Benny's World

Saturday, May 17, 2008

JRE Buzz: NYC Edition

JRE Greetings, BW Readers.

Wow, what a whirlwind of all kinds of buzz about John Edwards. He was in NYC for the past couple of days, in which he was honored by Demos, which is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization. I noticed that among co-sponsors for the event were the SEIU and the American Federation of Teachers.

Edwards was also on the Today show again, in which Matt Lauer first chided Edwards for not speaking sooner about the endorsement of Barack Obama on Wednesday, and went on for the next 3 minutes or so about it. Lauer also wanted to fuel speculation about Edwards being a potential VP candidate, in which John put that one to bed:

Former presidential contender John Edwards said on Friday he would not be Democratic front-runner Barack Obama's running mate, but did not rule out taking a role in an Obama administration.

"Won't happen," Edwards told NBC's "Today" program when asked if he would be Obama's vice presidential pick. "This is not something I'm interested in."

Source: NY Times

Finally though, Lauer asked JRE more substantive: about Bush's comments in Israel, comparing Obama's comments to appeasement of Hitler:

It is beneath the President of the United States to make these kind of clearly political accusations when he is addressing the people of Israel on the 60th anniversary of Israel. It shouldn't have been done, particularly in combination with what has been an absolutely disasterous foreign policy."

Edwards was spot on, as usual.

You can watch the video here.

What Lauer didn't get out of Edwards about the endorsement, Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central ferreted a scoop from former JRE campaign staffers:

Edwards Secured Private Commitment From Obama That He'd Go On Poverty Tour As Nominee

This could require Obama to make a commitment of several days during a hard-fought general election, because Edwards specifically secured a commitment that it be a few days long, one top adviser said.

"Edwards was trying to think of ways to specifically hold them accountable," said another former top Edwards adviser. "It's easy for a Democrat to say, `Sure, I'll make poverty central to my campaign.' A poverty tour was something he felt would be really powerful with the spotlight of the general election, and it was a tangible, real thing he could ask them to commit to."

Poverty tour is a great idea. But here's the icing on the cake:

Another of the advisers said that Edwards had secured a commitment that he'd accompany the tour. "It was a specific number of days on the road together, putting poverty front and center -- it would be with him," this adviser said. "He got them both to agree to this. He was really excited."

TPM Election Central

Believe it or not, the Brand X'ers welcomed the idea too, and thought maybe Hillary would like to go too.

Edwards' endorsement was dismissed by Newsweek and Time, but they left out three important ingredients: superdelegates, pledged delegates (especially Florida and possibly Michigan), and an endorsement by a union which backed Edwards: the United Steelworkers. It's possible the Mine Workers might follow.

After Memorial Day, John will back to join Rudy Giuliani in the Radio City Music Hall Speaker series, "The Minds that Move the World." The event is on May 28th and Tim Russert is the moderator.

Speaking of NYC, Elizabeth Edwards will be returning to the Personal Democracy Forum on June 23 in NYC. According to the program announcement, Elizabeth will be giving "her firsthand view of the power and prospects of internet-driven politics".

There is birthday in the Edwards Household a week from today, so I think Elizabeth and John will also be plenty busy planning a party.

John has asked supporters to donate to College for Everyone. It's the program he started in 2005 to raise money for financially disadvantaged students in Greene County, NC who have good grades and are willing to work 10 hours a week.

More buzz l8tr...

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