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The Radical Dives Into the Fray

January 16, 2008, 2:20 am

I know this is unfashionable, but have I told you that John Edwards is my favorite candidate?

No, no. I am not just getting pissy about the identity politics thing. And yes, I will work for, vote for, the Democratic nominee whatever happens. But I give money to John Edwards. Tonight my friend Linda and I went to a Shoreline event intended to get us all going for the February 5 primary, when Connecticut’s puny 23 votes will be added to someone’s column. It was a star-studded event as Shoreline political shindigs go, but what really got to me is that after primaries in two *very white* states, with even fewer votes than Connecticut, this town has bought the Hillary-Barack showdown hook, line and sinker and marginalized Edwards.

So your Radical cruised the room, talking to the organizers for each campaign, asking the question: “If your candidate wants our votes in Shoreline, where 75% of us live below the poverty line, why don’t they come to Shoreline and speak to us, like John Edwards did?” And this is what I learned:

1. The Clinton organizer said, “Listen, I’ve been trying to get Hillary to Shoreline. She has lots of great connections here. But it’s a hard fact that if I can’t guarantee her $250K, she’s not coming.” Which means it’s not about the votes, its about the votes money can buy.

2. The Obama rep: “Connecticut’s a small state.” Which means he doesn’t actually give a crap about our votes, and the Obama campaign knows that we will vote Demo whomever the candidate is, so why bother to talk to us?

On the other hand, a quick stop at Teenie airport as you are zipping between a key Southern state and New Hampshire would have taken what — two hours?

The truth is, they come here — to Fairfield County and to West Hartford, to be exact — to pick up checks and leave. Connecticut has historically been the wealthiest state in the Union, and also has had the greatest disparity between rich and poor. And who are those people? Hedge fund managers, and executives for the arms industry — Colt, UTI, Electric Boat. You name it, we’ll build the machine that will kill it. All those people who are giving you a bloated military budget that is eating the money we could be putting into schools and health care. That is who Barack Obama and HIllary Clinton will owe — them and Big Pharma, agribusiness, and every other stinking capitalist lobbying group. And frankly, when they agreed today to stop talking about race, I was not reassured. Baby, we need to talk about race in this country — just not their race(s).

OK, the other thing I learned — and this is unverified — is that both the Hillary and the Barack phone bankers are raising the question of John Edwards’ depression after his son’s accidental death, and asking how he will cope if Elizabeth dies.

So if you want to phone bank for John Edwards from your own home, go to this link and try. Because he is not taking money from the big corporations. Because of all the candidates, he has actually come to Shoreline and talked to us about what it means to live in a town where people are really, really poor. And because he is not taking money from the people who have taken our money.

Thank you. This has been a public service announcement from Planet Radical, and I have endorsed this message.

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