Who's Who Among Presidential Candidates: John Edwards
By Julie Marsh
Who's Who Among Presidential Candidates is a series of distillations of individual candidates' views on 24 topics loosely grouped into four categories, as presented on non-partisan website On The Issues.
John Edwards is a former Senator from North Carolina (1998-2004). Prior to that, he was a trial lawyer for more than twenty years. In 2004, he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, losing to John Kerry. Kerry selected Edwards as his vice presidential nominee, but they were defeated by the Bush-Cheney ticket. Since the 2004 campaign, Edwards has co-chaired a Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a consultant for Fortress Investment Group, a Wall Street investment firm.
Foreign Policy - US should demonstrate respect for different cultures, faiths, perspectives.
Homeland Security - Supports closure of Guantanamo.
War and Peace - Supports ending combat missions in Iraq and withdrawal of combat troops.
Energy and Oil - Opposes nuclear power. Supports 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Proposes full investigation of oil companies by Justice Department.
Gun Control - Supports the Second Amendment (right to keep and bear arms), as well as vigorous enforcement of gun laws.
Crime - Supports the death penalty for certain crimes. Supports elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes, reform of parole and probation systems.
Drugs - Support national public smoking ban. Opposes decriminalizing marijuana. Supports funding for drug treatment and alternatives to incarceration.
Civil Rights - Opposes DOMA and "don't ask, don't tell". Position on gay marriage is defined by his faith, but asserts that he will not allow his faith to affect policy decisions.
Jobs - Strongly supports unions. Proposes states increase minimum wages. Supports tax incentives for companies to keep jobs in US.
Environment - Supports enforcement of clean air laws and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Budget and Economy - Supports establishment of a home rescue fund for those in danger of foreclosure.
Government Reform - Opposes accepting funds from lobbyists. Supports public financing of elections.
Tax Reform - Proposes repealing Bush administration tax cuts to pay for universal health care.
Social Security - Opposes privatization. Supports raising the social security cap.
Welfare and Poverty - Supports increasing housing vouchers.
Technology - Supports public interest obligations in media.
Education - Proposes free college tuition and books for all students who work at least 10 hours per week while enrolled in public community college or public university.
Health Care - Supports mandatory universal health care coverage. Proposes entering legislation to end health care coverage for Congress if a universal plan has not been passed by a specified date (six months after inauguration).
Abortion - Pro-choice. Believes right to abortion is constitutionally protected.
Families and Children - Supports investment in programs to prevent teen pregnancy. Proposes a family leave tax credit.
Corporations - Supports organized labor and trade restrictions. Supports tax incentives for corporations that create and maintain jobs in America.
Principles and Values - Sees US as divided between those who do well and those who struggle. Seeks to unify these "two Americas".
Based on how his views align with the VoteMatch quiz topics, John Edwards is classified as a Populist-Leaning Liberal. His positions on both economic issues are staunchly liberal - meaning that on economic matters, he opposes government intervention. His positions on social issues lean slightly toward authoritarianism - meaning that on social or personal matters, he favors government intervention. Based on his specific answers to various quiz topics, it appears that his Populist leanings stem mainly from his support of the death penalty, teacher-led prayer in public schools, and military expansion.
Julie is a former Air Force officer and professional project manager turned web writer. She spent four years at the Pentagon and five years in New York City, and her suburban life in Colorado seems pastoral by comparison. She's no political pundit, but she is an objective thinker in a sea of partisan propagandists. She writes for The Mom Slant, Cool Mom Picks, and is co-founder of The Parent Bloggers Network.
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