by Mike Gravel
Mike’s blog post
January 31, 2008
It saddened me greatly to hear yesterday that John Edwards had decided to drop out of the race. We may have had our differences on some issues, such as supporting gay marriage and ending the war on drugs, but clearly he was a better choice for America than the two remaining so-called top-tier Democratic candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Edwards and I agreed more than we disagreed on many vital issues, such as ending the war in Iraq, cutting the military budget and fighting the culture of corruption in Washington.
To his credit, Edwards has shown great moral strength and integrity by admitting that his original support for the war in 2002 was “a mistake.” Now, he advocates ending the war in its entirety, something that Clinton and Obama have not done. Clinton and Obama have the power to stop the violence, but neither one has stepped forward to show true leadership in the Senate by confronting Bush and the military-industrial complex on Iraq and the widening war on terror.
And when the mainstream media and the Democratic Party leadership conspired to drop me from the national debates, it was Edwards who kept the pressure on Clinton for her vote in favor of war with Iran.
Let’s not forget that Clinton has raised more money from the military-industrial complex than any other candidate – including even the Republicans! Her ties to corporations like WalMart, her legislation that benefits defense firms like Northrop Grumman and her pro-war voting record – let’s just say we shouldn’t be expecting her to cut the military budget and reinvest the money domestically where it is needed most.
As for Obama, where’s the change? He votes like Clinton, and his endorsement of military spending increases and his Wall Street backing make him yet another corporate-backed Establishment candidate.
Every day now, we hear pundits speculating on who is going to drop out of the race next. In their myopic view, however, they do not understand what we do. Winning the nomination isn’t the only reason some of us run for the highest office in the country. We persevere because we care deeply for our country, and we subject ourselves to the grueling schedule and the often unflattering media spotlight because we believe in the importance of the issues that we bring to the table.
It is these issues where John and I agree that I hope will bring us all together in support of real change – not the safe, focus-group-tested solutions proffered by media-friendly candidates.
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