The Platform John Edwards Built
Posted on Feb 1, 2008
Paul Krugman argues in Friday’s New York Times that if the Democrats win in 2008, it will be because of their big ideas, and for that, Krugman writes, “they’ll have Mr. Edwards to thank.” He’s got a point. Does anyone remember that John Edwards was the first one out of the gate with a bold health care plan that bears a striking resemblance to the bold health care plans that followed?
Krugman doesn’t mention that some of Edwards’ better ideas came after he voted the other way. He was the strongest anti-war candidate, although he voted to authorize the Iraq war. He was the strongest on poverty, although he voted in 2000 in favor of a harsh bankruptcy bill that Bill Clinton ultimately vetoed.
But Edwards apologized for those mistakes, and if experience brought him to more enlightened positions that, in turn, moved his opponents to take a more enlightened view, then we are grateful.
New York Times:
At the beginning of 2007, it seemed likely that the Democratic nominee would run a cautious campaign, without strong, distinctive policy ideas. That, after all, is what John Kerry did in 2004.
If 2008 is different, it will be largely thanks to Mr. Edwards. He made a habit of introducing bold policy proposals—and they were met with such enthusiasm among Democrats that his rivals were more or less forced to follow suit.
It’s hard, in particular, to overstate the importance of the Edwards health care plan, introduced in February.