Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For the Record: John Edwards on Hillary Clinton & Corporate Democrats

[Note: I concur with Mark Eades' analysis below. As a progressive and a loyal Edwards supporter for the past five years, I will consider it nothing less than an act of treason to the progressive cause if Sen. Edwards endorses the corporate Democrat, Hillary Clinton. Based on everything I know and believe about John Edwards, these rumors about him possibly endorsing Sen. Clinton are baseless. In the end he will do the right thing, place the interests of our party and our country above his own personal interests, and endorse Barack Obama. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. : )
-- Paul B]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Diary Entry by Mark C. Eades

Amid renewed talk of a John Edwards endorsement for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton come disturbing rumors also that the former progressive candidate for president might actually be thinking about endorsing Clinton. While Mr. Edwards considers his options, it seems worthwhile to consider also what he has said about Clinton and other "corporate Democrats" in the past, and the degree to which a Clinton endorsement from him now would constitute an act of unforgivable hypocrisy.

Like Barack Obama, Edwards has energetically campaigned against the Washington system of entrenched interests and insider entitlement that Clinton represents to Edwards' own supporters as well as to Obama's. In the course of his presidential campaign Edwards frequently reminded us how deeply embedded in that corrupt system Clinton and her campaign actually are. As ABC News reported in October 2007, for example, Edwards called Clinton a "corporate Democrat" and compared her campaign strategist Mark Penn to the infamous Republican strategist and Bush aide Karl Rove, drawing attention to Penn's lobbying ties to such corporate villains as Blackwater USA (as president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller and its lobbying subsidiary BKSH, Penn has worked with Blackwater as well as with oil and tobacco companies; and has assisted corporations in impeding union organizing efforts, about which labor leaders have expressed "distress" to the Clinton campaign). Edwards' opinions on Clinton are also clear in comments from the campaign trail quoted by Mother Jones in November:

"Do you really believe that if we replace a crowd of corporate Republicans with a crowd of corporate Democrats that anything meaningful is going to change...? The presidential candidate who has raised the most money from Washington lobbyists is not a Republican. It's a Democrat. The candidate who has raised the most money from the health industry - insurance companies and drug companies - is not a Republican. It is a Democrat.... And the candidate who has raised the most money from the defense industry is not a Republican. It is a Democrat. And all those descriptions fit the same candidate. They're all Senator Clinton."

Progressives will never forgive John Edwards if he helps Hillary Clinton try to derail the best opportunity for real change we've had in America for forty years. To back Clinton now for the sake of his own political prospects would be rightly seen by progressives as a sell-out and a betrayal of the highest order. Out of respect for John Edwards and his record on behalf of the progressive cause, I will assume that this is not what he intends to do. Mark C.

1 comment:

DrBen said...

I trust that John will not betray our trust...