Benny's World

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards on POTUS 08

Our lady Elizabeth Edwards appeared via phone on National Journal's On Aire, a Friday show on POTUS08 (which is on XM Satellite Radio channel 130) and I missed it! However, thanks to the marvels of the Internet, I have read the transcript and listened to the podcast. Tammy Haddock asks Elizabeth questions about Obama's campaign, McCain's health care plan, and the issue of sexist commentary in the MSM.

Q: Elizabeth, I have to ask you first, because I know you were overseas, because we saw these reports that Senator Edwards would not be interested in the vice presidential slot. Is that true?

Edwards: Um. Well, of course it's true if he said something (laughter). He was asked, wouldn't you make a good vice presidential candidate? And John demurred and said, I've done that, and I want to be as helpful as I possibly can to Senator Obama, but this is not something to which I aspire.

On McCain's non healthcare plan:

Q: Were you surprised after the vaunted -- all the vaunted coverage of the excellent Republican campaigns over the years -- that they stepped right in that and gave you a huge window to walk through?

Edwards: I've been absolutely floored that they did that. He has added a new portion -- Senator McCain's health care plan, which was already pretty disastrous -- he added, in response to me, added a new section which was to put people with pre-existing conditions in high-risk pools.

I was calculating what that would cost. And you sort of have to get ready for this -- so we already know it's $3 trillion for the $5,000 tax credit he is giving out. $3 trillion -- it's a lot more than anybody else is thinking about, talking about spending. But if my computer calculator is correct, if people with pre-existing conditions who are currently covered by employer health care -- and he wants to sort of end employer health care -- if those people have to go to high-risk pools, which is what it looks like they'll have to do, the cost would be $450 trillion.

This -- you know, it's not just that this is a budget-breaker, you know. We thought that President Bush could do a lot of damage, did a lot of economic damage, in his seven years so far, but he's going to put him to shame if he is really talking about doing something like this.

Q: And, as you know, Senator McCain has asked Senator Obama to join him in town hall meetings this summer. Maybe, let me ask you this question -- we have Doug Eakins, who is a senior policy adviser, economic adviser, to the McCain campaign -- maybe an issue challenge to them, on the health care side, to debate you on these issues?

Edwards: I would be happy to sit down with 'em. I think it's good for people to hear both sides of what's good and bad -- been talked about by people who speak their language, don't try to speak above them and who can sort of call the other guy when it's, you know, a bunch of malarkey.


You know, everybody knows some of what politicians say is malarkey, and having somebody there to call them on it is good. I'd be happy to do that any time and any place.

About sexism in the media:

Q: Well, it goes around my friends in the newsroom -- I have to ask you about a front-page story in The New York Times today all about the media coverage of Senator Clinton, including my old colleagues at MSNBC and other cable channels and networks. Do you think the coverage of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign was sexist? Katie Couric says so.

Edwards: It was sexist. I thought that it was extraordinarily negative, particularly at one point later in the process when it almost seemed to be an insult to the commentators on television that she was continuing to press her case, I thought, instead of viewing it as it really was, which I think it was a moment of incredible strength. She was winning these late primaries. She had a perfect right to take the position she did until it was -- until the case was clearly decided. And yet they treated it as if it was insulting.

I suspect they would've given the same treatment to a man, but I'm not positive. They didn't -- I don't remember hearing the same clamor for Howard Dean to get out, but the process hadn't gone as long as it had, so I didn't think that it was fair. I think that if any one of those people had been in her shoes they would've continued to try to get the nomination. Had any single one of them changed places with her, they would've done it -- man, woman, green hair or not.

If you wish to read the rest, go here. I left out the more speculative parts, but they are interesting too. If you are like yours truly, and miss listening to Elizabeth, go here. I did both, of course!

Luckily Elizabeth is first on the show, so you don't have to listen to the drivel of McBush's economic advisor.

A big h/tip to NcDem Amy for bringing this to my attention.

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