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Mark Alexander / Jul. 9, 2004

Kerry-Edwards — The 'one went to war — one grew up poor' dream ticket

Well, a nightmare, perhaps…

No sooner had John Kerry’s veep advances been roundly rejected for the umpteenth time by John McCain, than Kerry announced Plan B: Erstwhile trial lawyer John Edwards would instead join the Demo ticket. Of course, it only took a New York second for Edwards’ opponents to launch their criticism. “In the Senate four years – and that is the full extent of public life – no international experience, no military experience…. The American people want an experienced hand at the helm of state. This is not the time for on-the-job training in the White House on national-security issues. … I think that the world is looking for leadership that is tested and sure.”

Hard-hitting criticism, to say the least, but that’s just what Kerry had to say about Edwards prior to tapping him for the bottom of his ticket.

So, just who is John Edwards, and why is the man who selected him so skeptical about his ability to lead?

As has already been made clear by Demo strategists adhering to their “divide and conquer” class-warfare play-book, Edwards grew up POOR – in stark contrast to John Kerry. Edwards’ father was a mill worker – an honest job, in stark contrast to his son, a trial lawyer who made his millions suing doctors. Indeed, John Edwards pocketed millions by parading cerebral-palsy babies before emotional juries and winning massive “negligence” awards against obstetricians. Here, the Edwards legacy is an onerous one: Obstetricians, afraid for their professional lives, are now performing four times as many dangerous Caesarean sections as in previous decades – this despite an utterly dubious link between natural childbirth and cerebral palsy. What’s more, the cost of malpractice insurance for obstetricians has gone through the roof, while the number of obstetricians has, understandably, gone through the floor. (The American Medical Association lists 20 states that now have critical shortages of obstetricians.)

Through it all, POOR John played his drama parts well, socking away 30% of those multi-million dollar awards. Of course, he picked his cases carefully, turning away the families of children who died in childbirth because living “CP” babies reap much higher awards. (For the record, it is worth noting that most cases of fetal-brain injury occur long before labor begins – but that inconvenient fact never seemed to deter Edwards.)

Who pays for POOR John’s luxury accommodations and motor vehicles? You do, of course. The cost of such litigation adds about five percent to the cost of all products and services – in effect, a hidden tax of about $3,200 on the average household.

But we digress. The question was: Who is this POOR John, and why is his running mate so skeptical about his ability to lead?

If you want the long answer, link to the Internet’s most comprehensive resource on Kerry and Edwards: http://johnkerry-08.com/ (That’s right, seasoned readers of this column know that The Patriot tagged the Kerry-Edwards ticket long ago. Indeed, as noted in The Washington Post this week, we purchased the aforementioned domains in order to develop a strong web presence – a presence dedicated to telling folks the truth about John Kerry.)

As for the short answer, Edwards’ only presidential resume builder is that he’s a first-term senator. Having spent much of his professional life making money on human misery, POOR John has held no other elected office, and his Senate campaign was funded mostly by fellow trial lawyers. (And, boy, did they ever get their money’s worth! Edwards has devoted most of his short tenure in the Senate to blocking any measures aimed at tort reform.) Perhaps most telling about his effectiveness as a legislator is this little statistic: Of the 74 bills he sponsored, not a single one has emerged from committee for a floor vote. The same is true for most of his amendments and resolutions.)

Kerry’s aforementioned reservations about Edwards notwithstanding, he changed his tune this past Tuesday morning when announcing his pick. Kerry, who can flip-flop faster than a professional pancake maker, chortled, “I want you to know we think this is a dream ticket. We’ve got better vision. We’ve got better ideas. We’ve got real plans. We’ve got a better sense of what’s happening to America. And we’ve got better hair.” We’ll certainly cede him that. Kerry, ever a man of the people, spends some $150 for a hair cut at DC’s hoity-toity Cristophe Salon. As for John Edwards, well, he actually looks like a Breck Girl.

Yet despite their glorious coiffures, Kerry can’t be giddy about Edwards’ anti-growth (read: anti-jobs) voting record, or his anti-military voting record, or his anti-family voting record, or his anti-tax-cut voting record. In these respects, Edwards does anything but “balance” the Kerry ticket. To the contrary, his populist rural Southern gentlemanly façade simply doesn’t square with his hard-Left Senate voting record. In fact, the non-partisan National Journal, which has been rating voting records for a long time, puts Edwards a close fourth behind Kerry, who is rated the most Left-voting member of the Senate. Without question, then, this is the most liberal major-party ticket in American history – a ticket that outflanks even Mondale-Ferraro.

So what can Edwards realistically deliver to the Kerry ticket? Did we mention he grew up POOR?

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