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May. 2nd, 2007 @ 09:58 pm Emergency ad to end the war

This is the moment of truth on Iraq. The veto we knew would come has arrived. Congress must now make a decision: cave in to Bush and extend the war, or send back a binding plan to end it.

I asked my staff to create an emergency television ad that would bring the people's voice directly to Congress, calling on them to make the right choice. They worked late into the night and we now have a powerful message ready to go on the air in D.C. as soon as tomorrow morning.

But I need your help: We need to raise $100,000 in 24 hours to air this ad. If you want to make sure every member of Congress, their staff, and the national press corps see this message at this critical time, I need you to chip in whatever you can afford right now, at:


Is it normal for a presidential campaign to drop everything and focus on pushing Congress to end a war? Maybe not.

Is it normal for you to contribute money online towards running emergency ads in Washington, D.C.? Maybe not.

But we don't have time for normal. We've got a few days—maybe less—to do absolutely everything we can to ensure this Congress responds to Bush's veto by sending another binding plan to end the war.

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. I need you to pitch in $5, $50, $500 or whatever you can manage to rush this ad on the D.C. airwaves in the next 24 hours. You can see the ad and make your contribution here:


And there's another twist. I wanted this ad to be about the voice of the people. And that means I don't just need your help putting it on the air, I need your voice.

We've designed the ad so you can actually add yourself in online. We hope that dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people will send in video clips of themselves echoing the message of the ad — "We the people" are asking Congress to stand up to Bush.

If you have a video camera, or you can borrow one, please take a minute to send a clip of yourself saying "We the People" that we can put into the online version of the ad—and get your friends to do the same.

You can see the ad, make your contribution, and send in your video clips online at:


Seizing this moment and ending this war is going to take every single one of us chipping in and adding our voice. But I believe we're up to the challenge. And with your help, I believe we'll succeed.

Thank you,

--John Edwards
  Wednesday, May 02, 2007
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democratic, john edwards, 2008, president
Apr. 27th, 2007 @ 06:20 pm Moment of Truth in Iraq
Are you ready to end this war? Then it's time to act.

In the last 48 hours both houses of Congress passed a bill to end the war by funding the troops with a clear timeline to bring them home. Bush's inevitable veto will probably happen in less than 4 days.

Everything depends on what Congress does next. Many in Washington think it's time to give in. We made our point, they argue, and now we should just give Bush another blank check to extend his war.

No. This Congress was not elected to make points—it was elected to end the war. When Bush vetoes, Congress must pass another spending bill just like this one, that funds the troops and brings them home. And they should do it again. And again. Until we end this war.

We've got about 96 hours to flood Washington with the names and comments of constituents calling on Congress to stand firm. We're aiming to deliver 100,000 names and comments from all over the country before Congress decides its next move.

We are not spectators in all of this. Our voice has real power. Please use yours today:


What are we up against here? You've seen it already.

How many times have you already heard things like "Democrats are the party of surrender" or "Democrats want to wave the white flag" from right-wing talking heads?

This is the classic Rove/Bush strategy: Pump the airwaves so full of frightening spin that the Democrats second guess themselves into paralysis and give up.

Not this time.

We will not be intimidated because we see what's behind every empty, chest-thumping right-wing talking point. We see another soldier who will never again leave his wheelchair. We see another American family stricken with grief. And we see hundreds of thousands of our men and women in uniform waking up every morning wondering if their family will be the next to lose someone they love.

That's why we have no choice: we've got to be louder than Rove, louder than Bush, and louder than any fear that might throw Congress off course. That might sound impossible. But if that's what it takes, then we've got to do the impossible—and together I firmly believe that we can.

Please add your name and comments today, and we'll make sure you are heard in Washington at this critical time.


Thank you for taking action when your country needs you most.


--John Edwards
Friday, April 27, 2007
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democratic, john edwards, 2008, president
Mar. 24th, 2007 @ 10:29 pm Elizabeth
Elizabeth and I are so grateful for your prayers and wishes. Your support means a great deal to us during this difficult time.

As you may have heard, yesterday we found out that Elizabeth's breast cancer is back, but confined mainly to her bones. Although this isn't the news we wanted to hear, we are very optimistic. Having been through many struggles together in the past, we know that the key is to keep your head up, keep moving and be strong. And that's exactly what we intend to do.

Elizabeth and I have been married for nearly 30 years and we will be in this every step of the way together. We will keep a positive attitude and always look for the silver lining—that's what we do.

Although the cancer is no longer curable, it is treatable, and many patients in similar circumstances have lived full, energetic lives. We expect nothing less for Elizabeth. She expects to do all the things next week that she did last week.

Our campaign goes on and it goes on strongly. We are so proud of the campaign we are running—a campaign based on ideas and reaching out to people. This campaign is not about me or Elizabeth—it's about all the people we have met these past few years and people like them all across America and the world—people worried about feeding and clothing their kids; people without health care; people facing hardships overseas.

Both of us are committed to this campaign. We're committed to this cause and we're committed to changing this country we love so much.

Thank you again for your support and for standing with us.

John Edwards

P.S.-- Many of you have asked how to contact our family and the campaign. You can click here to send us a note. Quite a few supporters and friends have already e-mailed and blogged such kind messages. Thank you so much.
About this Entry
democratic, john edwards, 2008, president
Mar. 24th, 2007 @ 10:27 pm Transformational Change For America And The World
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Manchester, New Hampshire

A little more than three years ago, I gave a speech here in New Hampshire I called "In Defense of Optimism." Some of you probably wonder if I could give a similar speech today. After all, a lot has happened since then – and a lot of it hasn't been good – the escalation of the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Katrina, health care costs rising, incomes staying flat, mounting evidence of global warming. I could go on.

But as a matter of fact, I am still optimistic – maybe even more so than I was then. I am still optimistic that America can be a country where anyone who works hard is able to get ahead and create a good life for their family. I am optimistic that we can restore America's moral authority. The challenges may be larger, and we may have even more work to do to build a country that lives up to our ideals and our potential. But we can do it.

I am optimistic we can do these things because my own life says it is possible. I am optimistic we can do these things because everything I love about America and our entrepreneurial spirit and sense of decency says it's possible. But most of all, I am optimistic because of you and the millions of people like you. You don't have to look very far or dig very deep to find people determined to make the changes we need. Millions of people are impatient to take control of their own lives and to take the responsibility to get our country back on track. Millions of people who know we can't just wait for the next president to come in and fix all of our problems or for government to do what needs to be done.

Millions of people who know that America is so much more than just a place – America is an idea. And the idea of America – real, fundamental equality – equality of opportunity, equality of culture, equality of respect – equality for all – matters more than ever. Our job is to make the idea of America real for all Americans, and to rekindle that idea around the world.

So I want to take a few minutes today to talk about some of the challenges we face. But I want to spend most of my time talking about the opportunities before us if we have the courage to do what it takes.

Because we have not yet realized the promise of America; we still struggle to live up to the idea. There are still two Americas here at home, one for the powerful and another one for everyone else. And there are two Americas in the world, the America that we aspire to and has been a light to the world, and the one you've seen too often on the news lately.

Here at home, the country with the most advanced health care in the world, we have more Americans without health care – 47 million – not fewer.

In the richest country in the history of the globe, we have more millionaires and more billionaires that ever – but we also have more Americans living in poverty – 37 million people unable to fulfill their basic needs of food and shelter, no matter how many jobs they work – not less.

As someone who grew up in the segregated South it hurts me to say that more than 50 years after the Brown decision, we still have two school systems – one for people who live in the right neighborhoods and one for everyone else. And the truth is that opportunity is too often denied to people because of the color of their skin, their ethnic background, their gender, or their sexual preference.

And you all know that we are not leading the world in a way that lives up to the idea of America – or is good for us here at home.

What we used to call foreign policy has such a profound effect on our everyday lives that there really is no such thing as purely foreign policy anymore. Trade policies affect jobs and wages here and throughout the world. Energy policy affects climate change here and all over the world, and it impacts domestic and foreign security. Poverty is an issue for us here – I could talk about that all day long – but poverty is also an issue directly related to the rise of terrorism and our place in the world economy. A well-known politician from a neighboring state used to say that all politics is local. Today, all policy is local.

We are not going to solve these problems with the usual approaches. These challenges are too big, too connected, and too complicated to be answered with the same old politics of incrementalism. Meeting them requires more than just a new president—it requires an entirely new approach.

To build the America we believe in requires fundamental, transformational change. Not change for the sake of change, but change for the sake of getting to where we know the country and the world can be, should be, and needs to be. Not incremental, baby-step changes, but invigorating, uplifting, challenging, daring, boundary-pushing changes that address the root causes and understand the complexity of our challenges.

So if we are going to lead from this point in the 21st century, we must lead with a bold and confident step – confident in the greatness of the American idea, and bold in our plans to make it real.

To lead the world in addressing the challenges of our century, America must restore our moral authority.

Restoring our moral authority isn't just about feeling good about ourselves. When the world looks to America for leadership, we are stronger and safer, and so is the rest of the world.

Restoring our moral authority means leading by example, and making clear that hard challenges don't frighten us, but call us to action.

To me, there is no better opportunity to make this clear than the enormous challenge of helping the 37 million Americans who live in poverty.

Maybe you've heard the phrase "it's expensive to be poor." Well, it's also expensive for America to have so many poor.

We all pay a price when young people who could someday find the cure for AIDS or make a fuel cell work are sitting on a stoop because they didn't get the education they need.

And don't think for a second that addressing poverty is charity – addressing poverty makes our workforce stronger and our economy stronger.

That is why I've set a national goal of eliminating poverty in the next 30 years – and laid out a detailed plan to do it by creating what I call a "Working Society," building on what we've learned to create solutions for the future.

In a Working Society, we will reward work with a higher minimum wage, stronger labor laws, and tax credits for working families. We will offer affordable housing near good jobs and good schools, and create a million stepping-stone jobs for people who cannot find work on their own. We will help workers save for the future with new work bonds and homeownership tax credits. And we will all take responsibility for the problem of poverty and not just leave it to government.

By building a Working Society, we won't just try the old solutions and the old politics. Instead, we will work, as a nation, to change fundamentally the culture of poverty itself and create the conditions that allow people to lift themselves up into the middle class.

Rebuilding our middle class for the 21st century also means getting at the root of one of the main obstacles to middle class prosperity -- the cost of health care.

Americans spend more than $2 trillion per year on heath care –- more than any other country on earth.

Despite this incredible expenditure, more than 47 million Americans don't have any health insurance at all.

That's not just morally wrong. It undercuts our personal security and our competitiveness in the global marketplace.

That's why I've introduced a true universal health care plan to cover every man, woman and child in America – by the end of my first term as President. I'm proud to be the first and only candidate to do so.

We cannot wait to transform our health care system. My plan sets up health care markets around the country to give people a choice of good health care plans, including a choice between private and government plans. It provides access to preventive care. It creates efficiencies that don't exist today by dramatically lowering administrative costs. Under my plan, if you don't have health care, you will. If you have health care, your costs will go down.

It may seem complicated in its details, but I see health care as a simple matter of right and wrong. I believe every single one of us has equal worth, and we should not treat anybody as better than anybody else. Every American – rich or poor, no matter which America we live in – has the right to health care. My plan delivers it.

Our domestic problems are intertwined with our global challenges, and nowhere is this truer than at the nexus of global warming and energy independence.

Global warming is a problem that is here, now, and not going away. The United States must lead – lead smart, lead courageously, and lead by example.

It is time to ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war. We need investments in renewable energy – more efficient cars and trucks – and a national cap on carbon emissions.

By taking personal responsibility for our energy use, we can all reduce our impact on the environment in big ways and small. This week, I announced that we're going to do exactly that in our campaign – our campaign is going to be carbon neutral.

Tackling global warming through responsibility and conservation helps reduce our reliance on foreign oil. And reducing our reliance on foreign oil strengthens our national security. But we won't stop there.

By creating a new energy economy – by transforming our energy infrastructure and investing in research, development and deployment of alternative energy technologies – we can not only address global warming and energy independence, we can create more than a million new jobs in America, and lay the foundation for a secure middle class and a manufacturing base for America in the 21st century.

Our education system, too, needs fundamental change. As I said a few minutes ago, more than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education, our education system remains shockingly unequal. There are nearly 1,000 high schools where more than half of the students won't graduate. Minority 12th-graders read at the same level as white 9th-graders.

Our education system shortchanges the skills our children need for the future – math and science, creativity and critical thinking. Every day you can read reports about how we're falling behind in math and science – our 9th-graders are 18th in the world in science education. We need to fundamentally change the discussion about education in our country, to move beyond a focus on testing and get to the issue of educating our children for the challenges of the 21st century.

We need a serious, sustained effort to turn around failing schools. We should invest in our teachers – the most important part of any school. We need to do more to recruit them, train them, and pay them, particularly in math and science and other places where there are teacher shortages.

Finally, it has been more than a century since we made high school universal, but high school graduates from well-off families are five times more likely to enroll in college. Those who do go to college pick up larger and larger debts. I have a plan called College for Everyone that will pay for the first year of college for anyone willing to work part-time. And this is one of the hallmarks of the fundamental changes we need, we as Democrats. Work and personal responsibility are good things – and we should be encouraging both.

When we're serious about moral leadership at home, we have the standing to assert moral leadership in the world.

And I believe we can begin by leading in areas that – at first glance – might not seem directly related to our self-interest. I'm talking about global poverty, primary education. But I believe if you look closely, it's clear that these areas are in fact directly related to our present and future national security.

We know that terrorists thrive in failed states, and in states torn apart by internal conflict and poverty.

And we know that in many African and Muslim countries today, extreme poverty and civil wars have gutted government educational systems.

So what's taking their place? The answer is troubling – but filled with opportunity if we have the courage to seize it.

A great portion of a generation is being educated in madrassas run by militant extremists rather than in public schools. And as a result, thousands and thousands of young people who might once have aspired to be educated in America are being taught to hate America.

When you understand that, it suddenly becomes clear: global poverty is not just a moral issue for the United States – it is a national security issue for the United States. If we tackle it, we will be doing a good and moral thing by helping to improve the lives of billions of people around the world who live on less than $2 per day – but we will also begin to create a world in which the ideologies of radical terrorism are overwhelmed by the ideologies of education, democracy, and opportunity. If we tackle it, we have the chance to change a generation of potential enemies into a generation of friends. Now that would be transformational.

But the challenge is great – generational struggles require generational solutions – so we must meet the challenge with an audacious plan.

As President I would implement a four-point plan to tackle global poverty – and improve the national security of the United States:

First, we would launch a sweeping effort to support primary education in the developing world.

More than 100 million young children have no school at all, denied even a primary education to learn how to read and write. Education is particularly important for young girls; as just one example of the ripple effects, educated mothers have lower rates of infant mortality and are 50 percent more likely to have their children immunized.

As president, I will lead a worldwide effort to extend primary education to millions of children in the developing world by fully funding the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. The U.S. will do its part by bringing education to 23 million children in poor countries, and we will ask our allies to step up and do the rest. It's not just good for our security; it's good for theirs.

Second, we will support preventive health care in the developing world.

Women and children bear the burden of poverty and disease in the developing world. Women in our poorest countries have a 10% chance of dying during childbirth. More than 10 million children die each year from preventable diseases. Many of these diseases are preventable with clean water and basic sanitation or affordable immunizations.

As president, I will convene a worldwide summit on low-cost investments in clean drinking water and sanitation. Under my plan, the U.S. will increase its investment in clean water six-fold.

Third, we can get to the root of global poverty by increasing opportunity, political opportunity and economic opportunity. Democratic rights allow poor citizens to force their countries to create more progressive laws, fight oppression and demand economic stability. Economic initiatives like microfinance and micro-insurance can spark entrepreneurship, allowing people to transform their own lives.

And fourth, I would appoint an individual in the White House, reporting directly to me, with the rank of a Cabinet member, to oversee all of our efforts to fight global poverty. Despite its importance to our national security, the United States still lacks a comprehensive strategy to fight global poverty. We need to embrace the vision of John F. Kennedy, who recognized that "the Nation's interest and the cause of political freedom require" American efforts to lift up the world's poor.

Our current effort has plenty of bureaucracy – over 50 separate U.S agencies are involved in the delivery of foreign assistance. What it lacks is efficiency and accountability. As President, I'll change that.

Accomplishing these goals – ending poverty in America and transforming our approach to poverty around the world, creating a new energy economy, bringing health care to every American, and building an educational system that helps to build and support the middle class of the 21st century– will not be easy.

And attempting them will require a change in our politics.

We can no longer accept having the course of our country dictated by a relatively few people who push onto the rest of us policies that suit their particular interests. We need leaders who insist that all voices are heard, leaders who will take the role Harry Truman defined so clearly: a president who is the lobbyist for all the people who don't have, don't want, and can't afford one.

But this is not just about the leaders. It is also about you taking responsibility for your own country, for your own government, for your own community, for your own family. I was only in the Senate for 6 years, but that was more than enough time to learn firsthand what I feared and what you know: if you see a problem, you can't wait for the government to fix it.

We are at one of those rare moments in history – a time when two paths are clear before us.

On one side is the path we have been on.

It is a path in which we argue over fuel standards while global warming gets worse; where the Senate passes non binding resolutions on the war in Iraq while the war escalates; where the middle class shrinks and disappears while tax cuts for the wealthiest set in; a path where the two Americas is still there and still wrong.

On the other side is that future which we have all long imagined - a future in which America's moral leadership once again makes us strong and secure.

A future in which the gulf between the haves and have-nots is fading because we are actively working to lift our fellow human beings up from poverty. Where every American has health care. Where America leads the world in creating a new global economy powered by clean energy. Where women around the world enjoy the same opportunities as men. A future in which we recognize that our security is not just measured by our military might, but by our ability and determination to build a more peaceful, more prosperous, more stable world.

I believe that future is ours for the taking. We can make it real. We know that. We – the American people – have changed the world before.

Nearly 70 years ago, another generation of Americans faced a world darkened by insecurity.

The storm clouds of fascism and totalitarianism were gathering over Europe and Asia. We were struggling to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression. And it was easy to think then that our problems at home were too big for us to try to tackle the problems mounting abroad.

Yet that generation of Americans saw in the challenges of their day not a cause for despair, but a call to greatness.

And they answered it. Not meekly, not uncertainly. But proudly, confidently, and with conviction. Because they had what we have – the idea of America. It's right here.

And in answering that call, not only secured freedom for the people of Europe and Asia – they laid the foundation for a new American economy that produced the greatest expansion of the middle class and the sharpest reduction of poverty in the history of the world.

They turned the 20th century into the American century.

Now it is our turn – to see the challenges we face with an unblinking eye and once again to answer the call.

Proudly, confidently, and with conviction.

It is our responsibility. As Abraham Lincoln once called us, we are still the "last best hope of earth." If America does not lead, who will?

I believe we are up to the task. I am certain of it.

After all, I am an optimist.
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democratic, john edwards, 2008, president
Feb. 17th, 2007 @ 04:25 pm Universal health care: Let's make it happen
As you well know, the American health care system is broken for far too many of our families. Today, 47 million people are uninsured, while uncertainty grows and costs spiral for nearly everyone else. To fix this crisis, we don't need an incremental shift, we need a fundamental change.

So today, I'm proud to announce my plan to guarantee top quality health care to every man, woman and child in this great country. And I need your help.

Change this big simply cannot come from the top down. To make this dream a reality, we must build a groundswell of support to demand change from the bottom up. We can't start in two years or six months. If we're going to transform America, we've got to start today.

If you're ready to begin, here's what you can do right now:

  1. Sign up to support universal health care. Achieving universal coverage will require hundreds of thousands of Americans willing to take action.

  2. In the next week, talk to at least three of your friends or family members about this plan, and ask them to sign up as well. If we each talk to just three people in the next seven days, we'll reach millions of people and start a chain reaction that will raise awareness and catalyze action across the nation - a good start.
Here's how my plan will save money, improve flexibility, and guarantee health care for every man, woman and child in America:

  • Require businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.

  • Make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.

  • Create regional Health Markets purchasing pools to ensure that every single American has a way to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.

  • Once these steps have been taken, require all American residents to get insurance.
Click here for more details of the Edwards Plan (opens in PDF).

We have to stop using words like 'access to health care' when we know with certainty those words mean something less than universal care. Who are you willing to leave behind without the care he needs? Which family? Which child? We need a truly universal solution, and we need it now.

Universal health care is not a new idea. Why can we can achieve it now when all previous efforts have fallen short?

For one, the system is in greater crisis now than ever before - more uninsured people, more workers changing jobs or working on their own, and more out of control costs. People are ready for change. But the real reason I know we can make this happen? You.

This campaign is about transformational change, the kind you can only achieve working together with millions of committed citizens who share a vision for a better life - and that's exactly what we've got.

If you add your name to our statement of support and get three friends or family members to do the same in the next seven days, you can help get this campaign started right - and there's no limit to what we can achieve.



John Edwards
About this Entry
democratic, john edwards, 2008, president
Feb. 17th, 2007 @ 02:30 pm Time to end the war
President Bush's disastrous plan to escalate the war is no longer just a plan: it's a reality.

While the Senate was tied up in knots, President Bush extended tours of duty for thousands of our troops, transferred new brigades into the Middle East and ordered more soldiers into Baghdad: The surge has begun.

Bush has escalated the war - now we must escalate our efforts to stop it. Congress must force a change of course by capping funding to stop the surge and mandate a phased troop withdrawal within 12-18 months. We don't need endless debate; we don't need non-binding resolutions; we need to end this war. Only Congress has the power to do it, and only you can make Congress act.

Please take a minute today to call your senators and representatives. Ask them to take real, binding action to block the escalation and bring our troops home. Please call the capital switchboard right now at:

(202) 224-3121

Last month I called for Congress to stop the president's escalation before it began, and nearly 100,000 Americans have since added their name to that call. But now we need to go beyond addressing Bush's latest misstep and use all the power we have to bring this conflict to a close.

So today, I announced a comprehensive proposal to enact my plan to end the war and I'd like to share the key points with you. I believe Congress must:
  • Stop the escalation and force an immediate withdrawal by using funding caps to restrict the total number of troops in Iraq to 100,000, which would require an immediate drawdown of 40,000-50,000 combat troops without stranding or underfunding a single soldier still in Iraq. Any troops beyond the 100,000 level should be redeployed immediately.
  • Block the deployment of troops that do not meet readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped. American Tax dollars must be used to prepare and supply our troops, not escalate the war. It is simply wrong to send our troops into harm's way without all the training and equipment they need.
  • Make it clear that President Bush is conducting this war without authorization. The 2002 authorization did not give Bush the power to use U.S. troops to police a civil war. President Bush exceeded his authority long ago. He now needs to end the war and ask Congress for new authority to manage the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence and to help Iraq achieve stability.
  • Require a complete withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq within the next 12-18 months without leaving behind any permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq.
Today, all of us who believe this war is wrong have a profound obligation to speak out. We are still in the early days of an historic new Congress and real change is still possible--even under this president.

But history teaches it will not be the politicians or the pundits who drive the real change - only the people themselves can do that. So let's get busy.

Please call the Capitol switchboard and ask to speak to your senators and representatives today: (202) 224- 3121


John Edwards

P.S. - If you haven't yet signed our petition opposing the escalation, you can add your name here.
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democratic, john edwards, 2008, president