closing the loop with robert

Over the past several months, I’ve been posting letters here from an Edwards supporter by the name of Robert. In the days right before the Iowa primary, I think more posts on this site were written by him than by me. Unlike me, he’d put his money where his mouth was, and gone to Iowa to work for Edwards, and I found his insight from the trenches to be incredibly valuable… Anyway, he’s back in Michigan now. I haven’t talked with him in several weeks, but he just left the following comment in an earlier Edwards-related thread, and I thought that I’d move it up here to the front page. I think it makes a makes a fitting final comment on the Edwards campaign.

The truth with the Edwards campaign is that we knew we needed to win Iowa to have any real chance at anything later. It was almost an absolute necessity to have that “spark” to start something for Edwards nationwide. The proximity of the Chicago machine was the single reason we were beat there in Iowa. (I’ll argue that point if anyone is missing my obnoxious combative attitude.) However, even with a win there, our challenges beyond that would have been huge. Iowa would have just gotten our foot in the door.

I must admit, I fully expected the Obama “boom” to have gone bust long before now. He and his supporters deserve credit and encouragement. Their campaign has really been doing something incredible, which I saw first hand in Iowa. I think I owe Cousins Vinyl a sincere apology for the rotten way I dismissed Obama early on, citing similarities I saw in his campaign to that of Dean’s in 2004, and the racism which I feel is still frightfully strong in our country. I’ll admit now that Obama actually shows indications of being able to transcend a lot that nonsense.

From the beginning of this thing I was an Edwards fan all the way. Now that he is out, I’ll say again that I am very happy with the field of candidates on the Democratic side (and not completely disgusted with one or two on the Republican side).

All I am concerned about is that we have an actual President once again, and not just some bad speech reading goon who serves only as a front man for the most self-serving and destructive interests in our country. We’ve had that for the past several years now and look at the incredible damage it’s done. I think even some of the assholes that pulled it off have to be a little bothered by where they’ve put us. I’m bracing myself for a next phase in their engineered disaster. But at the same time I’d like to hold out hope that our country might go through a period of renewed cooperation, hope and optimism.

I think my motto has always been “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.

Thank you, Robert.

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5 Comments

  1. Mark H.
    Posted February 2, 2008 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks, Robert, for these many fine reports on iowa and your passionate insight into the deeply flawed, not so democratic, democratic system of this land.

  2. Posted February 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Robert (and Mark) – I learned a lot about Edwards through you guys, and I found out he was a guy that was willing to stand up against the corrupt mix of big corporate money and politics. I really think that he was meant to serve the country in a different role than president. I just finished watching Sicko, so the importance and impact of a guy like Edwards hits home even more now. But if Edwards still wants to fight, he’ll realize that there’s still a lot to be gained and won, and his impact is far from over. Change takes a while, but he definitely started some momentum.

    Robert, I’m flattered by your apology, but you know there’s no need! I appreciated our conversation a while back and it really made me think. And it’s an unbelievable thing that you would go to Iowa and fight for something you feel so passionately about. It’s really admirable and inspirational. Personally, what I feel strongest about fighting for is educational reform – the fact that American kids are basically born into a class system in the public schools they attend (Ann Arbor versus Detroit for example). I know Edwards talks about poverty, and I think it all starts with schools (which I won’t get into further right now).

    The point is you stood up for a worthy cause, and fought for something you believed in, which means you have a Lion’s heart.

  3. Jim
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Edwards supporters can take comfort in Krugman’s analysis of the Edwards campaign’s accomplishments:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/opinion/01krugman.html?scp=3&sq=krugman&st=nyt

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    While I’m tempted to try to pretend to stir Robert’s obnoxious, combative, attitude, which I miss, I’ll simply say thanks.

    It was nice to have a candidate, even for a moment, that I cared about, and it was made all the sweeter by Robert’s posts from the front. So, again, thanks Robert.

  5. mark
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Here’s how that Krugman piece that Jim links to starts off.

    ..But Mr. Edwards, far more than is usual in modern politics, ran a campaign based on ideas. And even as his personal quest for the White House faltered, his ideas triumphed: both candidates left standing are, to a large extent, running on the platform Mr. Edwards built.

    Thanks for the link, Jim.

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