About John Edwards
John Edwards is a personal injury trial lawyer -- the kind that bad, but well-deserved, jokes are made about. He is a "smart, charming, smooth talker," who only has 5 years experience in politics, period. He is a first term senator from North Carolina elected in 1998 and has held no other elective office. But he has made quite a successful living as a trial lawyer. In fact, he was so busy making his living, that he did not even bother to VOTE in half of the elections between 1991 and 1998.
John Edwards' career in the Senate has left much to be desired. Indeed, it has been very LEFT. In a study by the National Journal, a non-partisan publication, Edwards ranks as the fourth most liberal senator in the Senate. (John Kerry is most/first/worst.) Edwards rating of 94.5 is not far behind Sen. Kerry's 96.5. Put together, the Johns are the most liberal ticket ever to bring an assault on Washington, surpassing even F. Roosevelt/Wallace.
The Johns have been mostly AWOL this year in the Senate, Edwards missing nearly 50% of the votes and Kerry missing almost 80%. Also, like Sen. Kerry, Edwards has no major legislation with his name on it, though with 5 years (4 if this year doesn't count) compared to 19, who can blame him? Edwards has been sponsor of 74 bills, none of which came out of Committee for a floor vote.
Edwards has achieved a lifetime (if that's even the appropriate term) rating of "hostile" toward taxpayers from Citizens Against Government Waste. Sen. Edwards has a voted against tax relief at every turn: twice against the President's tax cuts, 12 times against full marriage penalty relief, 8 times against repealing the death tax, against the child credit, twice against making the repeal of the estate tax permanent, against temporary suspension of the gasoline tax, against tax credits or vouchers for education, and so it goes.
Edwards' positions on Iraq are nearly as confusing as the Flip-Flopper himself. In January 2002, he had this to say: "Well, I think the situation in Iraq is a very serious one. Saddam Hussein hates the United States. He's been involved in developing weapons of mass destruction. He's ignored the terms of the cease-fire agreement. He won't allow the weapons inspectors, our weapons inspectors, into the country. So we have a very serious problem there. And we cannot allow him to continue in this effort to develop and foster weapons of mass destruction. And I think the bottom line is it's very difficult to imagine a situation where the world is secure, the United States is secure, while Saddam Hussein is still in power. So, I think how we go about it, the timing of how we go about it, our judgments will have to be made when we finish what we're doing right now. But the reality is, he's a very serious threat to the security of the United States, to the security of the region and, in fact, to the security of the world."
He also acknowledged in October 2003 that he "didn't get misled" about the war by the Bush administration. Edwards claimed in February 2003 not only that he would have gone forward without total UN support, saying Saddam had "not disarmed, the evidence is overwhelming. ... This guy has to be disarmed," but that he would have done it BEFORE 9/11! "We know that he has biological [weapons], we know that he has chemical [weapons]. ... We also know that every single day that goes by he's increasing the likelihood of having nuclear capability," Edwards added. He proclaimed in September 2002 that "I don't think we should be bound by what the United Nations does." How does the story go now, John?
On other issues, John Edwards is just as far out in left field. He has voted against the partial-birth abortion ban and for distribution of "morning after" pills in schools. He is for greater restrictions on guns and greater liability for gun manufacturers. Edwards is against traditional marriage and for greater "hate crimes" legislation. He has voted against important military spending, including the now-famous $87 billion about which he previously said, "we have to make sure [our troops] get what they need. That's pretty simple." Apparently, not simple enough.
And then there is the pork spending. John Edwards' proposals before and during the primaries called for $972 billion in new spending. Some of the increases and new pork items include $30 billion for improved preschools, $16 million to increase the minimum wage, $200 million to help the disabled in job placement, $1 billion for job training, $38 billion "to help Americans save" (no kidding!), and over $6 billion for election reform. Top that off with a $590 billion health care plan, and we the taxpayers are out of money! As outlined in the Constitution, the Federal government's job is to provide national security and not really much else. Unfortunately, that's the only area that Kerry/Edwards would spend less.
As slippery as can be, Edwards routinely refuses to answer tough questions. When asked by Tim Russert what he would do differently in Afghanistan, he weakly replied, "What I would do is show leadership," and then meandered into the fight against drugs. Chris Matthews, unusually playing "Hardball" with a Democrat, asked him to name the leaders of Taiwan, Chechnya, Pakistan and India. (George Bush was asked the same thing in 2000.) Edwards refused, saying "Let's don't go there." And asked about EU trade sanctions in retaliation to our steel tariffs, Edwards stumbled, "I'm not sure I even know what you're talking about."
Even the master prevaricator Bill Clinton noted that Edwards is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. "John, you're great on TV. You make a great talk. ... But my opinion is, presidential elections are won by the strength of the candidate...having the big message." Read: "You lack substance, John."
John Edwards is not the man that Americans should want as second in command. Unlike Kerry (who by the way served in Vietnam), Edwards has no military experience (not in and of itself a disqualification, though) and very little experience politically. He is a trial lawyer through and through, part of the "rich America" he's become famous for railing against and is not fit to be a Senator, much less the next Vice President of the United States.