November 10th, 2007
11:01 AM ET
15 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. Samuel, Lincoln, NE

    As a former Iowan, I'm ashamed that some of the residents of my former home state would be so crass and shallow as to boo John Edwards. He was invited on stage by Mellencamp and even acknowledged that the crowd was there to listen to Mellencamp rather than himself. Both he and Mellencamp have shown a lot more grace and class than those who posed negative comments here...even the one who is so out of touch that she confused him with John McCain.

    November 10, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Dave, Alpharetta GA

    Didn't Edwards just complain about Hillary staging a question in Iowa?

    Yet John Edwards doesn't think this was "staged"? If he wasn't booed as bad as he was, he probably would have talked for an hour!

    November 10, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Julia Jones, Boston, Massachusetts

    Let's try this again. My post got pretty garbled.

    Essentially I wrote:

    Hillary's supporters would not boo Obama or Edwards; Edwards supporters would not boo Hillary or Obama. So who does that leave? The word immature comes to mind.

    This is the first indication that the campaign is taking a really nasty turn.

    Shame on them!

    November 10, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. Bob, Des Moines, Iowa

    I really think this comes awfully close to a FEC violation and an Edwards publicity event. What's the monetary value of having a candidate for office come on stage and speak at a concert?

    November 10, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  5. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    John Edwards house is the size of a small town – that's what he meant.

    November 11, 2007 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  6. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    It's still America but I'm always amazed at the level of intelligence some voters do or don't put into their choice ...

    For those who don't care for the cost of the haircut, are you also speaking against Mitt's $700 make-up session before one of the debates??? Vote for Mitt – he looks so presidential ....

    November 11, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Michael, Houston TX

    Mellencamp is another politically undereducated individual, who unfortunately will express views that individual voters who are his fans, will use to make up their minds on issues that affect their lives moreso than Mr. Mellencamp ever will.

    Study some issues please americans!

    Oh well, if you don't that is fine, those of us who choose to study the issues are quietly coaching our children to do so and training them to rule you (the uneducated mob) someday, since only they will know what is really going on – and knowledge really is power.

    November 11, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Tyler, Wilmington, NC

    Edwards is my home boy and this is our country!!! Y'all will throw this election to the republicans if you nominate anyone else.

    From the Dixie Highway, back home.... GO JOHN!!!! From your own in Carolina.

    November 11, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. kenshin, Greenbelt, MD

    I'll give the audience here a break–they are probably either sick of hearing about politics and didn't want more of it when they came to a music concert–or they are republican.

    I can't believe that people are actually still discussing how Elizabeth's cancer is a reason for Edwards to abandon his campaign. And how can you say that instead you'd support Hillary? Bill is probably as close to death as anyone–didn't he have heart surgery a while back? If something happened to him, would we be saying Hillary needs to just quit?

    The truth is people who have cancer had cancer long before their diagnosis. Before the diagnosis, they were living their lives. And after their diagnosis, they continue to live their lives–up until they die–just like the rest of us.

    I don't have a problem with his wealth–wealth and success are the American dream. If I had his money, I'd buy an estate too. At least he can turn around and remember where he came from, fight for the little guy. Is it hypocritical of someone like Oprah to help the poor just because she's rich? Princess Di?

    Edwards is a great leader, and a sincere, hard-working person. If you on't like him, fine. But he will be a great president nonetheless.

    November 12, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  10. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Ah yes, John Mellencamp... yet another naive Midwesterner who honestly and truly believes that today's Liberal Socialist Democrats are the same party as Kennedy's Democrat Party, Truman's Democrat Party and FDR's Democrat Party.

    Kennedy, Truman and FDR would simply not be welcome in today's modern Liberal Socialist Democrat Party. And honestly, these great men wouldn't even recognize the modern Democrat Party anyway

    November 12, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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