|December 29, 2006--After launching his campaign in New Orleans,
LA on December 28, former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) held a town hall meeting
in Des Moines, Iowa. His next stop was this town hall meeting atLittle
Harbor Elementary School in Portsmouth, NH where he was greeted by an overflow
crowd. Standing on a folding chair on the lawn outside the building,
Edwards made impromptu remarks to hundreds of people who could not get
in. Inside he spoke for about 18 minutes (transcript)
and then answered questions.
In his speech, Edwards stated,
I don't want to see us stay back, wait for the primary, wait
for the election, and hope that the next person that gets elected is going
to solve our problems, because I don't think it's realistic and I don't
think it's going to happen. I think instead what we should do, all
of us, not just me, is we should take responsibility; we should take action.
Not later. Now. We should take ownership of our own country.
One way in which Edwards is encouraging citizens to take action is a project
called OneCorps, which he launched earlier this year. At OneCorps
chapters around the country members are doing community organizing and
Edwards addressed the ongoing war Iraq, rejecting what he called "the
McCain doctrine, surging thousands of more American troops into Iraq."
More broadly, he emphasized the need to re-establish America's leadership
and moral authority in the world, pointing to areas such as genocide in
Darfur and global warming. Edwards urged the audience to join him
in fighting poverty. "I don't think it's okay that we have 37 million
people who wake up in poverty every day in America," he stated. "Not
in the richest nation on the planet." (more)