By Ben Cohen
Given John Edwards recent endorsement of Barack Obama, media pundits have been discussing the viability of an Obama-Edwards ticket. This is no doubt better than an Obama-Clinton ticket, as Obama can rightfully claim he is moving on from the past.
Clinton, however hard she tries, just cannot disassociate herself from years of bitter partisanship. Clinton's record on progressive issues does not match her rhetoric, and Republicans will expose it ruthlessly in the general election. From a progressive point of view, Clinton should also be a no-go. In an ideal world, voting and campaigning for NAFTA should automatically eliminate her from working class votes, and voting for the invasion of Iraq should eliminate anyone who expects her to provide meaningful change.
Edwards record on the issues is patchy at best,
but his new found zeal for issues pertaining to poverty seems far more
genuine than Clinton's. Edwards point blank accepted responsibility for
his vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, calling it the greatest
mistake of his political career. He made poverty a central theme of his
campaign, and publicly admitted mistakes regarding trade issues.
Edwards is a tireless campaigner and would do an awful lot to siphon
rural voters away from John McCain. In strategic terms, Edwards is an
At this point, the Democrats should be gearing themselves up for a
serious fight with the Republicans. Although Clinton is a good
scrapper, the Democrats should do their best to take the high road and
present a ticket that symbolizes serious commitment to change. Clinton
symbolizes all that is bad about the Democratic Party, and it is time
to move on.