Obama questions Edwards' credibility as a populist: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted December 29, 2007 6:51 PM
The Swamp

By Mike Dorning

KEOKUK, Iowa—In the closing weeks of the campaign, Barack Obama has concentrated more on winning over voters wavering between him and John Edwards. On Saturday, Obama grew more pointed in criticism of Edwards as the Illinois senator argued he is the best-equipped agent of change in rallies in small towns across southeastern Iowa.

Obama suggested that the moderate, sunny campaign Edwards waged unsuccessfully for president four years ago undercuts the credibility of the populist campaign he is now waging as a fighter of moneyed special interests.

“Part of the problem John would have in the general election is that the issues he is taking on now are not the issues or the things that he said four years ago, which always causes problems in general elections,” Obama said at a rally in an elementary school gymnasium in Keokuk, Iowa.

Campaigning in Washington, Iowa, Edwards announced that he would bar anyone who has done lobbying work for a corporation or a foreign government from working in his White House. Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz said the ban would apply for lobbying work going back up to five years.

“We will not replace corporate Republicans with corporate Democrats,” Edwards said.

As part of an ethics plan Obama released earlier in the year, he has proposed more limited restrictions on hiring former lobbyists for his White House. Obama has said he would ban White House staff who have lobbied in the prior two years from doing work on regulations or contracts relating to the industries they had represented.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton derided Edwards’ proposal as a last-minute ploy in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

“Early in this campaign, Barack Obama introduced the furthest-reaching lobbying reform proposal of any candidate in this race, and we appreciate that John Edwards is now following his lead," Burton said. "The truth is, in his six years as a U.S. Senator, John Edwards did not propose or accomplish a single thing to reduce the power of lobbyists while Barack Obama passed the most sweeping lobbying reform since Watergate."

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I've always thought that if I didn't support Obama, Edwards would be my second choice. I've been reading today that he and Hillary both have 527's swiftboating Obama in this last critical week. Edwards is staking his campaign on being against special interests, but he's deceptively pretending that he is not a part of this. The 527 is run by his campaign manager from 2004, who was still on his payroll till this June. Does he think we are stupid?

NO more Clinton dynasty and corrupted Health Industry.
Its time to end 20 years of Clinton/Bush political


Barack Obama once quoted " if the United States had not gone to war in Iraq, the US Army would have had more resources to deal with the greater threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan"







The well-coiffed Edwards is full of empty promises. Just look at his records five years ago and you will see the lies, false promises and endless mistakes.

Just check:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pOZML6P0Vg

I guess second is better than third...

mr. burton--re: reducing the power of lobbyists--edwards worked on the patient's bill of rights while senator.

funny, obama's guy, axlerod, used to work for edwards--why didn't he remind you of that?

this news source has been really pro-obama for days now. i am a democrat, a woman, and a member of an ethnic minority, and i'm sorry, but all things considered, edwards is the best candidate by yards and yards. now is not the time to artificially push affirmative action on the office of the president--not if we really want someone who will truly bring this country back on the right track.

America is a Democracy - We are not a Monarchy.
Wiser folks than us - saw to it long ago, that we be fortunate enough to realize this life blessing.
Nepotism may be fine for the old-corner-store but it will only serve to fail us again -as it has, most resoundingly, for the entirety of this millennium.

Voting for the worst policy decision in our life times does not make one 'experienced'. It -IS- high time America elected a woman as commander-in-chief. When a self made woman of conviction and talent stands up and demonstrates the character that can stand as an example for us all - we should stand behind her - with conviction and fortitude. Hillary Clinton is not that woman. She is the spouse of a former and popular President. In a nation, 300 million strong, are we to believe that the person most suited to be the President just happens to be related to the last President ?!
Are we really to believe this is the case ?
Will we make this mistake, again ?

Barack Obama has the strength and certitude to take America in a new and positive direction - a direction that our evolving nation - being formed all around us all as we pass through our daily lives - very much is in need of. There really is an immediacy of the 'now' that we all share. We truly must begin to think big again and to face the immense challenges before us in brave and selfless ways again - like those people in the old faded photographs on our walls did - for us. It really is time to wake up again America. The time is, most certainly, now.

Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.

It's time for America to Rise and Shine again.

We need pragmatism not populism. Edwards is not going to go to Washington as president wielding a machete, ax, or brass knuckles to fight the corporate elite in the name of all those people who fall for his rhetoric, so he needs to quit the hyperbole.

I'm shocked at your charge of affirmative action. Are you kidding me.Obama got where he is on his own merits. How dare you level some stupid charge like this at him.You're probably the one sitting there expecting hand-outs from fake Edwards.Minorities who vote for Hillary or Edwards are fools. They ahve nothing in their backgrounds indicating they'd done anything for minorities.Edwards was high-priced lawyer charging exorbitant prices to extort corporations.He charged tons of money to give speeches on poverty and used to be the consultant for a hedge fund.Now he's acting as if he wants to help the poor. He's just a fake.HRC is racist using all kinds of stereotypes to smear a sitting black senator. you guys would be up in arms, marching if republicans did the same thing. Where's the outrage from the race peddlers?
In addition, electing a white lady for president does not represent change considering white men have been at the helm in the oval office since the founding of this nation. It's time for a change and if you're blind and uninformed enough to continue this nonsense by voting for JE or HRC, go ahead, but don't you dare put Obama and affirmative action in the same sentence.

In 2008, the Democrats don’t need to choose the lesser of the evils; this time around, it’s the GOP voters who find themselves in that position. Democrats have a field of qualified, experienced, intelligent, viable candidates, while Republicans are scrambling to determine whose skeletons are least likely to fall out of the closet before the general election.

The Clinton campaign has made a big to-do about Obama’s supposed lack of experience, and his relatively short tenure in Washington, D.C.

Given the corruption that runneth over in the nation’s capitol, I’m not entirely certain that lack of years in Washington is a negative quality. In fact, I think it’s one of Barack’s strongest advantages.

Barack Obama is a candidate that the average American voter can relate to. He wasn’t born into wealth, or a political family, or big business. His mother and grandparents were from Kansas, his father a student from Africa, and he was born in Hawaii, a state known even in the tumultuous 1960s for its tolerance and acceptance of diversity. Like most of us, he went through a phase in which he partied and experimented with drugs, but ultimately his intelligence and drive led him on a path away from temptation and towards great academic success. He was the first African American editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He established himself as a civil rights lawyer, and taught at the University of Chicago. He got elected to the state legislature in Illinois, fighting for health care and welfare reform and an end to racial profiling by law officers. He won his U.S. Senate seat with 70% of the vote and became a household name after his moving speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

He didn’t spend eight years in the White House as the spouse of the President. He’s been in the Senate only four years shorter than Hillary. He didn’t tour the world as Hillary did in her role as First Lady, he lived abroad, in Indonesia. There’s something to be said of experience, the kind of experience that Senators Biden and Dodd have after decades in the Senate. But Hillary’s attacks on Barack’s experience are unfounded, particularly when her own experience is not so involved as she often makes it seem. There is a great deal to be said for real world experience, the kind that Barack had while Hillary’s husband (not Hillary) ran this country from 1992-2000. Indeed, Hillary has served in the Senate a few years more. But Barack has served as an elected official since 1997, and his understanding of the political process is every bit as developed as hers.

Real world vs. Washington experience is why I believe Barack is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination. Hillary has been in the public eye and Washington for 15 years, and with that comes a degree of protection that makes walking down the street impossible. Barack has spent more time, more recently, with everyday people. Before 2004, he was everyday people. His anti-lobbying stance has helped him elude the number of special interest friends and enemies the Clintons and other Washingtonian politicos have made.

I think Barack Obama is the candidate most likely to bring a fresh, untainted perspective to the presidency. We need that, in this day and age where all the friends in high places and experience cannot guarantee our safety from our enemies or a balanced budget. I’m tired of the old establishment. I don’t feel 20+ years of Bush and Clinton presidencies will bring about any significant degree of change in the way the rest of the world views our nation, or peace in the Middle East. If Hillary Clinton is such a foreign policy expert, why have many of Clinton’s advisors decided to lend their support to Barack Obama and not their former boss’s wife?

Hillary’s campaign has taken ugly turn after ugly turn since Obama’s recent surge in the polls, and I’m not a fan of Democrats who focus to much of their attack on their Democratic colleagues in the primaries. The big picture is, can you beat Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson? Many feel Hillary has the best chance because of her noteriety across America. I think she is vulnerable to attacks from the GOP that will make the Swift Boat ad look like child’s play.

Republicans HATE the Clintons. They sought to destroy everything the Clintons stood for during Bill’s administration, and they will stop at nothing to destroy Hillary’s chances at the presidency. If she is elected, she will face the same music Bush did, a Congress unwilling to sign blank checks at the president’s bidding. Even if the Democrats maintain a slight majority, it’s clear that a slight majority in Congress, especially if Joe Lieberman is considered part of that majority, is worth little when it comes to controversial legislation.

Barack Obama conducts himself with a calm, collected, level-headed demeanor. He speaks openly and honestly, admitting to past mistakes like his drug use with a frankness Americans aren’t used to hearing from their leaders. He is a deliberate debator, and while many consider the pauses in his speech to be a sign of unpreparedness or stage fright, I believe he is the kind of candidate who likes to think about what he’s saying to you. He’s not spewing talking points hashed by a team of advisors and debate prep staff. He listens, he thinks, and then he talks. He doesn’t have the rapid-fire responses Hillary has, and I believe that helps him avoid damaging missteps in debates and Q&As.

I like that he’s young. I like that he’s new. I like his open-mindedness, his honesty, his sense of humor, his intelligence, his diverse background which has given him an original perspective. I like him, which is a lot more than I can say about many politicians in Washington.

Simply because I’m not supporting Hillary Clinton doesn’t mean I don’t want a woman in the White House someday. But America is at a critical junction, and so much is at stake in this election. I believe now isn’t the time to vote based on gender, race, or religion. It’s time to vote for a change. Out of the entire candidate pool, GOP and Democratic, I feel Obama is the one most likely to bring about change for our nation.

On February 5, 2007, in the Illinois primary, I will proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama, and I encourage each and every one of you to do the same.

P.S. - and as far as foreign policy experience goes I give you the George W. Bush administration as exhibit 1A of it not meaning squat.

In line with what Obama has been saying on the campaign, you have to look at the past actions of the candidate.

In his 2004 campaign, Edwards opposed universal healthcare as fiscally irresponsible. While in the Senate, he voted in favor of the credit industry to require filing under a stricter Chapter 13 vs. Chapter 7, unfairly impacting moderate and low-income families, and those who lost jobs and retirement savings during that period of corporate scandals.

Now we have contrary actions during the current campaign.

When push comes to shove, Edwards welcomes $2.1 million in "Special Interest" money.

His point of fighting special interest money so as not be beholdened to them - went completely out the door by taking advantage of 527 monies in the final moments of the Iowa campaign. Make no mistake, those 527s will be expecting things later.

Then there's Hillary's recent statements on the stump that she's fought special interests all her life while concurrently accepting $2.6 million in special interests money, not to mention the money from the Washington DC fundraiser in September for homeland security lobbyists. (Was Blackwater there?)

Obama has gotten his money from individuals who were so inspired by his leadership that they gave, many for the first time, in record numbers.

Will the eventual winner of the Iowa Caucus be the one who went back on their word in order to win?

merri - the pro-Edwards 527 ads are not swiftboating anyone. They just say that they like Edwards' proposals. Former campaign manager or not, Edwards can't legally control them or contact them in any way. I agree that if he were using a 527 as some sort of attack dog it would be hypocritical, but he doesn't control them and they aren't attacking anyone.

The worst part of what Obama is doing in all this, is that whoever gets the nomination will probably need 527s to be running ads, hopefully positive ones, on their behalf, because the Republicans will certainly be out there running negative ones. If Obama does get the nomination, the fact that he is raising a stink about all 527 ads, not just the negative ones, will soon let the Republicans paint him as the hypocrite when well meaning supporters of his put out ads that he can legally do nothing to stop.

It is an imperfect system but it is all that we have right now. Hopefully if either Edwards or Obama get elected we will get real election reform.

John Edwards is the genuine article. You who have commented against him will find this out in time, and your support will swing for him as has the electorate in Iowa. GO JOHN !

Edwards is ABSOLUTELY committed to positions which will reshape the USA to bring us back to the leadership and prosperity we deserve. This is your golden ticket to a superior future, and before your catty little protestations get the best of you I urge you to watch some footage of Edwards. He is a brilliant and active mind that is ready to forge a consensus with a working population sick of being lied to by Repugnicans.

John Edwards the best candidate this nation has seen since RFK. GO JOHN EDWARDS!


"Comments aren't posted immediately. They're screened for relevance to the topic, obscenity, spam..."

And yet you permit John E Obama Girl Paolo PulSamsara to copy-and paste the same post on multiple threads, day after day. Isn't that called "spamming"?

It's no wonder that you're losing readers.

Edwards is the real deal.

To understand who he is look at his book Ending Poverty in America, How to Restore the American Dream. He and two of his top leaders in the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill, edited brilliant articles written by experts in a variety of social fields to craft an excellent and informative plan to reduce poverty. This book not only illuminates the underpinning of all of Edwards's plans but helps you understand why he and his team of experts believe poverty can and should be ended.

I thought it telling that the center he established at UNC Chapel Hill included "work" and "opportunity" as part of its title and its mission. Reading the book made it clear how valuable work is to Edwards’s populist themes and how creating opportunity for all Americans so effectively creates hope.

Every page in that book tells you who John Edwards really is without the filter of politics.

You know, I originally thought Obama was what he claimed - honest, innovative, sincere, and willing to bring about "change".

The more I see him (I'm in Iowa) and learn about him, the less I believe his pitch. Why?

1 - Every event he has, he nearly doubles the attendance number for the press - we're now calling it "the Obama count"

2 - His TV ads, including one I saw this morning, claims "guarantees coverage for all Americans". What ROT! His published plan is NOT universal, it does NOT cover all, and it does NOT require participation.

3 - He claims to have been against the Iraq war from the beginning. If that's the case, why did he select JOE LIEBERMAN, the biggest Hawk in the Democratic party at the time, to be his Senate Mentor?

4 - In that vein, why did he support Joe Lieberman in his primary campaign for re-election, given his unyielding support for the war? NOTE- Hillary also supported Lieberman, while Edwards, true to his stated position, supported Ned Lamont in the primary!

I'm sorry - but I've just come to the conclusion that the man will say anything to be elected - and we simply don't need that in the White House!

As far as I can see, of the top three candidates, John Edwards has remained most consistent with his message throughout his political career (Senate & 2004 campaigns), and says what he believes - not just what he thinks will sell.

The fact that Obama is trying to paint the ads supporting John Edwards from a labor union which has endorsed John Edwards as "Special Interest" shows how little respect he has for labor unions, and the American electorate.

If Obama was so anti-lobbyist from the beginning, maybe he shouldn't have been taking lobbyist money for his Senate campaign. He didn't stop taking lobbyist and PAC money until a week or two before he announced his candidacy for President. What a hypocrite.

I used to love Obama. He has the star power, the rhetorical skills, to really do something special. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the guts to actually accomplish anything. He's a pansy who doesn't recognize the opportunity Democrats have at this moment in time, and electing him would mean another Clintonesque do-nothing Presidency.

I'm a union supporter, and I don't like what I've seen from AFSCME or SEIU and their 527s. I had no idea they spend millions paying off politicians, I thought they had so much less clout than business 527s. Now I see SEIU spent 62 MILLION on paying of pols in 06. I've lots of SEIU member friends who don't approve of the attacks on Obama, who actually volunteer for Obama here in California, so no way will I ever vote for anyone using these tactics with union-members' money. It was supposed to be to oppose Republicans in Nov, not to support establishment (DLC) candidates like Edwards, all-talk, no-action Edwards, never saw a lobbyist he didn't like in 6 yrs as Sen., never saw a problem with attacking Iraq but co-sponsored the bill and fought for it on the Senate floor for 14 months! Wake up, Edwards has the most conservative voting record of any of the candidates - more conservative than Lieberman's! Yikes! Wake up! Southern Democrats vote in line with Repubs more than anyone. Populist? No way, no history, no proof, rhetoric-driven Edwards. With his record open for anyone to see, the populists are being suckers to fall for Edwards' rhetoric. Hil and Edwards are a pair, a matched set. Check their voting records, hell with their rhetoric.

Punahoa prep-school Obama questioning Edwards' credibility as a populist?

It's Hypocrisy 101.

And why should EITHER be considered a "populist"? Doesn't the notion of "populist" include the notion that the "populist" is popular? Neither's poll numbers show any great popularity.

The AJC makes it look like Obama would be by far stronger than either Edwards or Clinton in the deep south -


I admire Obama a lot, but I'm afraid he's just too nice. Lobbyists and corporations play hardball. And John Edwards has taken them on before and won. He is the one tough enough for this job.

Because John Edwards is the only viable Democrat recognizing the problem of giant corporation stranglehold on the U.S. he has been ignored (until the last week) by the corporate news media, who long ago selected Clinton and Obama as its non-threatening darlings. Edwards' campaign seeks to return the Democratic Party to the anti-corporate populist tradition of William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, Henry Wallace & FDR. And despite or because of his populism, John Edwards is the only Democrat in the race who (polls show) will defeat every Republican in November.

Get your facts straight. Obama is one to talk. He has 527 groups posting ads here in california. I'm sick and tired of Obama being the media darling. He gets a free ride on his negative attacks. I'm no fan of Hilary Clinton but we see how the media demonizes her it it appears to them she is going negative.

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