Today I have knots in my stomach as I consume every bit of media I can find on the Iowa caucuses. John Edwards is my pick for president and despite the fact that Iowa has a dismal record at picking presidential winners, I want him to have a strong showing. Right now the contest is too close to call: Edwards, Obama, and Clinton are polling neck-and-neck. Even those two tools Romney and Huckabee seem to be tied for first.
Which brings me to this. Like so many other Democrats, I was undecided for a long, long time. Edwards wasn't really even on my radar at first. But the more I listened to him, the more I liked. Now I am an unabashed Edwards supporter and I don't mind letting everyone know it. In addition to starting a blog that I hope will help get him elected, I sport an Edwards bumper sticker on my car, a sign in my yard, and I proudly wear my Edwards '08 pin everywhere I go. When I saw the Edwards table set up at my local farmer's market last week, I cheered. I am not alone.
I have heard that in Iowa, you can see political signs everywhere. Certain areas are Obama country, certain areas are Edwards country and so on. When I lived in Portland, it seemed that everyone had a Kerry/Edwards sign in their front yard. (Even liberal San Francisco, I rarely saw a yard sign in front of people's houses or in front windows.) We're more fickle in the Bay Area. We don't like yard signs bringing down the value of our houses. I don't see any yard signs anywhere, and I see very few bumper stickers on cars. Maybe that will change as we get closer to our primary. On walks through my neighborhood I can count three signs: mine, another Edwards sign, and one for Obama. Where are all the Clinton supporters, I wonder? Especially since everyone talks about how she has California sewn up. Well, not if I can help it, which is why I am writing this post.
If you are even the least bit undecided, or even if you have picked your candidate, please give Edwards another glance. Every media report about him seems to mention his $400 haircut or the fact that he is rich, but, really, who cares? You don't need to be poor to run for president. You don't need to be on welfare to understand poverty and want to end it. I mean, how much does Hillary spend on her hair? I know my own cut 'n color jobs run close to $150 and you know she's not going to SuperCuts. What about her clothes? Men can get away with wearing the same suits and ties over and over again, but Hillary? I think we all know how much a St. John or even a Dana Buchman pants suit costs. And, hmmm. And remember the Clinton furniture scandal? How they stole furniture from the White House to furnish their NY home and accepted almost $100k in furniture donations from supporters? Puleeze. And yet no one ever talks about it. But gosh. Look at me. I'm being nit-picky. You know, kinda like the mass media.
All I'm asking is that you consider Edwards. He's never taken money from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups. He is the only candidate that is for a nuclear-free world. He is the only candidate that has a viable foreign policy plan. He has expressed remorse for his pro-war vote. He is the only candidate making fighting poverty a top issue. He will fight to pass a universal healthcare plan within six months of taking office or else congress and everyone in his administration will lose their government healthcare coverage. If it means something to you, Michael Moore quasi-endorsed him yesterday. He is the only candidate that understands how much this country needs change.
And if that is not enough, and removing the Republicans from office is something that is important to you, please understand that polls show that against every Republican candidate from Giuliani on down, Edwards is the only one who can beat them all. Obama can't. Hillary most certainly can't. All you Hillary supporters really need to think about this. If we have four more years of Republicans running the show, which we will if she wins the nomination, I'm coming after you. After all the crap this country has been through in the last eight years, don't you want to back someone electable? Haven't those of us who voted for Nader all those years ago learned our lesson?
I want Edwards to have a strong finish in Iowa not because it will determine his chances at becoming our next President, but because if he does, he will be able to raise the money he needs to continue this fight. And we really need him to continue this fight. I want my country back.
For those interested in knowing what it's like on the ground in Iowa, check out MOMocrats.com's two newest contributors: Leah Klevar and her mother Georgie Klevar. They are both moms, both Iowans, both so invested in this cause. All this week they have been reporting from their cities in Iowa, and tonight, if all goes well, Leah will be live-blogging from her caucus site. (By the way, if you are a NH or Nevada mom for Edwards, please email me!)
Iowans, all eyes are on you today. Show us what you got!