Former North Carolina Senator and potential 2008 presidential hopeful John Edwards made a stop in Clear Lake last night. Edwards was the main draw for the “Democrat Wing-Ding” sponsored by the Cerro Gordo, Hancock, and Winnebago County Democrats.
Edwards told the crowd Democrats need to unite like never before and provide leadership for the country. “We used to be the party of big ideas. There are a lot of people in this room (who) remember that. It is time for our party to be strong, to be courageous, to show some vision for where America needs to go and to once again be the party of big ideas,” Edwards said. “This is not just important for the Democratic Party. Lord knows I love the Democratic Party, but I love my country more and this country needs us so badly. It needs our leadership and our strength.”
Edwards cautioned against a reliance on polls and focus groups to determine the party’s message. “I don’t need a poll to tell me what I’m supposed to say,” Edwards said. “I know what I believe. I know what our party is supposed to stand for.” Edwards spoke to a crowd of about three-hundred and briefly mentioned the terror plot to blow up airliners bound for the U.S. from Britain.
But most of Edwards’ 22-minute speech was dedicated to domestic issues, like his push to put poverty at the top of the political agenda. “Millions of our own people wake up in the richest nation on face of the planet worried about feeding and clothing their children,” Edwards said. “We all have a collective responsibility to do something about it.” Edwards was the first of two potential presidential candidates to stop in Clear Lake this week. New York Governor George Pataki will make a pair of stops at fundraisers in Clear Lake on Saturday.