Thursday, December 28, 2006

John Edwards Announces

John Edwards, who ran as John Kerry's vice president in 2004, announced his run for the 2008 Democratic nomination today. His announcement was staged in New Orlean's Lower Ninth Ward.

CBS News reported that last night he created a media event by doing yard work with young volunteers of a woman whose house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in preparation for the announcement today.

He was interviewed this morning on ABC's Good Morning America with George Stephanopolous. Stephanopolous asked only one policy question in the four minute interview, which was on the war in Iraq, although it was framed in a "why should Democrats nominate you" on Iraq when Edwards originally supported the war and now he's against it.

Edwards' response was to highlight honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity as characteristics he would posess in dealing with Iraq. Although not mentioning Bush's name, he clearly insinuated Bush lacked those characteristics in the war in Iraq. He also rejected the idea of strengthening troop levels in Iraq, and he parroted the now-overused phrase that Iraq requires a political solution not a military solution.

Stephanopolous started the interview with a snippy strategy question by noting that Edwards had criticized President Bush in 2004 for exploiting Ground Zero for political gain, and whether Edwards was now doing the same thing with New Orleans. Edwards emphasized that New Orleans still needs much help after Hurricane Katrina and must not be forgotten--a nice job of dodging the question.

The caption underneath Edwards' bust shot was "John Edwards Running for President: Can He Take on the Big Names?" This theme was emphasized by the question of whether he's more qualified than Hillary Clinton. Edwards responded by saying that it's not up to him to decide, but that the next leader would have great responsibility to rebuild leadership and moral authority in the world - perhaps a slight dig on the Clinton legacy?

There was also news today that his Website was launched early, yesterday rather than today, and it was reported as a glitch for the campaign. CBS reported that campaign staff shut the site down until this morning.

I went through the website, and it's a little glitchy. When I entered the website from the splash screen, I went hunting for the announcement speech, but couldn't find it. Then, I wandered to the blog, which requires registration. After doing that (grrr), the site said I'd successfully logged in, but then the blog didn't load. I had to click on the blog link at the top to see any of the content. When I went back to the home page of the site, the top now heralds his announcement speech and includes vide from You Tube of a speech he made yesterday, which was posted on Wednesday night, according to Paul Kaputska. Kaputska declares the pre-announcement announcement on You Tube a candidate first. Of that, I am sure.

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