Monday, January 28, 2008

"It Is A Viable Campaign, It Will Be After Tuesday"

"You Can Be Part Of A Tidal Wave of Change"

"I Know When I Get Heard, My Message Works."
John Edwards roused hundreds of loyal supporters in Springfield Thursday while promising reporters his candidacy will still be viable even beyond Super Tuesday.

You can watch my KY3 News @ 10 report HERE.

Edwards outlined his progressive policy list to an older crowd, which included many union members, teachers, blue-collar workers and lower-income Southwestern Missourians. Some came as far away as Dallas County and Joplin to hear Edwards speak.

"Everybody in this country who works for a living has struggled and struggled and struggled under this President," Edwards said to cheers.

If elected, Edwards promised to deliver universal health insurance at a cost of $90 to $120 billion dollars a year. "I don't claim my plan is free. I tell the truth about it. I have a way to pay for it. Get rid of George Bush's tax cuts for people who make over $200,000 a year," Edwards said.

He also said he would scrap No Child Left Behind, raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50 an hour and end the war in Iraq during the first year of his presidency.

He called labor the single greatest anti-poverty movement. "If you can join the Republican party by signing your name to a card, any worker in America ought to be able to join a union by doing exactly the same thing," Edwards said.

Dave Trippe, a teacher from Springfield, said he supports Edwards because he seems genuine and has the best message of any candidate in the presidential race.

"I think the major difference is that when John Edwards talks about it, he understands that in a free enterprise society, it will not be the corporations that easily give up their rights and privileges and money they make," Trippe said. "I like him because he understands that we will have to take them on."

In a brief session with reporters, Edwards said he decided to come back to Springfield because he feels a natural connection with working people in this area. He batted back a question I asked him about his viability, and refused to even hint that he'd ultimately become kingmaker in the race for the Democratic nomination.

"I'll be nominated President," Edwards replied, when I asked him about what he would do with his delegates at the convention.

He said his campaign would still be viable even after Super Tuesday. "I know when I get heard, my message works," Edwards said.

"It's really tough what he's up against," said Missouri State University political communication professor Eric Morris. "I'm sure the Edwards camp would love to finish 2nd somewhere at this point," he said.

But he said Edwards is right to stay in this race, even if he continues to finish behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. "If it goes all the way 40%-40%-20%, guess who decides the nominee,?" Morris asked.

No comments: