John Edwards’ Convention Speech

John Edwards’ speech is an improvement over Sharpton’s, to be sure. It strikes me as being very much in a time warp, though. It’s not just a 9/10/01 speech, it’s straight out of 1980. The idea that average Americans can’t send their kids to school or get them health care is frankly absurd. The civil rights rhetoric would have been powerful in 1972; now, it seems ridiculously anachronistic. And the idea that the people in that room think those are the most pressing problems facing the next president is baffling.

Updates (2324):

I’m not sure who the target audience for that awful cacophony by “Black Eye Peas” was, but I think it cost the Democrats at least one swing state. Damn, that was awful.


Update (7/29 1015) : AP – Edwards: Kerry Ready to Build One America

John Edwards praised John Kerry Wednesday night as a man tested by war for national command and promised cheering Democratic National Convention delegates that their ticket will “build one America” no longer divided by income or race. The vice presidential candidate spoke shortly before delegates formally bestowed their nomination on Kerry, a 60-year-old Massachusetts senator locked in a close race with President Bush.

Republicans are “doing all they can to take this campaign for the highest office in the land down the lowest possible road,” Kerry’s running mate told delegates packed into the FleetCenter and a nationwide prime-time television audience. The vice presidential candidate urged the country to reject that approach and “embrace the politics of hope, the politics of what’s possible because this is America, where everything is possible.”


“The truth is, we still live in two different Americas,” said Edwards, the son of a Carolina mill worker and the first in his family to attend college.


“We can build an America where we no longer have two health care systems,” he said. “… We can build one public school system that works for all our children. … We can create good paying jobs in America again,” he added, by stopping the tax breaks that give companies an incentive to send jobs overseas. Recalling a childhood in the segregated South, Edwards said he and Kerry want “our children and our grandchildren to be the first generations to grow up in an America that’s no longer divided by race.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kerry Edwards’ assumption that France, et al will do a complete 180 and dive head first into Iraq’s rebuilding has a major weakness: there’s no indication those countries want to rebuild Iraq. What’s KE’s fall-back position? Or do they actually think foreign policy would be smooth sailing?

  2. McGehee says:

    They’re assuming (not without reason) that their supporters will forget all about that claim after they win <snicker> the election.

  3. “We can build an America where we no longer have two health care systems.”

    Um, I thought monopolies were bad. Oh, that’s right, unless it’s a monopoly controlled by the government led by people who care.

  4. David says:

    As usual the Democrats talk about not using race as a campaign issue and then immediately in the next sentance start using race anew. The Democrats are using all the game plans they have used for the past fifty years and have nothing new to share with the American voter than your are poor, compared with Kerry’s wife and Edwards everyone is poor, you are disadvantaged because you are black, or spanish, or trailer park trash. Everything the Democratic party caused in America,poverty, bankrupt social security, huge deficits, race bating, poor public health, poor public schools, they say they can fix. They can, by resigning from all political offices and leting some really good Americans, not sold out to special interest like Hollywood, and homosexuals, take over and do something special for America that Democrats would never in ten thousand years do.