Thursday, January 31, 2008

Final Thoughts on the Edwards Campaign

"And I saw Sisyphus at his endless task raising his prodigious stone with both his hands. With hands and feet he tried to roll it up to the top of the hill,
but always,

just before he could roll it over on to the other side,
its weight would be too much for him,

and the pitiless stone
would come thundering down again on to the plain.

-- Homer

As I sit here and watch the media circus that is being described as "a political Thriller in Manila" and "the historic debate between a woman and an African American" I can only imagine how historians will view this moment. Forty years from now what will political and journalism historians think about CNN's Wolf Blitzer referring to his "Britney Spears" headset and the talk of $1,000 a ticket to attend a political debate. It says a lot about the times in which we live.

Sometime later I will be posting a recap of tonight's CNN Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate, However, before doing that I have to share my final thoughts on John Edwards.

Despite the fact that I've been jokingly telling my friends that I am in mourning the truth is that since
I went down this same road in 2004 I was prepared for the disappointment this time. Like so many John Edwards supporters I realized that his bid for the 2008 democratic nomination was tantamount to the fate of Sisyphus.

The deck ( or timing) was certainly stacked against the Edwards campaign.

The Democratic National Committee was never behind him. The media certainly didn't give him equitable coverage -- he just didn't make "good TV". Big Pharma and the Insurance Industries certainly weren't going to contribute to his campaign. Those who John fights so passionately for are unable to provide the financial resources to keep him in this campaign. The majority of the American public doesn't really want to hear about making sacrifices and helping the poor. And of course, who can compete with Oprah, Bill and Ted. People might say they want change but what they really want is the familiar.

Only history will determine exactly what America lost on January 30th, 2008. For me, I can only compare to the morning that my Mom woke me up and told me that Robert Kennedy had been shot. That moment hurt then and it still hurts forty years later.

John Edwards' 01/30 remarks from New Orleans:
"I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters. We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.

It is appropriate that I come here today. It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path. We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we'll create hope and opportunity for this country."

"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about?

When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering
or sick or in prison and didn't help.
"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth:
Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was
being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

Matthew 25:40-46 (The Message)

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