WP: Edwards Foriegn Policy Experience

This article’s probably going to get lost in the more exciting shuffle of news stories about the Israeli wall, Lay’s indictment and the Senate intelligence report but I found it pretty helpful.


In the summer of 2001, when much of the Republican and Democratic policy community was obsessed with missile defense, Edwards urged more attention to terrorism. The North Carolina senator had such limited luck pitching an OpEd article on terrorism to major newspapers that the piece, warning of poor cooperation among federal and local law enforcement, ended up in the weekly Littleton Observer, circulation 2,230 – four weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks.

On key national security issues, Edwards has increasingly staked out a centrist and occasionally hawkish policy, making terrorism his top focus well before Sept. 11, 2001, and pressing for a global push on democracy before Bush made it a cornerstone of his Middle East policy.

In dealing with intelligence matters generally, Edwards brought a “healthy level of skepticism” to the job, a congressional staff member said. “What happens to new members is that they’re like kids in a candy store. It’s 007 whiz-bang stuff,” he added. “But Edwards struck me as a member who’s been in a lot of courtrooms and knows when he’s being snowed. A lot of the members are lawyers but haven’t seen the inside of courtrooms in decades and it shows. He asked tough questions.”

Not bad for someone the ideological zombies in this administration are going to try to label as inexperienced or unwise.

Sooooooo, what was Bush’s foreign policy experience before he ran for President? Making deals with south american drug cartels?

For his own personal supply of course.

I see the GOP slamming Edwards for something as weak as “Foreign Policy” experience to be, well, good news for the Democratic party. I mean, that’s the best they can do? Oh yeah, he was a trial lawyer too.

And this is coming from the former CEO of an Oil Company (who picked himself to be VP*) and his “I didn’t get my act together until I was 40-ish” partner?

  • Why isn’t this a big deal, btw? Isn’t this pretty much the closest you can actually get to a coup in this country without it being a coup? It’s one thing to use your experience and connections to get yourself named as the head of the committee to help pick the VP for your party’s ticket. It’s quite another to then, as head of that committee, pick yourself for the job.

I mean, at least Edwards had to campaign and position HIMSELF as a solid pick for the VP this year. With Cheney it was pretty much a freaking lock.

I’m already seeing the right trying to label Edwards as another Quayle.

Which is pretty funny given that the Republicans chose Quayle…

Which is pretty funny given that the Republicans chose Quayle…[/quote]

And even funnier given their totally different backgrounds: Quayle, the not-so-bright but very happy-go-lucky boy, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, versus Edwards, the poor boy who got an education and then got rich, all on his own.

I’ve often thought that Bush senior made his VP choice primarily because of how strongly Quayle reminded him of his own son.

That is a damn fine observation.

I know I’m a flaming Bush-ist, but here’s a great idea for a commercial for the Dems. Something along the lines of “Bush says John Edwards is inexperienced in foreign policy. It is true that John Edwards has never sent thousands of American men and women overseas to die for his oil interests. It is also true that John Edwards has never had to account for America’s failure to gather international intelligence on WMD. And it is true that John Edwards has never failed to stop a foreign terrorist organization from killing American civilians. What kind of foreign policy experience does George Bush think is good for America?”

And then a little thing about the children also, natch.

The true irony of the Republicans slamming Edwards’ experience is that, other than a failed House run in '78, Bush’s entire political experience prior to taking the presidency was as Gov. of Texas from 1994-2000.

So if Edwards having 6 years of political experience as a Senator gives him inadequate experience to be Vice-President, what does that say about W?