Evidently one of John Edwards’ volunteers made the mistake of dropping the former senator’s name when trying to get a PlayStation 3 for the Edwards’ kids on the same day that Edwards was criticizing Wal-Mart for their treatment of employees. Edwards said the volunteer was not acting on behalf of him or his family.
I don’t question Edwards’ story. I just think that it is telling that a volunteer in his office would not realize that Wal-Mart, a store that I and everyone I know visits frequently, is a big Edwards boogeyman. Maybe that volunteer still lives in the real world. I just don’t see how that “son of a millworker” schick is going to play the second time around. Message to John Edwards — most of those who identify with you as a son of a millworker shop at Wal-Mart. I think that most of those voters will find the following story a bit bizarre.
Edwards, the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate in 2004, spoke Wednesday to supporters of union-backed WakeUpWalMart.com on a conference call launching the group’s holiday season campaign to pressure Wal-Mart for better labor standards.
In the call, he repeated a story about his son Jack disapproving of a classmate buying sneakers at Wal-Mart.
“If a 6-year-old can figure it out, America can definitely figure this out,” Edwards said.
Sorry, but I think that if your six year old is making other six year olds feel bad about buying things from Wal-Mart then there are some things that Edwards has not yet figured out.
Since I have only been at Wizbang since May and Edwards has not really been in the news a lot since then, in the spirit of full disclosure, here is a short rundown of my brief Edwards connection. I used to work for a lawyer who is a friend of John Edwards and Elizabeth Anania and I worked as a paralegal on a case in which Elizabeth represented one of the parties in a complex litigation. I only met her a couple of times, just to sign documents and such, but I vividly recall when the Edwards’ son Wade was killed in a car accident and how upset my boss and everyone who knew them was. Elizabeth quit practicing law as a result and as far as I know she never returned to it. I praised the Edwards on several occasions during the 2004 election for honoring their son’s life while refusing to use his death for political purposes. Especially since my mom is a breast cancer survivor, I also admire the way Elizabeth fought against the disease and is using her experience to raise awareness and to help others.
Having said all that though, I think John Edwards would make a terrible President. Not only is he too liberal, but he is also too much a media creation for me to take seriously. I think the lightweight thing is going to be a real obstacle for him. I will never forget his debate performance against Dick Cheney and his ignorance of the DOMA in what I think was a primary debate. And then there is the Christopher Reeve comment, and of course, there is this.
Update: Ken Shepherd at Newsbusters links to a poll providing evidence for what my gut told me, that Wal-Mart bashing doesn’t go over so well with voters.
Update II: James Taranto came up with an angle I can’t believe I didn’t think of pointing out that multimillionaire Edwards is criticizing Wal-Mart for their labor practices, yet he is using unpaid child labor.