Edwards at Berkeley
Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina is neither his party's front-runner nor the fresh-faced new kid on the block of Democratic presidential politics.
But the candidate -- who was the target of a high-profile conservative pundit's anti-gay slur Friday -- is viewed as something more by many of the party's young and loyal activists: a presidential hopeful with strong potential for a surprise showing in the 2008 race.
The measure of Edwards' appeal came Sunday as members of an overflow crowd sat on fences, jammed sidewalks and even filled parking lots near the Berkeley YWCA where he addressed 1,000 activists and potential voters.
"I want to say something about my party," he said. "I'm so tired of incremental, careful caution. Where is our soul? Where is our soul? We are our most powerful when we speak from here" -- he touched his heart -- "and not from a poll."
Dressed in jeans and shirtsleeves, he issued a call to action for "transformational change" in America on issues like health care, the environment, education and even what he called "the bleeding sore that is Iraq."
In a news conference afterward, Edwards talked about the scathing attack last week by author Ann Coulter, who dismissed him as a "faggot" in a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington -- whose members laughed and applauded the slur.
Edwards said Coulter's comment was "hateful, selfish, childish behavior."
Thanks to Berkeley Bubble blog.