Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards to lead ad campaign on health care reform

I expected great things when I heard that Elizabeth Edwards would be working on health care issues as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

But I am even more excited to learn that she will headline a $40 million ad campaign promoting universal healthcare, which will be unveiled today.

The Washington Post has a story on the Healthcare for America Now campaign.

Healthcare for America Now coalition includes a who's who list of liberal organizations such as MoveOn.org, the housing group ACORN, Americans United for Change, the Campaign for America's Future, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, the Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, United Food and Commercial Workers, and National Women's Law Center.

Edwards As VP-An Indication of Progressive Strength

Again, Rosenberg has the definitive diary on why Obama should pick Edwards to be his VP (he's pessimistic it'll happen, where as I'm not).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Edwards Appeals for Money for the DCCC

The deadline for giving to the DCCC this quarter is today.

John Edwards sent the following message to DCCC supporters:

Dear Friend,

You and I can't leave Barack Obama standing alone as he drives change forward. Not for a single day. Not at the most exciting points in his history-making campaign. And certainly not at the more challenging ones. To deliver on the promise of bold change at the heart of these elections, we need to stand together.

That means doing everything in our power to win the White House- and helping to build the foundation for his win by electing strong Democratic candidates in districts nationwide. That's the winning combination that can create the bold, lasting change America needs.

There are only three days left until the last filing deadline before our Democratic Convention and the final leg of the 2008 campaign begins- the world is watching. Please show how committed we are to creating profound change in America by helping us to reach our $5 million dollar goal- we are only $192,348 away. House Democrats are so committed they have decided to match every gift of $35 or more, with 2 gifts of their own- tripling the impact of your contribution.

Stand up for change. Support the DCCC's United for Change Matching Campaign with a gift of $35, $50 or more.

Imagine a White House led by President Obama- and a strengthened Democratic majority led by Speaker Pelosi. That winning combination can deliver on health care, end a senseless war in Iraq, take on global warming, and challenge the deep poverty that rips at the heart and soul of our nation. That's the kind of bold change we're fighting for. And, with the critical mid-year financial reporting deadline fast approaching, that's the kind of bold change you can help create.

Stand up for change. Support the DCCC's United for Change Matching Campaign with a gift of $35, $50 or more.

If you act now- in advance of the vitally important June 30th deadline- your donation will be matched 2 to 1, tripling the impact of your generosity as we enter the critical four month period leading up to November 4th.

Let's show our strength. Let's unite behind the winning combination of Barack Obama's presidential candidacy and dozens of change-oriented Democrats running in crucial House races across America.

Let's drive change forward,
John Edwards

Monday, June 23, 2008

Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft on the Case for Edwards as VP

Why Edwards For VP-The Growing Logic

The Case For Edwards-Refuting the "Name Recognition" Canard

SUSA--New VP Polls Show Edwards Still Unchallenged

The Edwards Benchmark--Winning The Swing

The Logic of An Obama/Edwards Ticket--"Balancing" AS Reinforcing"

"Chris Bowers, Psychic Pundit! (Part I of The Deep Logic of Edwards For VP)"

Summing up all the above, the conclusion is inescapable-as much as humanly
possible to predict the future, Edwards is clearly strongly positioned to help
us win in November, and he is the only candidate who is publicly proven to do
so. This is a reflection of underlying logic reflected in points 1-3
above, as well as polling and endorsement data from 4 & 5. The only
coherent reason for rejecting Edwards would appear to be either hostility or
indifference towards populist economics-at the very least, and possibly an even
broader hostility toward progressive politics. But after three decades of
increasing income inequality, hostility or indifference towards populist
economics is simply delusional. The argument should be about the best ways to
implement populist economics in ways that synergize with other important policy
goals. And the way to ensure that such arguments take place is to have
Edwards as our Vice President.

Edwards Apparently on Obama's VP Shortlist


Obama Team Weighs Nunn, Edwards As Running Mates
KEN THOMAS June 20, 2008, 12:19 AM EST

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, said members of her caucus asked her to forward the names of Edwards and Nunn when she met Wednesday with Obama's vice presidential search team. The team, Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, indicated the two were on the list.

"We've been brainstorming in the Congressional Black Caucus. Former Senator
Sam Nunn's name has come up, as well as John Edwards' name has come up among our CBC members. I reported that to them and they had both of those names on their list," Kilpatrick said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Kilpatrick said she made several suggestions during the 45-minute meeting,
including former Vice President Al Gore, Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha and Ohio
Governor Ted Strickland. Gore endorsed Obama on Monday.

"I asked them what type of person the senator is looking for? And they said in general someone who could help him rebuild the country ... talking about change. How we reinvest in America, get people back to work and reinforce our education system and bring the jobs back," she said.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator who was John Kerry's running mate in 2004, could help Obama appeal to white, working-class voters who largely favored Clinton in the primary and will be a critical voting bloc in the general election.

If the "Change" message is going to be about turning around the country and appealing to bread and butter economic issues, then it would seem that Senator Edwards' message of populism would be a natural fit on this.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Edwards Has Not Ruled Out Accepting Any VP Offer from Obama

ABC News, June 15:
ABC News' Mary Bruce reports: 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate
John Edwards this morning left open the possibility of a second run for the
position. "I'd take anything he [Obama] asked me to think about seriously,"
Edwards explained in a "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos.

The former 2008 presidential candidate was quick to clarify, however, that
he is not actively pursuing the job. "But obviously this is something I've done
and it's not a job that I'm seeking."

As the veepstakes continue to heat up, Edwards said Obama should be left to
make an independent decision. "Senator Obama ... has earned the right to make
this decision for himself. I think he has enormous choices available to
him, really great choices available to him. And I think he'll go through
this process in a thoughtful, orderly way, and he'll decide who he wants to be
his running mate. And that's exactly how it should be done."

Obama Wants to Partner with Elizabeth on Healthcare

New York Daily News:

Barack Obama never won Elizabeth Edwards' endorsement, but the presumptive Democratic nominee pledged yesterday to work with her on health care - a not-so-subtle appeal to female voters and party unity.

"I'm going to be partnering up with Elizabeth Edwards," declared Obama, referring to health care, during a speech in Raleigh, North Carolina. "We're going to be figuring all this out."

Edwards, the wife of former presidential hopeful John Edwards, conspicuously did not endorse Obama last month when her husband did.

"I don't like his health care plan or his advertising on health care, which I think is misleading," Edwards, who has incurable cancer, told People magazine last month.

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said ... Obama "looks forward to seeking Elizabeth Edwards' advice" on health care policy.

Elizabeth Edwards is a potential bridge to the disappointed voters - many of them women - who backed Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful bid.

Obama-Edwards is the most electable ticket

JeremiahFP has some polling data and thoughts.

Edwards just works best with the one demographic that Obama needs help with that is least likely to come back into the Democratic camp -- white, working-class, swing voters in the Midwest, upper South, and border states. A combination of their messages work best and they would be a fresh, dynamic team

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama in Grand Rapids (and so do I)

I'll always feel like I backed the best candidate and the best potential president, but it didn't work out like we'd hoped. Still, we've got a great nominee (soon) and if Johnny trusts him and has his ear -- that's good enough for me. So, after remaining neutral since 30 January, I've signed up for the Obama campaign and even given a very small donation (more to show Team Obama that John has support than anything else, Obama has plenty of money and I'm putting most of mine into local candidates). If you want to sign up, then use this link so the Obama campaign knows that you came to them through Edwards:

I indeed was at the Obama-Edwards rally in Grand Rapids in the press area. I've got my take, the video, transcripts ect here: http://action.barackobama.com/edwardssupporter

Edwards Transcript with my comments: http://westmichiganrising.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=251

Video of Obama and Edwards from Obama campaign: http://westmichiganrising.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=254

Friday, May 9, 2008

Joe Trippi Wishes Edwards Had Stayed in the Race

Trippi explains his view on what could have been
I should have told him emphatically that he should stay in. My regret that I did
not do so-that I let John Edwards down-grows with every day that the fight
between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues.

The full article

Trippi says
"I had this feeling that if he stayed in the race he would win 300 or so
delegates by Super Tuesday and have maybe a one-in-five chance of forcing a
brokered convention. That there was a path ahead that would be extremely
painful, but could very well put him and his causes at the top of the Democratic

Trippi describes the "pain" in the campaign. A Pain of not winning a pain felt up and down the campaign staff and volunteers. He goes on
it's easier to see today that what seemed like a wistful hunch back in
January would actually be the right course. In the midst of a hectic and
draining campaign, it's tough to decide that question that most campaigns
eventually face: Do we fight on or drop out?

My mistake was not seeing more clearly then what is so obvious to me now:
He could have kept his agenda in the forefront by staying in the race and
forcing Obama and Clinton to focus on those issues because he, John Edwards,
would hold the key to the convention deadlock.

Hat tip to redstateresident at DailyKos.

Speculation on Who Edwards Voted For on MSNBC

Edwards pushes unity in the Democratic Party and keeps pushing through new organization Half-Intent to drastically lower the poverty rate in America.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bonior Endorses Obama

ABC News:

ABC News has learned that David Bonior, the campaign manager for the 2008 presidential race of Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, will endorse Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, today.
Draw your own conclusions about what this might mean for the Edwards.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Edwards on Colbert Report

John was on last night's Colbert Report -- I still can't figure out why he didn't win.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vote for Me on Saturday

I -- Phil Skaggs -- will be running as an Uncommitted Delegate to the Democratic National Convention this Saturday.

I hope that you will come out and vote for me (more later).

Third Congressional District Convention
Creston High School
1720 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505
Third District Website
Only MDP members may vote on Saturday

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Elizabeth on McCain's Healthcare Policy, etc

Diary at DailyKos.

Also, it seems very unlikely Edwards will endorse -- he should be ready to push for unity and a progressive agenda in August at the Convention:

In his first public speech since dropping out of the race two months ago, Edwards told the Young Democrats of North Carolina convention he has a "very high opinion" of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He said the country "would be blessed" to have either one of them as president.

The former North Carolina senator and vice-presidential nominee said both are better suited to advance his anti-poverty platform than Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain.

Pressed by reporters to detail any endorsement plans, Edwards declined to even say if he would endorse a candidate before North Carolina's May 6 primary. He said if he has anything to say, he'll let them know.
AP also has the story.

PS: Some guy in Madison speculates that Edwards may yet be the nominee. But folks at The New Republic think he may actually become the chancellor of the University of North Carolina.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Paypal Test

Acceptance Mark

Solution Graphics


Edwards on Leno Video

Edwards' appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Thursday night.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Come Over to West Michigan Rising

I have indeed moved into the local blogging field, and I hope all of you from West Michigan will follow to West Michigan Rising.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trippi: Don’t Expect an Edwards Endorsement

On a Washington Post chat today, former John Edwards campaign manager Joe Trippi seems to hint that Edwards will not be endorsing:
John Edwards led on every single issue and pushed both Clinton and Obama on everything from the war in Iraq to poverty. He has had an enormous impact on this election cycle and still will. I would caution that he may play a key role in bringing the party together by not endorsing -- that may not help him personally but it may be exactly what the party and the country needs

Joe added
I wish Edwards were still in the race as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

John Edwards' Next Act

I lifted this wholesale from Todd Beeton at MyDD

Post-campaign, John Edwards is concerning himself with an issue larger than a potential endorsement of one of his former rivals.

From The Politico:
John Edwards--former North Carolina senator, two-time presidential candidate and darling of the left--started a new chapter of his political narrative today.

He and his wife Elizabeth Edwards are joining an multi-million dollar anti-Iraq war campaign dubbed "Iraq/Recession." The couple will join a coalition that includes MoveOn.org, the Service Employees International Union and the Center for American Progress.

The Nation expands on the project's mission:
The multi-million-dollar Iraq/Recession Campaign, which launches Monday, seeks to remind voters, in the words of organizers, that, "As economic concerns weigh heavily on the minds of Americans, opposition to President Bush's reckless war in Iraq continues to grow. The massive cost of the war in Iraq - hurtling toward one trillion dollars - has increased demand for a strategy to bring U.S. troops home. The Iraq/Recession Campaign will highlight the majority of Americans who want to see leadership on investing in critical priorities at home and establishing real security throughout the world."
... The Nation's take on how Edwards is casting his post-primary, pre-general election role:
He has, however, begun to identify the role he may play in a fall Democratic campaign - not as a vice presidential running mate, which seems extremely unlikely, but as an outspoken advocate for a party platform and ticket that recognizes how an unnecessary war has diverted resources and energy away from the real work of building a functional and just domestic economy. Even if he has yet to pick a candidate, John Edwards has "endorsed" an approach to the 2008 race. And it's the right one, especially in a contest with John "100 Years of War" McCain.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Join the MDP and Vote at the March Conventions

I wrote this for a West Michigan audience, but it fits for anyone in Michigan (I've tried to modify it, but I don't have a lot of time). I believe Edwards folks are organizing in Macomb and Oakland (the 12th and 9th Districts). Anyone who wants to lead up a team and/or be a delegate in their District should email me at MichiganForEdwards AT gmail DOT come.

I’ve been wanting to thank y’all for your hard work during the 13 months of the campaign. But, I’ve waited since I’ve also wanted to make an announcement:

1. The Congressional District Convention

For us pro-Edwards Michiganders the campaign actually continues.

On Saturday, 29 March at 10:00 am, across Michigan, Democrats will meet in Congressional District Conventions to actually pick the people who will be Michigan’s delegates to the National Democratic Convention in Denver in August to nominate the next President.

In order to take part in this “second primary,” you have to be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party by Thursday, 28 February at 5:00 pm!

You can join the Michigan Democratic Party online with a credit card right now at http://www.michigandems.com//join.html or call (517) 371-5410.

You’ve got just about 30 hours from the writing of this email to join the MDP and thus be eligible to vote in the District Conventions. A basic membership is just $20 (students and retirees are just $10, in fact, actually, it’s possible to join without a financial requirement). I know many of us are upset about how the MDP leadership’s handling of the primary, but the way to reform the Party is from the inside and to make change, you’ve got to be a member. So, I urge you to join so you can vote in the March Conventions and change our party for the better.

The Second, Third and Sixth Congressional Districts (the West Michigan districts) each will elect 5 delegates to the National Convention, 3 each for Hillary Clinton and 2 each as Uncommitted. When MDP members show up at their District Convention they will be asked at registration to express a presidential preference. Current and former Edwards supporters should state that they “support Uncommitted.” You will then be placed with the Uncommitted Caucus (separate from those members who will preference Senator Clinton who will elect their own 3 delegates). The Uncommitted Caucus will likely be made up of Obama supporters, Edwards supporters and all those who remain undecided.

Once you enter the Convention room, look for some “John Edwards for President” signs and folks with stickers and buttons. We’ll hold a quick caucus of our own at about 9:30 am, select a slate of delegates (one or two) and then officially endorse that slate or slates of candidates. Then we’ll go into the Uncommitted caucus and vote with the other Uncommitted MDP members for the two delegates to Denver. There will probably also be a slate of Uncommitted-Obama delegate candidates and some joint deal may be reached with the Obama camp to run a united Obama-Edwards delegate slate, but that’ll be decided later or even at the conventions (that’s the outcome I’d like to see). Regardless of what you’ve decided after John’s exit from the race on 30 January – to remain pro-Edwards, to stay undecided, or to go over to Obama or Clinton – I hope that if you were for Edwards on 15 January, that you’ll caucus with Edwards supporters and vote for the candidates that we decide to back.

OK, so why vote for an Edwards supporter to be an Uncommitted Delegate to Denver even though John has dropped out?

Well, had Edwards been on the ballot – as he was in Florida – I think it’s fairly obvious that -- after the second place in Iowa, with a strong local campaign I would have run, and before the disappointments of Nevada and SC – he would have easily reached the 15% vote minimum to earn a delegates in most Michigan Congressional Districts (at least those outside the city of Detroit). So, one of those two Uncommitted delegates in the three West Michigan districts is really an “Edwards delegate” given even the minimal pro-Uncommitted campaign Edwards people ran. Even after John pulled out, the delegates he won in Iowa, NH and SC are still delegates committed to him and pledged to vote for him on the first ballot in Denver. So, even with John out, had his name been on the ballot, we would be meeting as a separate caucus to elect one delegate to Denver, rather than meeting jointly with other Uncommitteds. So, we current and former Edwards supporters should try to get a former or current Edwards supporter to be one of the delegates selected on 29 March at the District Conventions in West Michigan (the Second, Third and Sixth Districts). We should do this because it really is essentially our delegate and because those who worked hard for Senator Edwards deserve to be considered as delegates. So, there seem to be two theories on what an Edwards delegate would do in Denver (if he or she is actually seated):

* Theory/Platform 1: The one of two Uncommitted delegates in the Districts that is an Edwards delegate would vote for Edwards on the first ballot, but would promise to then vote for Obama on subsequent ballots since we can be sure that the Uncommitted votes in Michigan were not for Clinton since she was on the ballot. In that sense, we’d be electing a “Edwards then Obama Uncommitted delegate.”
* Theory/Platform 2: The one of two Uncommitted delegates in the Districts that is an Edwards delegate would vote for Edwards and then take the advice of John Edwards on what to do next so as to further the power of Senator Edwards at the Convention, so that he can influence the Party Platform and the nominee’s agenda in a progressive-populist and pro-union direction and, yes, so that JRE would be promised a role in a future Democratic Administration. This would be an “Edwards Uncommitted delegate.”

I continue to be in contact with the folks who organized Edwards people in Michigan for Edwards – led by Ed Bruley, the former chief of staff for David Bonior. We’ll be listening hard to their advice and so our thoughts may change – but that doesn’t matter for today, what we ask you to do today is join the MDP so you can vote at your 29 March convention.

The Third Congressional District Convention
Saturday, March 29
Registration Begins at 9:00 am (you should be registered by 9:30 am)
Convention Begins at 10:00 am

Creston High School
1720 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

5 Delegates: 3 Clinton, 2 Uncommitted (and 1 Alternate).
Primary Results:
Clinton: 52% (14,957 votes)
Uncommitted: 44% (12,732 votes)

We know of at least two Edwards supporters running for National Convention Delegates.
* Joe Marckini: Joe is running as an Edwards supporter who will vote for Edwards on the first ballot and then follow John’s lead on any subsequent votes – an “Edwards Uncommitted delegate.” Joe really wants to be a delegate, and I’m more than happy to make him our #1 prime candidate. Joe is a member of the Kent County DP Exec Committee, a School Board member in Cedar Springs, and was a candidate for State Representative (District 73) in 2006.
* Myself (Phil Skaggs): Well, I only just started getting involved in local campaigns and the Kent County Party, but played, I think I can say, the leading role in the Edwards campaign in West Michigan. We were the most active campaign in the area and I think with all humility I could make an argument that I deserve to go. I’m from East Grand Rapids. I’d be running as an “Edwards then Obama Uncommitted delegate.” I am willing to go to Denver, but would be willing to step aside for someone who does want to go as some kind of Edwards delegate, has a longer history of local involvement and meets some of the affirmative action characteristics.

Does anyone else wish to also run for a National Delegate spot in the Third District? The deadline for filling out the form to be a candidate is tomorrow, so you’d need to fill out the short form and mail it overnight to the MDP in Lansing. The form and information are here: http://files.9thdistrictdems.org/2008DeclarationOfCandidacyForDelegate.pdf
Please, let me know if you file to run as a candidate and we can coordinate. We are more likely to be successful if we’re organized.

Joe and I are both non-minority, male candidates from Kent County. It would be nice to have the possibility of running a delegate candidate who is female, minority, disabled, gay, or from Ionia or Barry county (there is affirmative action to make the Michigan delegation look like the population of Michigan).

The Second Congressional District Convention
Saturday, March 29
Registration Begins at 9:00 am (you should be registered by 9:30 am)
Convention Begins at 10:00 am

West Shore Community College
3000 Stiles Rd., Scottville (near Luddington)

5 Delegates: 3 Clinton, 2 Uncommitted (and 1 Alternate).
Primary Results:
Clinton: 59% (16,427 votes)
Uncommitted: 37% (10,174 votes)

Does anyone wish to run for a National Delegate spot in the Second District? The deadline for filling out the form to be a candidate is tomorrow, so you’d need to fill out the short form and mail it overnight to the MDP in Lansing within the next few hours. The form and information are here: http://files.9thdistrictdems.org/2008DeclarationOfCandidacyForDelegate.pdf
Please, let me know if you file to run as a candidate and we can coordinate.

For more information, including information on the Sixth District Convention: http://www.westmichiganrising.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=14

FYI: Since Edwards suspended his campaign, I’ve remained neutral. I can see the pros and cons of Obama and Clinton and don’t see one as significantly better than the other.

Please pass this along to all Edwards supporters you know (unfortunately the campaign has shut down the OneCorps site, so I can’t send this to everyone).

Thanks again and I hope everyone participates in their Congressional District Conventions.

Remember: Join the MDP TODAY so you can Vote at District Conventions: