Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Of Missing Persons

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 355

John Edwards withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination today. In leaving the field to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Edwards joins Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Bill Richardson in the ranks of former candidates. All of these men, now gone from the race, nevertheless left an indelible imprint on its terms of debate: Joe Biden on foreign policy generally, and Iraq in particular; Chris Dodd on restoring civil liberties and the rule of law; John Edwards on poverty; Bill Richardson on diplomacy and the environment. Every one of them had the courage of their convictions, and, in spite of a mass media that continually focused on prematurely simplifying the campaign to a two-person horse race, made their impact nonetheless, oftentimes through the simple act of refusing to go quietly.

And the supporters of these departed candidates are now left to sift through their feelings, their policy priorities, their character judgments, and to pick whom to now support between two candidates not of their original choosing. It is an uncomfortable and difficult process. My own chosen candidate, Joe Biden, left the race nearly a month ago, and I am nowhere near settled on whom to eventually give my allegiance.

But in Iowa, we were the luckiest of voters, because no matter who we may have originally supported, as Iowans we had the luxury of working for, speaking for and voting for the person we viewed as the most qualified to lead this nation out of the dark night of the past seven years. We had the luxury of participation without compromise. No one else can claim that privilege. And that is a shame.

Readers of this blog will know that I was never a John Edwards supporter. I never felt that John Edwards possessed the ability to bring people together that will prove so crucial in healing our country and helping it move forward again. But when I think of the race without John Edwards, without the last member of the non-hundred million dollar club, I feel a bit sad. Because now there are only two voices left to speak.

Eventually, of course, we'll be down to one voice. And Democrats will rally behind our nominee with energy and commitment that will propel our candidate to an historic victory in November.

Just give us a minute.


Jessica said...

I just found your blog through google, while searching for Sen. Clinton's statement about Edwards' withdrawal.

You have the blog that I wish I had the time to write. Great work!

desmoinesdem said...

I feel lucky that Iowans were able to choose from such a good group of candidates. If I had not been for Edwards, I would have been for Dodd or Biden.

I have no idea how I would vote if my state had not yet voted. I would be very reluctant to vote for either Clinton or Obama in the primaries, although I would vote for either in the general without hesitation.

Although I don't have all the information that factored into Edwards' decision, I regret that he did not stick it out for another week or two and give citizens in two dozen more states the opportunity to express their preference for him.

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