Thursday, June 22, 2006

John Edwards to Outline Plan to End Poverty at National Press Club Today

John Edwards to Outline Plan to End Poverty at National Press Club Today

Today at approximately 1pm, Senator John Edwards, who recently surprised many by beating Hillary Clinton in an early Des Moines Register (Iowa) poll for 2008 presidential candidates, will deliver a policy address to the National Press Club about a 30-year plan to end poverty as we know it today. He will outline his plan to cut poverty by one third within a decade, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty by 2016, and to end poverty within 30 years, lifting 37 million Americans out of poverty by 2036.

Senator Edwards will also discuss the creation of a working society for the 21st century. In the Working Society, Senator Edwards believes that everyone who is willing to work hard will be expected to work and, in turn, be rewarded for it. He will outline his initiative which includes major new policies in the areas of work, housing, education, savings, and family responsibility.

Because Senator Edwards believes that HUD has become a symbol of bureaucracy and mismanagement, he will outline a plan for a transformed HUD that promotes housing with opportunity instead of economic isolation and at the same time, cut the federal bureaucracy by promoting regional decision making.

See Bob Herbert's column today (NYT Select subsc req.)

Have we become too selfish and cynical? Or is the U.S. — despite being shaken by terror and distressed by the unending conflict in Iraq — ready to roll up its sleeves and renew its commitment to some of the goals and themes that once formed the basis of the American dream?

John Edwards is betting on the latter. In a major speech today at the National Press Club in Washington, Mr. Edwards, the former North Carolina senator who was John Kerry's running mate in the 2004 presidential election, will ask:

"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?"

The speech will be aired on CSPAN3.

From today's ABC's Political Note:
2008: Democrats:

If John Edwards becomes a strong presidential candidate in 2008, historians and strategists will long study the progress he made in 2006, much of it under the normal radar.

In a must-read that gets at a full 65% of the basis of Edwards' forward motion, Bloomberg's Roger Simon has Gordon Fischer, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, saying Edwards has great support in Iowa and that the Edwards' apology on Iraq "made a big difference to Democrats here.'' LINK

In contrast with the "old-style" populism of Kerry and the "cautious middle" approach of former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Bayh, Charlie "The Kicker" Cook tells Simon that Edwards is "now offering a hybrid of populism and liberalism that works."

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) (who saw HRC as untouchable a year ago) says if Edwards wins Iowa, "he will be No. 1 in New Hampshire, and the people in New Hampshire are very smart when it comes to presidential politics."

Per Simon, Edwards is planning speeches on energy costs and education to follow yesterday's speech on poverty.

Note well the Big Labor angle too.

Per the Washington Post's Dan Balz, "On a day when the Senate defeated two Democratic amendments aimed at forcing President Bush to begin pulling out of Iraq, Edwards told a National Press Club audience the administration has made a mess in Iraq. He said he favors an immediate withdrawal of 40,000 troops and called for all combat forces to be gone in the next 12 to 18 months." LINK

Barbara Barrett of the Raleigh News & Observer highlights Edwards' comments on Iraq too. LINK

Tim Funk's coverage of the Edwards speech gets some space in The State in South Carolina - not unimportant, that. LINK