- John Edwards
News and Observer
The question, when a politician starts talking about morality, should be – is his real interest morality or politics?
If the answer is he discovered “morality” through a poll, there’s not much more you need to know.
In 1998, John Edwards ran for Senate as a sort of ‘Snow White,’ as a fresh face who said he wasn’t going to take one penny from PAC’s and special interest because it was wrong. He said, instead, he would spend his own money to get elected.
Just a few days ago, the newspapers reported that after he got elected, from 2001 to 2005, Edwards took more trips on corporate jets than anyone in Congress – more even than the President. Whatever happened to not taking money from special interests?
What is the ‘moral’ difference between taking cash on the barrel head from a special interest, and having a conglomerate – in Edward’s case Archer Daniels Midland was one – crank up its corporate jet and fly him from, say, Washington to Los Angeles. According to newspapers, all Mr. Edwards had to reimburse Archer Daniels Midland for the use of their jet was the cost of a first class ticket. According to the New York Times (March 8, 2006), experts say the real costs could run five time the first class fare or more.
Mr. Edwards paid those corporations $313,749 (in first class fares) for flying in their jets. Do the math. If the New York Times is correct these corporations and special interests put, in effect, the equivalent of $1.2 million into Mr. Edwards’ coffers. How ‘moral’ was it of Mr. Edwards to take $1.2 million, roughly, from corporations and special interests while he was serving in the United States Senate?
My suspicion is Mr. Edwards may have discovered ‘morality’ the same way he discovered poverty. How was that? My guess is back during his presidential campaign someone looked at a poll and told Edwards, ‘Eureka, John, we have found an issue you take no risk at all speaking out on.’ Because who, from George Bush to Osama bin Laden, was going to criticize John Edwards for being against poverty?
I suspect John Edwards may have discovered morality the same way.