November 10th, 2007
11:01 AM ET
7 years ago

Edwards faces mix of boos, cheers at Mellencamp concert

John Edwards and John Mellencamp on stage Friday night in Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards took the stage Friday night–John Mellencamp's stage that is. But when he did, the reaction certainly wasn't all positive.

Mellencamp introduced the former senator from North Carolina about 30 minutes into his concert in Des Moines during the song "Small Town," which was a staple of Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign.

"I've got a friend that I've had for about the last seven or eight years," Mellencamp said, "and this guy's from a small town and just so happens to be running for president of the United States. Is John back there? Come on up here."

"Ladies and gentlemen," Mellencamp continued, "John Edwards has come to see the show!"

Edwards' appearance was met with a significant number of booes, as well as cheers.

Mellencamp gestured for Edwards to say a few words, at which point Edwards shrugged as if to say 'why not?'

"The good news is," Edwards began, "I've been in your small towns, born and raised in a small town. I've been all over your state in small towns."

"And you didn't come to listen to me," Edwards continued, "so I'm not singing. Thank you for being here. Have a wonderful night. Thank you all very much."

With that, he bent over to shake a few hands and then stood on stage in the dark listening to Mellencamp finish the song for another minute or two before heading out.

The performance was not originally on Edwards' public schedule Friday, but the campaign alerted certain members of the media via phone calls late in the day.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Iowa • John Edwards
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. B. D.

    I really hate to be the nitpicking moron in the room, but when did the plural of "boo" pick up an "e"? You been drinkin' with Dan Quayle? I'm sorry, man. It's just that one of your neighbors in the blogosphere (TheCaucus) included a note phrase about blowing "threw" money.

    I know it's a little thing, but this how the dictionary gets messy.

    Of course, I dont know what to tell you otherwise. Edwards is my preferred candidate, but even for me this is minutiae. Is the long campaign season stretching you guys for stories to cover?

    But thank you for driving yourself nuts for us.

    November 10, 2007 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  2. John

    Gosh, was he wearing his Carhartt barn coat, like that other poseur, John Kerry always does?

    November 10, 2007 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  3. Karen,ny

    As much as I like John Cougar Mellancamp's music, who was raised in a small town in Indiana, I certainly wouldn't vote for John McCain. McCain is a character and we wouln't want him as a president. We already have a "nut" in the white house.

    November 10, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  4. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Some Americans need to grow up ... you can disagree with someone – not vote for them, support another candidate with your time and treasure ... but to boo someone is so juvenile ... unfair and unkind. My third graders know better and do better than that.

    If the people of Iowa want to be taken seriously as one of the first in the nation, and shake their steorotype as ignorant "country hicks" ... good manners would be a great start.

    November 10, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. C. A. Mitchell

    What bad judgement of Mellencamp to have any candidate up on stage during a concert where people paid to hear a musical performance.

    And of all the candidates for any party, Edwards is the king of phony; preening and pandering to whatever he thinks that night's audience wants to hear. Check out his campaign contributions on opensecret.org: trial attorneys and fellow ambulance chasers. Used car salespeople and child molesters have more scruples than that crowd.

    November 10, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. Joe Macintier

    This must not have been one of the two Americas that care for John Edwards. On YouTube I don't hear any cheers, sounds like he got a major boo-ing. With his ego, I am sure Edwards was perplexed by this response. He probably went backstage and slapped his hairdresser.

    November 10, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    This is just as embarrassing as the arrogant chanting of "USA USA" at the Olympics that made the rest of the world cringe for our lack of decorum.
    Booing someone is childish, but then again, so is the mentality of the average American.

    November 10, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Independent Voter, TN

    Karen in ny:

    What in the world does John McCain have to do with this story?

    November 10, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    John Edwards is a class act. A sincere, thoughtful politician. He is the man who should have won the nomination in 04. Unfortunately in todays saturated media mania it is hard for a candidate to get a second chance. Hopefully he will be selected for a cabinet post, if he doesn't get the nomination.

    November 10, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. saint,baltimore,md

    Nobody cares of this hungry lawyer...Hungery of money, hungery of power....Your wife is sick Mr. and we can not afford to have another president loosing a wie at the middle of his job...I just don't think will be fair for America this time around...
    I am a woman voting for someone else other than Hillary or Edward!

    November 10, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    Doesn't matter. I think, and admirably so, he already gave up on his goal to become president. He knows that Hillary would be a disaster for America, so he's focusing on making sure she doesn't get elected, and then when Obama gets the nod he gets vice president. And honestly I respect him more for doing it.

    November 10, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. B, Cleveland, OH

    "What bad judgement of Mellencamp to have any candidate up on stage during a concert where people paid to hear a musical performance.

    And of all the candidates for any party, Edwards is the king of phony; preening and pandering to whatever he thinks that night's audience wants to hear. Check out his campaign contributions on opensecret.org: trial attorneys and fellow ambulance chasers. Used car salespeople and child molesters have more scruples than that crowd."

    Couldn't agree with you more, but I think our society has become attuned to bad judgement. The disgusting scene during Senator Wellstone's funeral comes to mind. Specifically, the Clintons grandstanding when they made their entrance. How undignified and disrespectful to the Wellstone family during their time of grief. I put the Clintons in the same rotten barrel as Edwards.

    November 10, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. AHMIowa, Iowa City, IA

    I'm disappointed and embarrassed for Iowa, with the reaction from the crowd. Regardless of whether people agree with his politics (and I do), I'm sure he thought it would be fun – and good Lord, he could use some right now!

    Thanks to Mellancamp for welcoming him. I wish I had been there!

    And yes, I do believe that John EDWARDS is the right person for the job as President. We just have to wake people up to understand 1) that HRC is the easiest Dem to beat, and 2) that her policies are NOT the best for women, and for this country.

    November 10, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. ano to

    WOW! now he's a rock star a man of many traipse master of none!

    November 10, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. annefrank

    Edwards is the biggest fraud out there. He went to work at a hedge fund to learn about poverty. What a joke this guy is!

    November 10, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Bob, CA

    "shears of TRUTH"

    HAHAHA. I bet edwards is going to steal that line.

    November 10, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Erin, WA

    Good argument Bob,

    Don't be sheep. Simply accept my insult and vote for my candidate. Of course I didn't put forth any REASON to vote for him, but I think my insults to your intelligence should suffice.

    November 10, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. CPN, WA

    BOOOOO Edwards!

    YAAAH Red Stripe!

    November 10, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. editrix96, Vienna, Va.

    Thank you, Earl!

    The distortions, smears, immaturity, ignorance, and sheer mean-spiritedness of many of these folks in the blogosphere truly astound me.

    I dare them to educate themselves, with open minds, about who John Edwards is and what he stands for. Go to johnedwards.com/issues. Watch some videos on the site where he speaks to real people about real issues. Read some of his speeches and essays. Read his book, "Four Trials," and Elizabeth's book, "Saving Graces."

    Edwards stands head and shoulders above the rest in this race and is the only true progressive who will fight for regular working people and the poor.

    But I bet the small-minded snarksters here won't bother to do any of that. Their loss.

    November 10, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Keith

    Did they have $400 haircuts and 28,000 square foot homes in that small town?

    November 10, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Julia Jones, Boston, Massachusetts

    I doubt that Edwards supporters would have booed Obama had he made an appearance; I doubt that Hillary's supporters would have booed Edwards or Obama; I doubt that Edwards supporters would have booed Hillary...

    Hmmm, let's see. Who does that leave?

    In some ways, this may be the nastiest sign that this campaign is getting ugly.

    I ask one more time? Whose supporters would have booed another candidate?

    Shame on them!

    November 10, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Earl, Ohio

    Did they have $400 haircuts and 28,000 square foot homes in that small town?

    Posted By Keith : November 10, 2007 3:24 pm

    -

    That was original about 2 years ago. Thanks for my proving my point, Keith!

    November 10, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Earl, Ohio

    Hmmm, let's see. Who does that leave?

    Posted By Julia Jones, Boston, Massachusetts : November 10, 2007 4:09 pm

    -

    I wouldn't be surprised if Clinton's supporters were in the audience handing out $20 bills for boos. Would not be surprised, considering they go through the audience staging questions for her in other locations.

    November 10, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Pete, Los Angeles, CA

    "I wouldn't be surprised if Clinton's supporters were in the audience handing out $20 bills for boos. Would not be surprised, considering they go through the audience staging questions for her in other locations."
    Posted By Earl, Ohio : November 10, 2007 4:28 pm


    I am hoping you actually don't believe your own statement. And if you do, I am hoping Edwards has more sensible people voting for him. Let's not make a mockery of the presidential elections by posting utterly ridiculous comments such as yours, for which you have no proof whatsoever.

    November 10, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Karen,ny

    Independent Voter..I have no idea, I thought McCain was standing next to him.

    November 10, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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