Benny's World

Saturday, August 20, 2005

JRE Keeps the Mo Goin' in Hawkeye State

JRE swept through Iowa on a 2-day visit. Yesterday, he was in Waterloo, speaking at the Iowa AFL.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 6:05 AM CDT
Edwards campaigning against poverty

By JON ERICSON, Courier Staff Writer
WATERLOO --- John Edwards sees a fight against poverty as a moral imperative.

And, perhaps, as a way for Democrats to regain the higher moral ground from Republicans.

On Friday he addressed the state convention of the Iowa Federation of Labor. In his speech, he focused on poverty, but also issued a challenge for Democrats to maintain "I became a Democrat because our party is the voice for those who have no voice," Edwards said. "Well, we have to stand up for the 36 million people who live in poverty every day."

Edwards ran for vice president on John Kerry's ticket in last year's presidential election, after failing to gain the Democratic nod for the position himself. The former U.S. senator from North Carolina has since started up a center on poverty at the University of North Carolina. In February he began touring the country meeting with the poor and giving speeches on poverty.

Much of the conversation since the election regarding the Democratic party talks of the need to change to meet the needs of the electorate.

Edwards believes Democrats need to return to what built the party. He wants to attack poverty with the zest of Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert Kennedy.

"How 'bout we go out with a passion and backbone for what we believe," Edwards said. "We need to fight for the people we've always fought for. We don't need to be shifting and jiving to meet what the polls yesterday said or what the focus group said." (from the Waterloo Courier; click here to read the rest)

Today he went to Marshalltown, where the Iowa Farmers Union invited JRE as their keynote speaker this morning. Here are two personal accounts from JREG/OAC bloggers who attended the event in Marshalltown.

From Townhome girly:

We just got back from Marshalltown, Iowa after seeing JRE speak at the Iowa Farmers Union Conference. It is always nice to see him in person and hear what he has to say. I still can't believe that this is the 4th time I have seen JRE in Iowa during 2005! Of course, next month at Senator Tom Harkin's Steak Fry will be my 5th!

He tailored his message toward farm subsidies, NAFTA, CAFTA, energy prices, corporate farmers and other issues that are important to the family farm operations in Iowa. In his message he also talked about the present administration and what they are doing to this country and of course his work in bringing poverty to the attention of all people.

There were about 80 people who attended, so it was a small gathering. Candidates who are running for Governor of the State of Iowa spoke before JRE. Our next election is extremely important as Gov. Tom Vilsack is not running for re-election and this election will set the stage in Iowa for the 2008 presidential election.

For those of you who find this important: Blue suit, white shirt and RED tie was this morning's apparel. Patrick was JRE's aide this morning. He is not going to the Iowa State Fair today because Elizabeth wants him home tonight in North Carolina. Emma Claire and Jack start back at school on Monday, so Dad has to be home!

I hope many of you can come to Tom Harkins Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa in September!

From Im4JRE:

Since Townhome girly did such an excellent job reporting on what JRE talked about, I will tell you about the people and their reaction to JRE.

Iowa has to be one of the most friendliest states in America. I think I talked to almost all of the 80 or so people there. Everyone I spoke to said JRE is the one that we need in 2008! Big surprise to those of us who knew that already.

JRE spoke of his loving wife, Elizabeth, and said how strong and brave she was and that he stood by and watched her and if had went thru what she and other breast cancer survivors had, he would have cried like a baby. He also went on to say that she is the love of his life and that they have been married 28 years and that he couldn't imagine a day without her! A standing ovation on that one. JRE spoke about 15-20 minutes, took a few questions from the audience and then was out the door to catch a plane home to Elizabeth.

I had lunch there and sat with Townhome girly and her friend Constance, and there is something to be said about instant friendship and being connected. I do believe JRE brings out the best in all of us. Sitting with us was a priest, two lovely farm wives, a gentleman farmer, and another businessman. We discussed among ourselves what a tragedy Bush has brought upon us.

I heard both Chet Culver and Ed Fallon, both running for Governor of Iowa, speak. I thought both were good, and I saw JRE talking to Culver afterwards.

Mardee, I did get JRE's autograph for you. Bless his heart, as I said, he was hurrying to catch his plane, but when I said "Senator Edwards, a moment please", he stopped and looked and then gave a smile and said "You want me to sign that", I said yes and thanked him.

I am never disappointed in hearing JRE speak, even though we have heard it before, it just gets better and better. Again, I feel very fortunate to be part of John Edwards supporters and I'm looking forward to Harkin's steak fry and meeting more JRE supporters.


Oh, we blueneckers..we have to wait for a primary I guess to see JRE.


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