Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards — the Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee — was in Des Moines over the noon hour, speaking to the Iowa Coalition on Housing and the Homeless. Edwards has made poverty his cause since the election and he established a center at a university to study the issue. “All of us together, we have to convince the rest of the country to pay attention,” Edwards said. Edwards said it’s hard to be heard, though, “over the verdict in the Michael Jackson case.” But Edwards said if the voices are heard, it will create a “symphony” that will “stir the soul” and “end the injustice that is poverty in America today.” After his speech, Edwards told reporters he does not expect “something magical” to occur and prompt an immediate public response. “This is something that will take time…and I have the patience and the long-term energy to do what needs to be done,” Edwards said. He uses words like serious, indepth and personal to describe the solutions. “Then, you have to convince people that the people we’re trying to help want to help themselves and that they’ll be responsible and they’re willing to work because the American people are not going to be interested in helping somebody who is not willing to help themselves,” Edwards said. Edwards met privately this afternoon with union workers at the Maytag plant in Newton. He’ll headline an event later today (Tuesday) to help raise money for Democrats who will run for the Iowa Senate in 2006.