John Edwards: His Rhetoric vs. His Record

By January 3, 2007General

Last week, in among the death of the Godfather of Soul, the passing of the 38th President and the execution of a brutal dictator, John Edwards slipped quietly into the race for President of the United States. According to this AP story, Edwards chose New Orleans as the venue for his announcement, “because it demonstrates the power that people have to build America when they take responsibility instead of leaving it to Washington.” This is curious in that the city has received over $110 billion — an amount larger than the entire Gross Domestic Product of Hungary — in federal monies in the last year to help it rebuild. Hard to imagine an Edwards Administration could do more than that. No matter, he’s a trial lawyer, and thus not constrained by the facts.

What we know about John Edwards is that he is a great speech-giver. According to many who have heard him, he gives an especially stirring one on the topic of manufacturing. We applaud that because any time anyone brings attention to manufacturing, we think it’s a good thing. However, Edwards’ actions belie his words. Looking at his NAM Vote Ratings for his years in Congress, virtually every vote he cast made it more expensive and more difficult for American manufacturers to compete. From higher taxes to votes against legal reform (big shocker there), he has made American manufacturers less and less competitive. Click here to see his voting record for the 108th Congress (8%), here for the 107th (6%) and here for the 106th (29%).

Edwards, you may recall, was the one touting the “Two Americas” theme the last time out. We noted at the time that there were indeed two Americas — one that created wealth, like manufacturers and their employees, and one that sucked wealth out of society, like trial lawyers. Edwards has apparently abandoned the Two Americas punch line this time around, apparently realizing that if everyone in his doppleganger America voted for him, he’d likely not pick up many electoral votes. So this time out he’s into such poll-tested themes as fighting poverty (that’ll alienate the pro-poverty folks, no doubt), global warming (Oh, great, just what we need — another global warming demagogue) and “breaking our addition to oil.” Right. Wonder what he’s using in the private jets he flies? The WaPo also noted in the local pages last week that his $5.65 million mansion in DC finally sold, and so he’s now relegated to his 102-acre, 5-bedroom, 6-1/2 bath spread in Chapel Hill, NC where he can ponder the end of poverty. Expect hypocrisy and you’ll never be disappointed.

And so as the campaign of ’08 begins, we welcome Mr. Edwards to the fray. We hope that as his platform begins to take shape, he’ll re-think some of his prior positions that are so disastrous for manufacturers. If he’s really serious about ending poverty (C’mon — work with us, here….) he might just realize that keeping a strong manufacturing base is the best anti-poverty program around.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Bill Canis says:

    Zinger! Great that someone is noting how this would-be emperor is wearing no clothes!

  • Anon says:

    Bingo, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    John Edwards knows a lot about poverty, after all, he’s helped throw a lot of people into it with:

    – his co-sponsorship of H-1b visas,

    – his support for illegal aliens,

    – his vote for MFN-China

    but what about stuff like iraq war and the patriot act?

    well, he voted for them too

    About the only think you can say for Edwards is, he spent so much time running for president that he didnt have time to do more damage as senator