John Edwards: The Fighter. The Closer.

Crossposted from DailyKos

With less than two weeks before the voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, John Edwards is delivering his closing argument to voters, something Edwards is well known for. As one of the top trial attorneys in the nation, Edwards is no stranger to taking on a fight and then driving it home, with a powerful closing argument.  

The Fighter

Edwards is a natural born fighter. He is street wise and possesses a sharp intellect that allows him the ability to focus his message boldly and concisely. Edwards didn’t attain or hone his analytical and rhetorical skills from a privileged educational background. No boarding schools or Ivy League Universities are listed on his vitea.

In fact, Edwards didn’t grow up in the insulated suburbs and vacation as a child on the Hamptons at a family summer home, as so many of our elected leaders did. By contrast, Edwards attended public schools and grew up in Mill Villages where the people toiled away working for “the man.”

Edwards Visits his Childhoood Home with his Parents

Understanding the dynamics of oppression and corporate power is deeply engrained in Edwards’ worldview. As a trial attorney, he took on big corporate interests and “beat ’em and then beat ’em again”  for many clients, including Valerie Lakey. Valerie Lakey is one of countless children who have been brutalized by corporate greed. At five years old, she was nearly killed over a two cent pool part pump. Valerie and her family have not forgotten how John Edwards fought for them.

Today in Des Moines, Edwards was joined by Sandy and David Lakey, and their daughter Valerie. Valerie was five years old in 1993 when she was very badly hurt by the powerful drain suction at the bottom of a pool because of a faulty drain cover.  The manufacturer of the defective part knew their product was dangerous and hid the truth.  Edwards represented the Lakeys as their lawyer and ensured that Valerie’s medical expenses would be taken care of for the rest of her life. Edwards was also joined in Des Moines today by James Lowe, the former coal miner who could barely speak for 50 years because he lacked health care to fix his cleft palate.

“Corporate greed and political calculation have taken over Washington,” Edwards said. “For decades, big corporations and powerful interests have blocked change and progress. For decades, they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and deployed hundreds of lobbyists to try and silence the voice of the American people.  And for decades, our leaders in Washington have sat by and let it happen.

As Edwards blazes along the campaign trail today with the Lakeys and James Lowe, he will deliver a major speech on “Builidng a Better World for Our Children.”

Edwards’ “Building a Better World for Our Children” agenda calls for:

Fixing America’s basic bargain with good jobs that support a family: Edwards will enact smarter trade policies that keep good jobs here in America. He will also create new jobs by investing in the industries of the future and he will support American innovation and ingenuity by investing in education, science, technology and innovation.  

Halting global warming and ending our dependence on foreign oil: If we don’t take dramatic action immediately to halt global warming, our children could grow up on a planet that is radically different from the one we know today.  Edwards will cap the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and reduce it by 20 percent by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050. He will also create a New Energy Economy Fund to jump start renewable energy and achieve energy independence.

Strengthening our schools and making college affordable: To make sure that every American child can go as far as their talents will take them, Edwards will radically reform No Child Left Behind and create a new College for Everyone program.

Investing in the American people: The single most important investment we can make in our people is to create universal health care. Edwards’ top domestic priority will be passing universal health care that covers every man, woman and child in America. To make sure that every family has the tools they need to keep their children healthy and safe, Edwards will improve child care and access to paid family leave.…

Edwards has proposed the most progressive, bold, substantive plans to bring about transformational change of any candidate. Further, unlike the other candidates, he understands that triangulating and negotiating will not result in big corporate interests resigning their power. We have to take it from them.

Fighting corporate power is “a fight he was born for.”

When they give up their power is when we take their power away from them,” he said of corporate interests, condemning “big drug companies, big oil companies and big insurance companies.”

“We have to take this democracy back.”

It will be up the people, the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, along all of us, to rise up with John Edwards because….money don’t vote.

Money don’t vote

The Closer

Edwards has made his case to the American people. As Sister Jeanie Hagedorn, a Catholic nun from Des Moines, said: Edwards’s appeal is that he is the voice of the people,” she said. “The middle class and the poor are getting left behind and until we address that, we’re in trouble.”

Edwards is now delivering his closing argument in the final weeks before the voting begins. And the race is tightening. It’s essentially a deadheat in Iowa, with a new poll showing Edwards in the lead. Another new poll on New Hampshire, shows upward movement for Edwards. His message of taking on corporate and powerful interests is resonating.

The problem is that our government is not looking out for middle-class families.  Corporate greed and political calculation have taken over Washington.  For decades, big corporations and powerful interests have blocked change and progress. For decades, they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and deployed hundreds of lobbyists to try and silence the voice of the American people.  And for decades, our leaders in Washington have sat by and let it happen.

Edwards’ Closing Argument

Voters have an important choice to make. Do they want a candidate who will fight for them or a candidate who will negotiate with corporate power and offer them a seat at the table—a candidate who work both sides in order to maintain the status quo? Because, that’s what it really comes down to: a choice between a candidate who will fight for real change or a candidate who will compromise to keep corporate power in the game.

Make your choice. It’s time to be patriotic for something other than war. It’s time to stand up to corporate greed and political calculations. I’ve made my choice. I stand with the people and John Edwards.

I am a Patriot

When we speak up, America Rises.

Update [2007-12-21 16:50:40 by NCDem Amy]: MickeynATL has linked in the comments, a new Edwards for President mailer that went out today in Iowa. It contains a letter written by the parents of Valerie Lakey and their family photo:

Here’s the front and the letter which is on the inside of the flyer:

Dear Iowa Caucusgoers,

Fourteen years ago, we were just a normal family with a healthy 5-year-old daughter, Valerie. Then on June 24, 1993, our world changed forever.

Valerie was playing in the local wading pool when the powerful drain suction at the bottom of the pool almost sucked the life out of her.

In the terrible days and weeks that followed, the only words we wanted to hear from anyone were, “I can help Valerie.” And then we met John Edwards.

John took on the irresponsible manufacturer of the defective part and we learned that she wasn’t the first child to be maimed and even killed by this company’s absolute indifference, but they hid the truth.

In our darkest hours, John Edwards gave our family hope. And then he walked into that courtroom and have that irresponsible company hell, and we won.

John ensured that Valerie’s medical expenses would be taken care of for the rest of her life. And he helped change the ways companies do business to make swimming pools safer for children.

We are so thankful that today, Valerie is much better, and we hope every day for her future.

John talks about the heroes he has met in his life, but to us, he is the hero. He has the courage to take on the toughest fights – and win. And he will always have the thanks of a grateful family who gave hope to in their darkest hour and helped ensure their child would have a chance at a better future.


Sandy and David Lakey

p.s. We know you have an important decision to make, not just for Iowa, but for the rest of this country on January 3rd. We know that John Edwards is the best person to lead this country and we hope you will agree.

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