This was supposed to be John Edwards’ chance to shine, with 17,000 union members eager to be impressed, especially by a presidential candidate who has been actively courting labor support ever since his failed vice presidential run in 2004.
But Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used the AFL-CIO’s Democratic presidential forum Tuesday night at Soldier Field to fend off their primary rivals hoping to move up in the polls, impress organized labor and maybe land an early primary endorsement.
The right to petition Congress for the redress of grievance is enshrined in the Constitution, but those who earn their living by exercising that right on behalf of others — lobbyists — are being increasingly vilified.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has made a campaign issue of the “undue influence” of lobbyists in Washington, the implication being that they also have too much influence on rivals like Sen. Hillary Clinton.
John Edwards boasts the he have never taken a contribution from a lobbyist and called on the other candidates to do likewise.
The Interstate I-35W bridge has collapsed in Minneapolis, and something else ought to collapse with it: the incessant, in-your-face, wholly indefensible ballyhoo that mass transit is America’s transportation salvation and therefore deserving of great, huge gobs of whatever public funding is available.