December 26th, 2007
11:07 AM ET
15 years ago

Edwards debuts new Granite State ad

Edwards is up with a new ad in New Hampshire.

(CNN) - Democrat John Edwards, who is spending the day campaigning in New Hampshire, is also debuting a 30-second ad there Wednesday.

“What will our next president do with the enormous power that comes with the office?,” Edwards asks in the spot, titled “Power.”

“I’ll restore America’s moral authority in the world. Confront people who exploit their power for personal advantage. Stand up for poor people whose voices are ignored, just like I’ve done all my life. Be honest about the challenges we face and the choices we have. Keep the promises I’ve made. Work every day to restore the American dream. Because I know that the power that comes with the presidency comes from you.”

The former North Carolina senator is running a distant third among Granite State Democrats, behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in most recent polls. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is less than two weeks away.

–CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: John Edwards • New Hampshire
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Daniel, NY

    Make sure to check these just-released detailed rankings of the state of play in the Republican race as well as here in the Democratic race. In the Democratic race, Edwards is still ranked third - but check how likely he is to become the nominee.

    December 26, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Michael Herschell

    December 23, 2007 - Barack Obama has been flip-flopping like a carp on a boat deck, changing his position over the years on everything from the death penalty to the Patriot Act to Cuba, a review of his record shows.

    The Illinois senator's views became markedly more conservative as he drew close to running for president.

    On the death penalty, for instance, the Oprah heartthrob was a strong foe back in 1996 when he ran for the Illinois state Senate, according to a questionnaire from a political activist group that he filled out at the time. The answers were reviewed by The Associated Press.

    But this year, he's been throwing some red meat to pro-execution voters around the country by saying he supports pulling the switch on those who commit particularly heinous crimes.

    On gun control, Obama changed direction since 1996, when he called for a ban on all handgun possession and sales in Illinois.

    In 2004, on another questionnaire, he backed off, saying a ban is "not politically practicable."

    Taken together, the shifts could suggest a liberal, inexperienced lawmaker gradually adjusting to the realities of what could be accomplished, first in the Illinois Legislature and then in the US Senate.

    On the other hand, political rivals could accuse him of abandoning potentially unpopular views or of trying to disguise his real positions. Many of the old views came from answers he gave to a list of questions submitted to him in 1996 by an Illinois good-government group known as the IVI-IPO.

    Aides claim Obama did not fill out the questionnaire, and instead it was handled by a staffer who misrepresented his views on gun control, the death penalty and more.

    "Barack Obama has a consistent record on the key issues facing our country," spokesman Ben LaBolt told the AP. "Even conservative columnists have said they'd scoured Obama's record for inconsistencies and found there were virtually none."

    A spokesman for the Illinois group said the excuse is ridiculous because they interviewed him in person.

    Some of the candidate's other changing views include a marked shift on health care, from supporting a single-payer, government-run health system, to opposing such a "socialized medicine" plan.

    He also has changed many views in just the past few years.

    He went from calling the anti-terrorism Patriot Act a "shoddy and dangerous" law to voting to continue an updated version of the law in 2006. He also said he would normalize relations with Cuba, but on the campaign trail has opposed such rapprochement with the Communist regime there.

    **In 1999, Barack Obama was faced with a difficult vote in the Illinois legislature — to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults, a position that risked drawing fire from African-Americans, or to oppose it, possibly undermining his image as a tough-on-crime moderate.

    In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted “present,” effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator.

    Sometimes the “present’ votes were in line with instructions from Democratic leaders or because he objected to provisions in bills that he might otherwise support. At other times, Mr. Obama voted present on questions that had overwhelming bipartisan support. In at least a few cases, the issue was politically sensitive.

    The record has become an issue on the presidential campaign trail, as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, has seized on the present votes he cast on a series of anti-abortion bills to portray Mr. Obama as a “talker” rather than a “doer.”

    Although a present vote is not unusual in Illinois, Mr. Obama’s use of it is being raised as he tries to distinguish himself as a leader who will take on the tough issues, An examination of Illinois records shows at least 36 times when Mr. Obama was either the only state senator to vote present or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way. Among those, Mr. Obama did not vote yes or no on a bill that would allow certain victims of sexual crimes to petition judges to seal court records relating to their cases. He also voted present on a bill to impose stricter standards for evidence a judge is permitted to consider in imposing a criminal sentence. On the sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the lone present vote in a 58-to-0 vote. State Representative Jim Durkin, a Republican who was a co-sponsor of the bill, said it was intended to bring state law in line with a United States Supreme Court decision that nullified a practice of introducing new evidence to a judge in the sentencing phase of the trial, after a jury conviction on other charges. The bill sailed through both chambers. Out of 174 votes cast in the House and Senate, two were against and two were present, including Mr. Obama’s.
    “I don’t understand why you would oppose it,” Mr. Durkin said. “But I am more confused by a present vote.” Mr. Obama was also the sole present vote on a bill that easily passed the Senate that would require teaching respect for others in schools. He also voted present on a measure to prohibit sex-related shops from opening near schools or places of worship. It passed the Senate.GO EDWARDS 2008

    December 26, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Tommy Hitler, Powder Springs, Ga

    How could a lawyer have "moral authority"?

    December 26, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Now this is a true president! GO EDWARDS!

    December 26, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    Wake UP, America...John Edwards is THE perfect candidate because he is THE ONLY ONE who can beat the republican nominee – hands down! Hillary cannot do it...Barack cannot do it...JOHN EDWARDS CAN AND WILL!!!!!

    This is not an auction or a popularity contest...This is far more important and (especially after the lousy leader we've had for the past 7+ years), the DEMS MUST WIN!

    Go John Go...Keep doing what you're doing! Can't wait to vote for you on Feb 5th in Atlanta!

    December 26, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Still kicking!!!

    Hope this gets Americans looking at the one candidate who will try to change the Washington paradigm everyday. This will be a good fight to perserve quality of life for our children and grandchildren–before the current culture of corruption and greed further threatens reduce Americans to "new economy" slaves.

    December 26, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. john williams san diego, ca.

    when will the 'breck girl' realize that you can fool twelve people most of the time, but you will never fool American VOTERS again?

    December 26, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Dave, NY, NY

    I would really like to know at what point the American dream became handouts. I seem to recall it being the opportunity to work hard and get ahead that way. Not wait for the government to give you extra money or training instead of doing things for yourself. I suggest Mr. Edwards take the time to read the writings of our fouding fathers. Maybe then he will realize how far astray he has gone.

    December 26, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Jake

    "What will our next president do with the enormous power that comes with the office?,” Edwards asks in the spot, titled “Power.” (End Quote)

    Don't concern yourself, Mr. Edwards. It won't be your problem. You are never going to hold that office. This is real-world, not fantasy politics.

    December 26, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Jim Schween, Tucson Arizona

    It seems to me that John Edwards is the only one that crosses over party lines. He is not talking to just Democrats or against Republicans but for Americans against greed and corruption. In a general election he would take the most votes.

    December 26, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. GRACE


    December 26, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Alex Lotorto, Milford PA


    How can we be effective in our aid, development, and diplomacy worldwide if we lack a moral sense?

    ...allowing 37 million people to live below our own poverty line, and 47 million uninsured to be terrorized by illness and accidents.

    John Edwards is my candidate. He's the only one I can trust.

    December 26, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Huck Mikeabee, Ticked, MA

    Anybody else see all of the crosses in Edwards' ad?

    December 26, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Craig Grant Carlsbad

    For Dave
    Your the one that needs to re read your early American history. The working premise for most settlement communities was utopian style community efforts. The Puritans for example explicitly called for each member to contribute according to abilities and take according to need. Practically these communal systems were not effective and a more indivdual unit of economic activity evolved. The idea of common prosperity was not forgotten and is why states were initially called 'Commonwealths'.

    More significantly most of the founding fathers stopped accumulating personal wealth and worked on common or community agendas whether it was on philosophy, science or volunteerism. To accumulate great personal wealth was seen, as well, crass. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin to name a few died without significant estates for their progeny.

    There are hundreds of examples where the founding fathers passed up opportunities for personal wealth in order to promote the well being of the community, including Ben Franklin's revolutionary design of a lightning rod which saved communities from the near annual occurrance of significant town fires which would often ravage an entire town. Franklin never registered a patent for this invention instead passing out the plans for free in the hope that his neighbors would all use it and in building a safer community he might have fewer dollars in his pockets he would still have a higher quality of life, and the esteem and satisfaction of contributing to the improvement of others.

    This is what Edwards is talking about and it is what makes him a true tribute to the original spirit of our country. Dave your gospel of individual greed and vast wealth would have to wait 50 years and Hamilton's unique vision that having a small number of very wealthy elites contributed to the betterment of society. Next time before you admonish someone like Edwards, who is making a much greater contribution to the country than you will ever do,to read the founding fathers you might want to pick up a book and actually know what you are talking about.

    December 26, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. AJ, IL

    Edwards had his chance to run for President in 2004. So what does the guy do again, run for President in 2008. Geez...give it some time Edwards. Edwards couldn't win re-election for senator in his own state, so why do some folks think that he can win the 2008 Presidency. Edwards needs to spend time with his wife (has cancer) and small kids. Anyone willing to put off spending time with his family, especially with a wife who could become terminally ill in the future, is not the guy I want to be president.

    December 26, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. CS, Gerald, MO

    Unless we want more of the same, the Nation needs to take a look at the only candidate willing to think outside the box. So what if he is/was a lawyer.

    EDWARDS '08

    December 26, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Connie, Livonia, MI

    The bottom line is that I simply don't want a trial lawyer as President of this country. There is something in my gut that does not trust Edwards.

    December 26, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Wild Bill/Sweet William r

    As one who grew up in the Great Depression, I remember when we had another man who had very big house, was very rich, and wanted to be president. This man became president, and in his presidency, he did more for the common working man than the Republican Party has done in its entire existence.

    The mansion he lived in was called Hyde Park and his name was Franklin Roosevelt.

    Just how poor must one be, before he can try to help working people?

    December 26, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. Adam, Pittsburgh PA

    After graduating from Columbia, Obama went to work with churches that organized job training and other programs for residents of a massive housing project in Chicago. He persuaded the city to provide summer jobs, remove asbestos, and repair toilets, pipes and ceilings. He went door to door, helping for three years, then went to Harvard Law School.
    Obama returned to Chicago to lead Project Vote, which signed up ~150,000 new African-American voters. He also joined a major law firm.
    Obama began teaching at the University of Chicago, where he would continue to lecture for 11 years.
    During Obama's time as an attorney in Chicago, he became a husband and father of two daughters. He entered the Illinois Senate in 1994.
    As a member of the minority party of the Senate for six of his eight years, Obama accomplished the following:
    • He expanded healthcare to include 154,000 people in Illinois (including 70,000 children which was an additional 20000 over the previous plan)
    • Legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations
    • A law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped
    • A welfare reform law
    • An earned-income-tax-credit law for working-poor families
    • Death penalty reform that passed unanimously
    • Worked with both Democrats and Republicans in drafting successful legislation on ethics and health care reform
    • Promoted increased subsidies for child care
    • During his last two years in the majority, he sponsored 780 bills, 280 of which became law
    While in the US Senate Obama has worked on the following legislation:
    • Lugar-Obama, a bill that expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines
    • "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for a web site, managed by the Office of Management and Budget, listing all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward, and providing breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract
    • "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," which had his name on it as the first sponsor
    • “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007” with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in strengthening restrictions on travel in corporate jets to Senators. . And then Obama sponsored
    • An amendment to the “2008 Defense Authorization Act” with Kit Bond (R-MO) adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accounting Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs
    • "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry,
    • Legislation to prevent nuclear terrorism with Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
    • Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries
    • Reintroduced the “Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act” helping veterans transition from the DOD health system to the VA system by extending the window in which new veterans can get mental health care from two years to five years.
    • Authored “Sheltering All Veterans Everywhere Act (SAVE Act)” to strengthen and expand federal homeless veteran programs that serve over 100,000 homeless veterans annually
    • Led the fight on "Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act", which has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee, will enable investigations into deceptive and fraudulent practices
    Obama is on the following committees in the US senate:
    • Senate Foreign Relations Commitee
    • Senate Commitee on Veterans' Affairs
    • Senate Commitee on Health, Education, Labor, Pensions
    • Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    Obama has the #1 environmental LCV rating(96) of any Democrat running (http://www. lcv. org/voterguide)

    December 26, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Obama is getting away with murder and nobody in the press is raising a finger. His State Senator record of hundreds of votes as "PRESENT not VOTING" has not been questioned. He touts his judgment but does not leave a record trail behind to debate his judgment on issues / bills?

    Obama may have the press honeymoon for a while but he can not get the nomination without greater scrutiny. And scrutiny we need. Operations Research on Obama is not a "racist" action but part of legitimate politics and campaigning.

    For example: "Kerry Apology for MUSLIM remark on Obama":

    Kerry does not have to apologize for STATING FACTS:

    He said "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama and his father was a Muslim and this his paternal grandmother is a Muslim,” he said at the time."

    Yes Obama's father is/was a Muslim and his mother an American White female.

    So what! Hillary/Bill do not have to get defensive about their comments, language, remarks on any forum be it Charlie Rose Show or Kerry's event endorsing Hillary. There is no parsing or apology required.

    Obama needs to be brought down from the pedestal if he has to compete fair and square in this election cycle of 2008.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 26, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  21. G

    GO OBAMA!!

    December 27, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  22. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Dave the dope said: I would really like to know at what point the American dream became handouts. I seem to recall it being the opportunity to work hard and get ahead that way. Not wait for the government to give you extra money or training instead of doing things for yourself. I suggest Mr. Edwards take the time to read the writings of our fouding fathers. Maybe then he will realize how far astray he has gone.

    You pompous idiot!! Hand-ups is what we're talking about. We pay billions as a nation throght cities, states, and the federal government–to attract and grow businesses. But when those business pull up stakes and leave the community–those same checkbooks go dry? Why not provide some retraining funding to help people retrain and enter a new blue collar career path? If our founding fathers new how corrupt and one sided our current financial and economic system turned out to be they would fart in your face–twice. Get a grip. Once for not caring–and again for being so ignorant of the travesty/tragedy affecting many of your own countrymen.

    December 27, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    Craig in Carlabad,

    There is a significant difference between what our founding fathers did as in "giving" to the community for the betterment of the community versus "taking" by the government in the form of taxes for their version of the betterment of the community.

    The first example is from the heart, the second is nothing more that the redistribution of wealth in the form of entitlements.

    December 27, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |