It's a bit of a challenge writing a campaign diary on Christmas. Vituperative attacks on one's opponents seem a bit out of place, while a treacly sweet Christmas piece is not likely to persuade anyone, nor is it my style.
So I decided to, um, borrow a bit from a well known source.
Ghost of Edwards Christmas Past
By now, many of you may have heard that John Edwards is the Son of a Millworker, whose parents had to borrow money to bring him home from the hospital. While I don't think it's the strongest argument for Edwards, in age where a 'very serious person' like Fareed Zakaria can argue 'identity trumps knowledge and experience,' it is certainly worth a visit:
The desire to get ahead--to win--is no small thing for Edwards. He was raised in the depressed town of Robbins, N.C., where his father, Wallace, worked in a now long-gone textile mill. It's a biographical detail the candidate mentions so often in speeches and campaign ads that it can sometimes border on self-parody. Yet his father's story is what Edwards's campaign, and political career, is all about. His dad worked his way up in the mill and was promoted to supervisor. But without a college degree, there was only so far he could rise. "He heard his mother and I talk about it at the dinner table, so he knew what I was faced with," his father tells NEWSWEEK. Money was scarce. Wallace was determined that John and his younger brother and sister, Wesley Blake and Kathy, would attend college. He set an example of self-improvement. He took classes offered by the mill, and tuned in to the education channel on TV early each morning when the station aired lessons in statistics and probability.
Of course, John Edwards took those lessons of growing up in humble circumstances and striving to get ahead to become a very successful lawyer battling on behalf of ordinary folks injured by corporate negligence. Some of whom have joined Edwards on the campaign trail this year to testify to Edwards's compassion, fight and skill.
Ghost of Edwards Christmas Present
This Christmas finds John Edwards leading a populist campaign in the top tier the Democratic nomination. As the New York Times wrote in a great contrast with plutocratic phony Mitt Romney, Edwards is applying those lessons from his humble Christmases past in a bold populist campaign:
"I think most Americans think that the economic disparity that exists in America today is worse than they can remember in a long time," Mr. Edwards said. "Every step of my life has reinforced the notion that -- unless there's some obstacle that you can't do anything about -- that if you work hard enough in America, you can do anything. I think, though, that those obstacles are too high and too difficult for most people."
To restore what he considers the right balance, Mr. Edwards would go further than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama on several economic issues. Mr. Edwards would try to repeal the Bush tax cuts for everyone making at least $200,000 -- not $250,000 -- and he would do so as soon as he took office, not waiting until they expire in 2011. He also favors a law forbidding banks from giving subprime mortgages, which have higher average interest rates, to people who could qualify for loans with lower rates.
This Christmas, in Iowa, New Hampshire and around the nation Edwards is applying his call to be Patriotic About Something other War to our duty to global warming and our duties to our fellow Americans, as he does in his 'Seasons' ad, transcript below.
Full Transcript of "Season:"
One out of every four homeless people on our streets is a veteran.
Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty.
Who speaks for them? We do.
This is the season of miracles, of faith and love.
So let us promise together: you will never be forgotten again.
We see you, we hear you, and we will speak for you.
In America, the chance to build a better life is a promise made to each of us, and the obligation to keep it rests with us all.
Ghost of Edwards Christmas Future
We should be so lucky to get the Christmas, OK, November Future, outlined in the New York Times on Sunday, Mitt Romney vs. John Edwards. Pitting our sunny populist verse their robotic plutocrat. Luckily any Edwards November Future, against the nasty Giuliani, the somnolent Thompson, the clueless Huckabee or the war-mongering McCain, would be as nearly good for us, both in prospects for victory and contrasts in policy.
If Democratic primary voters propel John Edwards to the nomination and his likely victory in the fall, the Ghosts of Edwards Christmases Future will show us some very bright Christmases indeed.
Future Christmases with a President of United States committed to ending poverty in this country.
A Future Christmas with President Edwards passing landmark anti-global warming auction cap ad trade systems.
Future Christmases with a President committed to rebuilding economic opportunity to working Americans and restoring One America.
Future Christmases with a President who stands up for working people and their unions.
Future Christmases with Elizabeth Edwards as our First Lady.
Future Christmases where the President of the United States works to give a voice to the voiceless.
And, of course, a Christmas in the not too distant future after a President Edwards has passed universal health care, with a public option, for everyone in the country. Tiny Tim, with his pre-existing condition and his working class parents included.
Merry Christmas- AJ