I can still vividly remember staying up until three in the morning watching C-Span and hearing my wife call out to tell me it’s time to go to bed. But I couldn’t tear myself from the television. I was watching the raw video of John Edwards working the Iowa crowds and delivering what had become, overnight, one the best stump speeches ever delivered. And tonght offered a stringing together of those Iowa outtakes along with the extra benefit of having the dad from the mill and the mom from the post office right here in the Fleet.
And when Edwards sticks to that script, talking about two Americas and race and inequality in America (yes, those classic liberal themes), he is remarkable (although he was nowhere near his best tonight). He tells an audience that we can’t allow people of different socioeconomic backgrounds to fall behind just because it’s “wrong.” That’s my kind of politics and my kind of values. Let’s legislate fairness, not try to legislate love and science.
Race and the economic divide are also topics of discussion that have largely disappeared from our national dialogue. And not because the problems are gone. It’s just the attention.
Edwards owned the crowd and the night and delivered just what this pundit ordered. A healthy infusion of the two Americas speech that rings so clearly true to the ears of any who open their eyes to see.
I was a bit surprised that they put Edwards at a podium. He is so much better with a lapel mic that frees him to work the stage. It’s one of the odd parts of these made for TV spectacles. The visuals almost never change. It’s like watching a filmstrip with sound.
But tonight, that sound was good. And it was just what I think this Party and swing voters across the country need to hear.