Rest easy, Corporate America. John Edwards has left the building.
Edwards is ending his bid to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president. Know what? I'm sorry to see him go.
Throughout the 2008 election campaign, Edwards made his mark as the party's pacesetter--the candidate who shouted the loudest about the nation's economic shortfalls, especially the growing disparity between its wealthy elite and working-class.
A tenacious debater, Edwards prodded rivals for the nomination to confront core pocketbook issues and problems. That list includes: addressing the shameful lack of affordable health care insurance; ending corporate tax incentives that encourage companies to ship middle-class jobs overseas; and blaming Wall Street for the sub prime mortgage lending mess that is pushing our economy into recession.
In doing so, Edwards pressured, and occasionally shamed, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama into taking tougher positions and providing voters with a greater understanding of how they would deal with these challenges.
That's not a bad campaign legacy.
Was Edwards waging class warfare? I don't think so.
This country tends not to buy into such nonsense. Nevertheless, you'd have to be totally out to lunch not to realize that something isn't working for a growing cavalcade of citizens, who are strapped for cash and see their prospects diminishing.
Edwards is a successful capitalist. He made a good buck as a trial lawyer. And he tried to make even more by investing in a hedge fund, which made him look like a hypocrite and a dummy when he started bashing Wall Street.
But he effectively argued that the nation's middle class and working poor are being victimized by the callousness of many in the world of high finance and wanted to stop it. Moreover, he recognized that seismic changes are stirring up this global economy and believed that government--along with business--must strive to ease the burdens of those caught in the transition.
Edwards campaign didn't gloss over the country's economic shortfalls and that made business chiefs uneasy--especially those on Wall Street, where the investment houses are spending big money to back Clinton and Obama. Hell, Wall Street probably favors either of those Democrats over maverick Republican front-runner John McCain.
Big Business won't have to worry about the return of John Edwards this election year. But that doesn't mean the mammoth economic issues raised during his campaign are going to fade away.
(Photo courtesy of IowaPolitics.com on Flickr.com.)