Well, in a follow up to a blog I posted about some students not knowing who John Edwards is (thankfully, very few), I thought we could use a quick overview of the issues that the senator will most likely want to talk about. Here are some interesting facts about him that may be helpful for you guys when thinking about the dialogue and the questions you'll have for him on Thursday.
— He wants to create a national plan to pay ONE YEAR of public-college tuition, fees and books for more than two million students.
— Was the first candidate to create an agenda to address climate change, answering student activists and calling for a ban on all new coal plants.
— Edwards supports civil unions, but not gay marriage.
— He wants to end poverty completely at home by the year 2036, but has been criticized for that $400 dollar hair cut.
— Wants to have universal healthcare by asking businesses and government to work together and wants to create better healthcare markets that are more fair, diverse and extensive. And once insurance is affordable, require everyone to have it.
— Wants to stop the escalation and start an immediate drawdown of troops in Iraq.
— Wants to encourage and reward responsibility from fathers, requiring fathers on welfare to work and help them find jobs to help support single mothers. This is currently not a law in place for welfare reform.
— He wants to strengthen public schools by investing in good teachers and the retention of candidates in rural and urban districts.
— Wants to make sure we work with the cooperation of international community to aggregate intelligence to root out and shut down terrorist cells.
— Wants to control borders, stop illegal trafficking and at the same time end the backlog of background checks for people who already live in this country and are applying to become citizens. He does not think it is realistic to deport more than 12 million people, but rather believes that keeping families together should be a priority of immigration laws.
Some interesting personal facts:
— Four children: Wade (killed at age 16 in car accident), Cate (attending Harvard Law School), 25, Emma Claire, 9, and Jack 7.
— His wife, Elizabeth, is battling breast cancer; they met in law school.
— His favorite musician is Bruce Springsteen.
— His favorite movie is "Shawshank Redemption."
— First Car: Plymouth Duster
OK, this is just a start. Get your brains working, and I know you will have plenty to ask about. Ask him to prove it, to back it up, counter his views, state your opinions, and let's make sure these politicians know exactly how loud we can be!