|In Brief - Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC School of Law, Feb. 2005-Dec. 28, 2006. Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004. Candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 1998; retired in 2004. Successful trial lawyer. J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law (Chapel Hill), 1977 and undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, 1974. Born June 10, 1953 in Seneca, SC. [Timeline].|
Following the 2004 campaign Sen. John Edwards made fighting poverty the overarching theme of his efforts. He moved back to North Carolina and founded the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC School of Law (>). After Hurricane Katrina thrust the issue of poverty to the fore, Edwards proposed a New America Initiative, modeled after FDR's Works Progress Administration. According to an online petition he started, "[O]ur government would provide the victims of this disaster with the skills, materials, and planning they need to resurrect and revitalize their region, and they would in turn have good-paying jobs and the pride of knowing that their futures are in their own hands." Edwards' One America Committee (leadership PAC) worked with other groups to promote minimum wage ballot initiatives in a number of states in 2006. His travels to the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire typically included a mix of political events and private meetings with people who are struggling with poverty. Edwards also served as honorary chair of the Center for Promise and Opportunity which launched "Opportunity Rocks" with a Oct. 17-28, 2005 college tour; participating college students pledged to do 20 hours of community service per semester.
Building for 2008
Edwards has strengthened his ties with several constituencies including labor, the online community, and activists in key states. He adjusted his position on the Iraq War, acknowledging in a November 13, 2005 op-ed in the Washington Post that, "It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002." Frequently he mentioned his change of views on Iraq in his speeches. Edwards became a leading champion of one of labor's foremost causes, the effort to raise the minimum wage, and has participated in a number of high profile events as well as private meetings with labor leaders and activists. In February 2006 he, actor Danny Glover, and UNITE HERE Presidents Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm went on a four-city tour "Hotel Workers Rising" campaign. In May 2006 he joined 1199 SEIU President Dennis Rivera and home health aides in New York in their call for a living wage and health benefits. In December 2006 the AFL-CIO awarded Edwards with its Paul Wellstone Award. Edwards' One America Committee had probably the most sophisticated and deep websites of any prospective '08 candidate. Edwards also focused on the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire; in fact, excluding Sen. Kerry's thank you visits to the two states in December 2004, he was the first Democratic prospect to venture into these early states and during the pre-campaign period he made more visits and spent more time in Iowa than any of the Democratic prospects and was second to Sen. Biden in New Hampshire.
In addition the Edwards family has several books out. In September 2006 wife Elizabeth came out with Saving Graces, which includes an account of her battle with breast cancer. Edwards followed in November with Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives, an edited collection of ordinary and famous Americans recollections of their childhood homes.
Edwards did not neglect the foreign policy arena. In the latter part of 2006, for example, he visited Uganda as part of an international delegation sponsored by the International Rescue Committee and he visited China (he spoke on that visit in a speech on "The Future of US-China Relations" (>) at the Asia Society in New York on October 31). On April 30 he delivered the closing keynote address at the inaugural "Brussels Forum: Transatlantic Challenges in a Global Era" in Brussels, Belgium. In 2005 Edwards co-chaired, with former congressman and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, the Council on Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force on Russian-American Relations, which held its first meeting on May 31 and released its report "Russia's Wrong Direction: What the United States Can and Should Do" (>) in March 2006. In late May 2005 he visited London, delivering a speech "Towards a New Partnership: America, Europe and the New World" at the London School of Economics on May 25 and meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair. Further, as Business Week reported in Oct. 2005, Edwards signed on as a senior advisor to the Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based "global alternative investment and asset management firm."
A Strong Track
In the two years following the 2004 campaign former Sen. John Edwards distinguished himself with his focus on fighting poverty and his outreach to organized labor. He is a polished and practiced campaigner, and is seen as a top tier contender for the Democratic nomination, a notch below potential stars Obama and Clinton. A major knock against him is that his presence on the 2004 ticket did not help Kerry carry the Tar Heel state or any other Southern state. Edwards has since reconnected to North Carolina, having moved back following the 2004 campaign.
Suspending his campaign, New Orleans, LA, Jan. 30, 2008. [remarks prov. by campaign]
DNC Winter Meeting, Washington, DC, Feb. 2, 2007. [transcript]
Announcement tour, Portsmouth, NH, Dec. 29, 2006. [transcript]
Announcing his candidacy, New Orleans, LA, Dec. 28, 2006. [transcript]
Fundraiser for Dallas County Democrats, Waukee, IA, Aug. 11, 2006. [transcript]
100 Club Dinner, Manchester, NH, Feb. 5, 2005. [partial transcript/prepared remarks]
Nov. 30, 2007 - DNC Fall Meeting in Vienna, VA.
Sept. 27, 2007 - Presidential Dialogue sponsored by MySpace and MTV, at UNH in Durham, NH.
Sept. 17, 2007 - SEIU Member Political Action Conference.
June 19, 2007 - Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" Conference.
June 19, 2007 - AFSCME Democratic Presidential Forum.
June 2, 2007 - Campaign manager David Bonior speaking at the NHDP Convention in Concord, NH.
May 16, 2007 - IAM meeting.
March 28, 2007 - Building and Construction Trades Department Presidential Forum.
March 14, 2007 - IAFF Bipartisan Presidential Forum.
Feb. 25, 2007 - After an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation."
Feb. 2, 2007 - DNC Winter Meeting.
Dec. 8, 2006 - Receives the Paul Wellstone Award from the AFL-CIO.
Nov. 15, 2006 - Discusses his new book "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives" and signs copies.
Aug. 11-12, 2006 - Fundraiser for Dallas County Democrats at Prairieview Middle School gym in Waukee, IA and fundraiser for state House candidate John Calhoun at the home of Judy Anderson and Tom Leffler in Johnston, IA.
July 7, 2006 - 2nd Annual Warren County Bar-B-Q at Memorial Park in Indianola, IA. [Joshua and Anna Brown]
June 22, 2006 - Poverty speech at the National Press Club.
May 16, 2006 - Joins former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp launch a partnership to encourage corporations to offer automatic 401(k) and IRA options, at the Costco in Arlington, VA.
April 8, 2006 - Campaign kick-off for Iowa House candidate Andrew Wenthe in Oelwein, IA. [Andrew Wenthe]
April 6, 2006 - Rallies for the Fair Minimum Wage Act with Sen. Edward Kennedy and citizens.
Feb. 25, 2006 - In Iowa City [David Redlawsk], Mount Pleasant [Henry County Democrats], and West Burlington, IA. [Des Moines County Democrats].
Sept. 18, 2005 - 28th Annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, IA. [Nick Lucy]
July 31, 2005 - "Politics and Pie" event sponsored by Cheshire County Democrats in Swanzey, NH. [Nat Stout]
June 2, 2005 - Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" conference.
offices: IA, 2
Cash on Hand/Debts
(Apr. 1-Apr. 30)
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|Year End 2007
(Oct. 1-Dec. 31)
|3rd Q 2007
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|2nd Q 2007 1
1st Q 2007 1
(Jan. 1-Mar. 31)
Readings and Articles
Edwards. May 2009. RESILIENCE: Reflections on the
Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities. New York: Broadway
Books [Random House].
"Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007... While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges."
Marion Crain and Arne L. Kalleberg, eds. ENDING POVERTY IN
How to Restore the American Dream. New York: The
"Published in conjunction with one of the country’s leading anti-poverty centers, Ending Poverty in America brings together some of America’s most respected social scientists, including William Julius Wilson, Katherine S. Newman, and Richard B. Freeman, alongside journalists, neighborhood organizers, and business leaders. The voices heard here are both liberal and conservative, and tackle hot-button issues such as job creation, schools, housing, and family-friendly social policy."
John Edwards, ed. November 2006. HOME: The Blueprints of Our Lives. New York: Collins [part of HarperCollins Publishers].
"Most of us can trace the shape of our lives back to a physical place—a childhood home that played an enormous role in defining how we see ourselves and how we choose to make our way in the world. In HOME, John Edwards has collected nearly sixty moving stories that reflect how these places, in many ways, are the blueprints of our lives. HOME features uplifting, touching, and engaging narratives from all kinds of people across the country—everyday Americans with deeply inspiring stories share the pages with well-known figures from entertainment and religion, from politics and sports." [initial working title wasBLUEPRINTS: The Architecture of Our Lives, described as a photo essay that will "tell the story of America’s common values and American’s common dreams through pictures of the childhood homes of a diverse and notable group of people, accompanied by narratives told by those individuals."]
September 2006. SAVING GRACES. New York: Broadway
Books [part of Random House].
"During the 2004 presidential campaign, Elizabeth Edwards gained attention and admiration for her smart, likable, and down-to-earth personality. These qualities shine forth in SAVING GRACES, a memoir of the trials, triumphs, and tragedies Edwards experienced, and the various communities that celebrated her joys and lent her steady strength and quiet hope in darker times."
John Edwards with John Auchard. December 1, 2003. FOUR
New York: Simon & Schuster.
"FOUR TRIALS provides an electrifying account of four of his cases as it tells the story of the courageous and unmistakably decent people Edwards was privileged to represent in times of tragedy, great loss, and often great joy. And in a deeply moving account, FOUR TRIALS also speaks of the tragedies and joys that Senator Edwards has known in his own life -- and how today life and justice are more precious to him than ever."
On the Web
John Edwards for President, Inc.
(Jan. 3, 2006 grab)
(Dec. 5, 2006 grab)
|(March 31, 2006 grab)||(Nov. 15, 2005 grab)||(July 5, 2005 grab)|
for Promise and Opportunity
(March 31, 2006 grab)
|Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action||