| I don't think we've seen the last of John Edwards. That is, decidedly, a good thing.
In his Presidential campaign, Edwards was an amazing and consistent voice for a new vision of America. He spent the past four years studying and giving serious thought to what a new social contract would look like and rolled out serious policies on health care and other items well before his opponents. And he talked about some issues -- like the challenges facing rural America -- that seem to be more overlooked by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
A few weeks ago, after Iowa, I thought Barack Obama was likely to emerge as the stronger "change" candidate and I changed my loose allegiance from roughly for Edwards (still the only Presidential candidate this cycle who has seen a dime of my money) to roughly for Obama.
During this period, a friend asked me what I thought of John Edwards ending up in the Cabinet to pursue the same challenges and opportunities he discussed on the campaign. What would an Attorney General John Edwards or Secretary of HUD look like? It's an interesting question.
But it made me wonder -- what if he returned to the social sector and dedicated himself to the cause of economic justice in the same way that Al Gore has found a new life as the evangelist of global warming?
This country's history is full of political leaders whose greatest acts came outside of government. During the time between 2004 and 2008, Edwards' actions fighting for the minimum wage, organized labor, educational opportunity, and other policies were all seen as political maneuvering to help gain the White House. Eschewing the world of elective office might be a way to rework that question.
At this point, though, I think every Democrat in America owes John Edwards a debt of gratitude. He brought a deeply progressive and substantive tone to this race that was impossible for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to ignore.
However he decides to keep pursuing his goals, I wish him, Elizabeth, Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack the best.