Thursday, January 17, 2008

Edwards And The Economy

This post was originally titled "Why Edwards Make Take Nevada." As it turned out, Senator Edwards took only 4% of the vote in Nevada. Now, all the candidates have discovered the economy.
Although the mainstream media coverage of the Democratic candidates in Las Vegas could be called “All Clinton and Obama, All the Time,” John Edwards is running a strong campaign here. Polls show the race will be a close one between the three candidates. Almost every Democrat I know is planning to caucus for John Edwards. Why? For the same reason Mitt Romney is pulling ahead on the Republican side. It's the economy, stupid. In fact, if you look at the reasons this phrase was so effective against President Bush The First, we’re in a similar situation today.

Nevada has been hit hard by the housing crash. Now that people are finally starting to use the dreaded “R” word – recession – I’ve even read that the “experts” think Las Vegas already may be in one. Welcome to the party, people! With few exceptions, my friends, family, and business associates have been struggling for months as the Las Vegas economy has withered. Rite-Aide has gone out of business here. Z-Tejas is closed. CompUSA, Levitz, Tweeters – all going or gone. God help the poor people directly engaged in real estate – the agents and mortgage professional, like my cousin. They’re going belly-up faster than they can take the names off the buildings. If you do have a job, better hope it offers insurance. The only person I know who feels health care is just hunky dory is the one (1) person I know who still has an employer-paid plan. Energy costs have become heart-stopping. My husband owns and operates a big-rig dirt truck for a living. Can we say $700 for a fill-up? And while we’re talking energy, how about those $300 and $400 power bills in summer? Isn’t it such fun to open your power bill and immediately experience angina?

Edwards is the one candidate talking the most about these issues. Clinton and Obama aren’t ignoring the economy, but Edwards is talking toughest. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I like hearing someone repeatedly acknowledge how hard times have been for the middle class. I believe Edwards’ willingness to put the spotlight on the economic plight of the many may give him a surprise victory in the Silver State.
Photo courtesy of Sufi Nawaz at

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