple of specific policy differences, including her Iran vote and touting Edwards’ “opting” to take public financing as opposed to Hillary’s “questionable” donations.
“While John Edwards was in rural Iowa yesterday talking about his plans to help family farmers, the Clinton campaign was in Washington, DC planning an event with the lobbyists from the biggest corporate agriculture company in the world. The difference between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton could not be more clear. Here’s some news for the Clinton campaign, when folks in rural Iowa talk about the problems with hog lots, they don’t mean parking lots on K Street.
“John Edwards believes family-owned farms are critical to America’s future and that the corporate greed that’s killing the family farm is hurting America. Apparently, Hillary Clinton doesn’t feel the same way.” [Oct. 18]
“Senator Clinton needs to be honest with the American people about her plans – but on everything from Iran to Iraq to Social Security, it seems she’s trying to have it both ways. In July, she criticized those who said they would meet with the leaders of Iran for negotiations without preconditions, calling them ‘irresponsible’ and ‘naïve.’ But yesterday, she told New Hampshire voters she’d do just that – negotiate with Iran ‘with no conditions.’ Now, her spokesman suggests that’s not what she meant. But you can’t have it both ways …The American people deserve a president who will tell them the truth and offer straight answers, not flip-flops and political double-speak.” [Oct. 12]
“In today’s New York Times, we read that some of Senator Clinton’s advisors are saying that her vote on Iran was part of her moving from primary mode to general election mode. We don’t need a candidate who has a primary mode and a general election mode – we need a candidate whose only mode is truth telling.” [Oct. 14]
“This morning we all read in L.A. Times that many Clinton campaign contributions are raising eyebrows again. Many of their donors are not even registered to vote, and at least one denied even making any contribution at all.
In order to win in 2008, Democrats need to select a nominee who knows the system in Washington is not only broken, but it’s corrupt. This is not a purity contest – it’s not about what we’ve done yesterday. This is about what each of us can do today to fix the system. Senator Clinton has said public financing is the answer. Senator Edwards has opted to take public financing, but Senator Clinton has not. Senator Clinton should explain why she doesn’t mean what she says.
The bottom line is we need a nominee who can do two things: campaign in all 50 states and challenge our broken system in Washington. With every day the growing question has to be can Hillary Clinton do either?” [Oct. 19]
UPDATE: Always good to hear from p_luk. To respond to your generous critique: The above quotes came from emails that the campaign sent directly to the reporters; I couldn’t find them on the Edwards’ website.