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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Trial Lawyer Fights For The Poor In America

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There is a man traveling the nation trying to fight poverty. He is a former civil trial lawyer. His name is John Edwards. Yes, the same John Edwards who ran for Vice President with Senator John Kerry. We learn about his efforts and his legitimate interest in his crusade against poverty in America from The Agenda Gap.
Keep it up, John. Keep it up until our leadership hears and responds.

There is a man traveling the nation trying to fight poverty. I am proud to say that he is a former civil trial lawyer. His name is John Edwards. Yes, the same John Edwards who ran for Vice President with Senator John Kerry. We learn about his efforts and his legitimate interest in his crusade against poverty in America from The Agenda Gap.
Keep it up, John. Keep it up until our leadership hears and responds.

For the past week former Senator and Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards has traveled across the country to a variety of colleges and universities touting his newest venture to fight poverty. Opportunity Rocks, which is aimed directly at college students, calls on individuals to become involved in communities and organizations in order to raise awareness of and combat poverty in America….

No reasonable person can criticize Edwards for what he is doing. Indeed, I deeply admire Edwards for speaking about a subject so many politicians and pundits have largely ignored and for turning his words into actions – establishing community service projects and organizations. However, my only question is, simply, why? I find it hard to believe that Edwards is insincere about his poverty message, but I also find it hard to believe that someone like Edwards has the credibility, legitimacy, and, shall I say, innocence to lead such a movement. For nearly 15 years Edwards amassed a fortune as a trial lawyer arguing in large personal injury lawsuits….

I am skeptical but at the same time I really do embrace Edwards and his anti-poverty cause. I only hope that if Edwards does run for President again (which I think is a virtual certainty) he is able to place poverty into mainstream political discourse, where it rightfully belongs.

A comment to the initial posting is truly illuminating of the character and background of John Edwards.

I just wanted to point out that even before Edwards got into politics… he was a board member of a faith-based organization called the Urban Ministries, which helped the homeless in North Carolina.

Secondly, he opened a free after-school learning center where students could go work after school in Raleigh.

Third, Edwards did mention this repeatedly in his “Two Americas” speech… and a friend of mine, who drove Edwards around for a day during his opportunity rocks tour in New Haven… told me that Edwards was talking to her about how the message of poverty lost its priority in 04 in the general election and he seemed a little bitter about that. (well, kerry, set the priorities for the message to be vocalized)

Lastly, I for one am all supportive of Edwards’ ambition and his poverty tour… I think he knows this as well as anyone else, that if real change has to be initiated in this country, it has to be done from the top. I think Edwards’ ambition and his concern for poverty are parasitic… there is no way the guy doesn’t genuinely wants to do something about it, at the same time he is savvy (no, he is not innocent, which is a prescription to nothing in today’s age) enough to know that for him to do something, he needs to attain the power to do that.

I think to have a person fight poverty, who lacks the ambition to do the most he can, would be fruitless. I do have trust in Edwards that he will do something about the issue if and when he becomes President. However, what is to be noticed is that he isn’t just sitting on his hands waiting for things to happen.

He is doing productive things… for example, he has launched a pilot program in NC that is based on his proposal of “college for everyone” during the presidential primaries. He has hooked up with a high school in the poorest NC county and the seniors there have been promised that if they work/do community service for 10 hours a week (in college), do college prep work in HS, and stay out of trouble.. .their tuition and books for the first year will be all paid. The idea behind the program is to see if, once introduced to the college atmosphere, the students actually stay beyond the first year on their own and if it is successful, he says he plans to expand it to other high schools in NC. I got a chance to talk to some of these seniors, and most of them described this program as a “blessing,” and their parents looked a lot happier and relieved.

So, whatever his ultimate motive, Edwards is doing the right things where they count the most (I mean no national news channel/newspaper covered this program by Edwards)… and if he believes that to make a nationwide impact to reduce poverty, he has to run for the highest office in the land… then I say, you go!

I don’t think edwards has the innocence (which I really don’t want in a commander-in-chief anyway), but I would say he has the credibility that assures me that he will put into place actual reform if he is in the white house. Of couse, there is always the possibility of error…

But, then which other politician is even talking about poverty, sincere or not? Edwards needs points on that alone.