Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bob Herbert previews John Edward's speech

And it looks like it will be a good one when John Edwards speaks at the National Press Club in Washington.
"What kind of America do we want — not just today, but 20 years from now? And how do we think we can get there from here?"

It's a speech that's different from the poll-tested, freeze-dried political pap we've come to expect from politicians. For one thing, Mr. Edwards, who's part of the growing pack of Democratic marathoners seeking the party's 2008 nomination, wrote it himself. For another, he unfashionably (and unabashedly) appeals to the better angels of the electorate.

"It's wrong," he says, "to have 37 million Americans living in poverty, separated from the opportunities of this country by their income, their housing, their access to education and jobs and health care — just as it was wrong that we once lived in a country legally separated by race."

In an echo of the can-do spirit that was characteristic of the post-World War II period, Mr. Edwards asserts that with the proper leadership, the United States can "restore the moral core and legitimacy that has been the foundation of our influence" abroad, while at the same time tackling tough issues here at home: poverty, the need for greater energy independence and a fairer shake for all Americans who have to work for a living, including "the forgotten middle class."
It sounds like he is asking people to support their best interests. It will be a tough sell.


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