Elizabeth Edwards: Live Chatting at 8 am this morning.

Stick around for a live-chat with Elizabeth Edwards this morning from 8 am until 9:30-ish.

You'll have to log in to ask questions and comment. If you're not already registered, it's easy to do. Just click on "Create new account" on the left side of your screen. It takes about 10 seconds.

Comments

3 step program

Control + Alt + Delete (I see those mac smirks)

And no, don't click Restart

LOL

A cure? I din want a cure. I wanted you to tell me i din have a problem.

yikes.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Excellent, Leslie and Robert!

I hope to see you both there. At least one other OAC blogger will be there too, so you'll be able to meet him. (I'm going to give him the BlueNC link and ask him to sign up here too).

I know what you mean about the blogging! LOL.

For more info on the event: Fearrington Village Calendar

Southern Dem Question

One of our main bloggers, Southern Dem, has report-card day at her kid's school today and had to leave. She asked me to pass the following along.

At Converge South you mentioned that you were a long-time email listserve user and believer in the internet community. What advice would you have for the online community so that we aren't torn apart by the next election. - my words BTW.

I'll add that Chris Bowers recently raised this concern:

Will the progressive movement see its influence suffer without a standard bearer in 2008?
The 2003-4 Dean campaign remains the defining moment for the blogosphere, the netroots and the contemporary progressive movement.
...
By way of contrast, at least at this early point, there does appear to be a candidate behind whom even a plurality of the netroots and the progressive movement would support en masse.
...
However, it does not take much to wonder if a divided progressive movement in 2008 will result in a dilution of netroots influence over the primary season.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I think the fractionalization is a sign

of the maturation of the medium, -- is fractionalization even a word? -- so I do not fear it. It allows the dialogue to be more provocative. And I also think that there will be some consensus -- although not uniform -- about a small number of candidates with everyone coming together as the number of candidates in the race dwindles.
And I, of course, disagree that there is no single natural netroots potential candidate.

I think you're right about maturation

We're already seeing it happening in our short lifespan here at BlueNC. Some of our high-flying rhetoric has been toned down and serious people are participating with incredible thoughtfulness. We even had a candidate for Lt. Gov. show up this week to get in on the netroots ground floor.

It's wonderful that you are so deeply involved in online communities. Gives me hope on many fronts, actually.

Thanks for all you do.

GGod morninng, Elizabeth

Sorry I'm late. I was having trouble getting my computer to agree to be with us. ;-)

I just learned yesterday that a photo that I had made with John in Columbia will be in the Charlotte Observer, Union SEction but I don't know which day this week

Great event

in Columbia I heard. I will look for your photo.

Hello Elizabeth!

I'm a transplanted, dreaded Northerner and took an immediate liking to John as a candidate because he seemed so genuine, and then after reading Four Trials I knew his heart was in the right place. And while I would love for John to be my president, I would love it equally so if you were my president. One can dream, right? :)

I am in the middle of Saving Graces and having come to the part about your son's death I could not go on. I have four children ranging from 25 to 16 and my heart just refuses to even go there. I do understand that after losing your child, being through the worst, breast cancer didn't seem so frightening.

I guess my biggest question would be this: why would anyone these days put themselves and their family through the stress of a presidential campaign only to inherit the seemingly insurmountable problems of the Bush years? I'd be tempted to take a pass until 2012!

The worst

The part of the book about our son's death is the rawest writing I have ever done and that makes it hard to read, I know. But there was no point in writing the book if I wasn't going to be honest about these experiences. But remember, after Wade's death, we chose to have more children, to take that chance again, because after all is said and done if I had to choose between the having the boy AND the pain or having neither, I choose the boy and the pain everytime.

As for 2008, the thing we have to remember is that someone will be President in January 2009. If things are so bad -- and I think you and I agree they are -- then the person we elect is unbelievably important to your family and mine. IIf we get it wrong, then the sacrifices that we all will make are going to be enormous.

This is why I think a real UNITER

is so critical. Some potential candidates will inevitably be polarizing figures. HRC, for example, strikes me as someone who's very presence will tear at our social fabric.

On the other hand, you're married to someone who has the potential to truly bring people together. America needs to find its common ground right now more than ever.

Well said, Anglico

Let the healing begin.

Young Families

Elizabeth,
A bit of a follow-up on Robert's question. You're someone who has gone around the block twice as a mother in a family with young kids. Though the second time around you don't have much of a financial problem, I wonder what your ideas are about how the community can help young families. It's a really difficult stage in life financially and time-wise and we're doing a great service for the community (but before we really reach our peek earning time in our 40s and 50s).

It seems that our country talks a lot about family values, but then sort of sets young families with parents still starting their careers adrift. We, especially we Democrats, support many great programs that help seniors (many of who are doing extremely well), but next to nothing for young families.

I'm thinking of something similar to

1. Optional, but largely free Public PreSchool with Quality Teachers
I know they have a really successful program in Oklahoma.
http://www.sde.state.ok.us/pro/prek/default.html
http://www.initiativesforchildren.org/public/priorities.html

2. Expand Medical Family Leave Act to 3-6 months paid leave for mothers and two weeks for fathers.

3. Healthcare for All Kids

4. Better savings programs for college.

and others, I know there is a group out there promoting this "Mother's Agenda" (though it's really for mothers, fathers and kids in young families).

I just think that not only is it the right thing to do, but that it might also encourage young mothers and fathers to get in the habit of thinking about community and voting Democratic.

Just a note, I'm in my mid-30s and have two girls, 6 (first grade) and 3 (preschool), and though we have two good incomes (lawyer at big law firm iand professor at small college) we still have financial issues that we can't see getting clear of for at least another 3-5 years (when we'll be in our 40s).

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

These and more

All of these ideas are things that -- in one form or another -- John has embraced. I don't know where you can get his policy book from the 2004 primaries online but if you could, I think you would be pleased. But he thinks we can do even better than that . . . without tipping his hand on any particular policies.

Universal Health Care

tip, tip, tip!!!

Single payer?

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I'll look forward to the new proposals

I'm pretty familiar with Real Solutions (it's still on the harddrive), I guess I was thinking more of how much emphasis would be placed on these issues, how they would be framed as part of a "young family agenda."

I just think there is an audience out there ready to hear this stuff -- folks stressed out by juggling jobs, carpools, kid activities, getting a dinner on the table, etc. And I think it links the idea that the middle-class is experiencing problems similar to those of the working-poor (a way to link the anti-poverty and community service message back to a revived Two Americas theme).

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Ooops!

And thanks for coming by and answering so many questions.

PS: Loved the book; great message (very Stoic in fact, "I can't fight the wind" -- pnly wish that secret meeting with Howard had resulted in a drop-out and endorsement before Wisconsin, oh the possibilities are killing me!

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Talk about connecting!

Your story and the story of my own family is so similar, we could be sitting at the same kitchen table! I can completely connect to your experience, as it is my own. I am grateful that we have a time in sight when we will be able to "get ahead" -- barring crises. I will say though, that we pay the same amount each month to pay off our college loans as we do for our mortgage. Education is priceless, but we are reminded each month of how much must be sacrificed.

So true!

I think there are lots of us out there -- I know most of my neighbors are in a similar boat. My wife just paid off her law school loans last year ($1000 a month for 10 years, unbelievable; luckily our parents could afford undergrad tuition and my grad school was paid with TAships and grants). But the ammount we have paid in the past for preschool was incredible (of course, we chose to go high-quality, Montessori), only now that we've got one in public schools and another headed there in 2 years can we see that price-tag going way down (just in time for braces, sports, arts!).

Thanks for sharing.

And BlueNC, as usual, thanks for allowing this Michigander to stop by (though my snow bird folks are now in New Bern).

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

So right, mkj

Education is priceless.

And higher education is necessary in today's job market. One difference between us and our parents' generation, I think, is that back in their day, a free public high school education was the gateway to a good solid middle-class life. Not frilly, but solid.

These days, a bachelors degree or an associates degree serves as that gateway, and neither is free. People take on enormous debt to obtain that basic tool. Many, if not most, do it because they have to if they ever hope to support themselves.

The disturbing thing is, the cost of those post high school degrees just keeps climbing -- faster than parent salaries -- faster than inflation, and it's driving an entire generation of middle-class people into deep debt before they even get their first real job. That's great for financial lending institutions, but not so great for anybody else.

Nonetheless, the gov'mint haters are not detered. They keep pushing back on public (tax payer) support for public (free) education and our public (as close to free as practicable) university systems. It's an, "I got mine. Go get yer own." free-market true-believer world out there.

Somehow, we have to change those attitudes.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

One America Committee

Having reviewed the websites of "potential" 2008 Presidential candidates: Edwards, Clinton, Obama, Giuliani and, McCain it would appear that OneAmericaCommittee is way out ahead in terms of information, action and community. In some ways there may even be too much going on. Can you talk about your role in the OAC marketplace of ideas?

OAC

is really a community that is run by the participants, which makes us very proud. All we have done is create as many opportunities as we can to allw the conversation to take place -- with our involvement, in blogging, in podcases and video-blogging, whatever, and without our direct involvement. We don't know --a as we embrace a new format whether it will work for the exchange of ideas and the formation of communities that will eventually be communities of action not just interaction, so as we find a new format, we put it out there, see how the community accepts and uses it and that allows us to refine as we grow.

Sounds like Edison's lab

All the tools and materials at hand ready for new discoveries.

Reactionary Social Policy and Foreign Policy

I wondered if you would speak on your thoughts about the shift in this country to "reactionary policy" -- meaning that policy action is carried out when the "problem" is boiling over. In the meantime, many people suffer extreme hardship - even death. I see it in both the mindset and behaviors of our leadership, but also in the mindset of many citizens -- although certainly not all. If you would agree that this phenomenon of policy/mindset exists, how would you recommend addressing it. If you don't agree, will you speak describe your point of view related to this?

Thank you for your time and attention. I am really enjoying your book.

Human nature

is the culprit. Think of this: there is an intersection in Garner where a large number of young people had been in car accidents -- maybe it was near the high school, I forget exactly where. But it took a string of actual deaths to get a traffic light at the intersection. It is the problem with getting the momentum we need on our environmental policy: "oh, we will run out of fossil fuels in 200 years? Well, I won't be around." It is why prevention and screening, which health insurance companies ought to be clamoring for, but instead resist, despite the fact that the short-term costs will be more than made up in long term savings -- and that doesn't even take into account the improved quality of life. We need visionary leaders who can see the problems ahead and can motivate people to act contrary to their nature.
And thanks for reading the book.

Experience shapes our behaviors

Thank you for your response. I am grateful.

I hope that our culture can make meaning of the hardship we are experiencing to change our behaviors. I think of how the depression shaped my grandmother, who was a mother in South Carolina, raising 4 children under the age of 7 while her husband and her brother were drafted ito the Korean War. She worked three jobs, one of which was in a textile mill, while her husband and brother were detained as Prisoners of War. Of course, I knew her as "Nanny" and she was larger than life to me. I can still remember walking into my grandmother's pantry, looking at ALL of those canned goods and thinking -- "when does she think she will ever eat all of this?" Now I get it, it wasn't really about the food. I mean the food wasn't even really for her, it was to provide for all those she loved. It was a symbolic and concrete behavior that she could do to feel more secure knowing that when crises arose, she would not go hungry -- and neither would her family.

Speaking of hungry -- I was dismayed by the recent change in language by current administration which changed the classification of the 10-25 million people in our country who are without food from "hungry" to "low food security." This is so far from reality, it appears delusional.

Low food security?

Now that is exactly what is wrong with government. Don't change the policies, change the nomenclature and the problem disappears -- or at least people cannot find it . . . for whom among us would look for numbers on the unfed by searching for "low food security"? Geez.

We've had a lively discussion

about the term "Universal Health Care."

Some feel it has too much baggage and should be shifted to "Health Security" or something else. Others say we should call it like we see it.

What feedback are you and John getting about this, if any?

Greetings Elizabeth

Thanks Robert for raising my question. I was able to make it back for a few minutes.

Elizabeth, we're building a wonderful community here. In many ways we are a family and share many goals and dreams for our state and nation. However, we are still young. My fear is that we could alienate other BlueNC members or potential members if those of us on the front page strongly back any one candidate in a primary election. I value this community and its future far more than I do my desire to back a certain candidate. On the other hand, I certainly want to come out openly for my choice. Any suggestions for balancing this?



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

That is a sensitive response

And I do think that the voices associated with the administering the site have to be cautious in that regard. Markos probably wishes he had been a little more cautious. But there are a number of ways to do it, it seems to be. A candidate a day, for example, where on a particular day someone says why they want Robert or on another day why they want Laura or on a third why Amy -- using your names as examples. Polls with rationale for your votes is another way that allows people to see that all their opinions and preferences have a place, which is all you need to accomplish in order not to disrespect other voices.

sensitive response

Thanks for writing that. Now I only need to cut and paste for our internal debates.

:)

Thank you, Elizabeth

I don't mind if others take a strong stand, but I appreciate your suggestions and will do my best to make sure all candidates and their supporters feel they have a chance to be heard here. I think we handled this well in the past, but we were so new it was probably accidental. I think we need to make a conscious effort going forward.

Thank you again.

Betsy



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

That is the progressive way!

To lift every voice and be inclusive. I think allowing bloggers, even those who are admins, to freely express their support for their candidate, will only enhance the process that we engage in here.

As to Robert's remark about keeping things focused on the state level, I think the same solution Elizabeth suggested applies. Allow bloggers to express themselves on which candidates they are focusing on supporting, giving fair time to each.

There will be many of us who choose to primarily focus on the presidential candidate, knowing that a Dem at the top of the ticket, helps to draw out the voters for all Democrats on the ticket. And of course, there is always some crossover with our efforts as far as candidates, whether or not there is an official coordinated campaign or not.

Good question, SouthernDem!

I think too

that many of us have, well ME, have voiced a desire to focus on keeping NC Blue at the state level. I would imagine that while we fire things up occasionally for the Presidential Primary, that we will also have a cadre of good Progressives to back here in NC.

Please, please, let us have a good group of Progressive Dems to back at the state level.

Great question SD.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Of course, Presidential politics

have a huge impact on NC and will be local, right, Robert?

I think in the past we've kept non-NC stuff off the front page for the most part. I do agree that front page should be NC stuff unless its an issue the community promotes.

Really, nice way to start the morning. Thanks for taking the initiative to invite Elizabeth to BlueNC.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

And...

I think once the primaries are over, we'll all rally behind the candidate and push for organizing and vote turnout throughout the country. So, we really just need to control the message until after the candidate is selected, then we can go bangers.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Wow RobertP....how did you swing that?

Elizabeth Edwards live blogging at BlueNC, what a gift!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

How?

"Uhmmmm {wipe sweaty palms off}, Hi, errrr, wanna blog on BlueNC?"

"Sure, let me know when."

Let's just say it wasn't a hard sell and y'all are lucky for that.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

LOL

You rock, Robert!

Elizabeth, Thank You

for taking the time to come by and chat with us. No response necessary.

Lance

I have always thought our state motto (or is it the slogan ;-) was so cool. Glad to see you sporting it. We should send Bush a copy of it but he'd try to read it upside down.

I have a question

Elizabeth. For a long time I have seen a lot of parallels between Sen. Edwards and the late Robert F. Kennedy. Now that the movie is out, many are making that comparison. Sen. Kennedy was compassionate, intelligent, very much in tune with those less fortunate, and even the 'hair' and the fact that both were/are attorneys is interesting. I think you probably remember Sen. Kennedy during his lifetime. Do you see those parallels beteween Sen. R F Kennedy and Sen. Edwards? Is that a good comparison?

John has long admired Bobby Kennedy

And there are parallels -- their emphasis on social justice and poverty are the most obvious, but also the parallel about Vietnam and Iraq, and the courgae of each of them to admit their mistake. John and Cate went to see the movie over the weekend and, despite lukewarm reviews, they both enjoyed it. John was really moved, I could tell, by the intelligence and warmth of Bobby's speeches. Which, I hope, is also a hallmark of John's speeches, but without as many quotations from classical sources!
By the way, one of the signs in Iowa in 2004 that made me smile was one at a rally for John that read: Bobby Lives.

CJ Report

He really does have that 'gut-wrenching' compassion that Bobby had. In case you missed it, I did a CJ report about that on both OAC and DK "It was a 'Senator Edwards, we'll see you in the White House' sort of night". Here are the links http://blog.oneamericacommittee.com/story/2006/11/20/231717/85 and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/21/7310/6657d I am new on DK, but I understand it did quite well. My husband and I actually attended 3 of his public events weekend before last in Charlotte and COlumbia. I have my husband 'fired up' about it now. ;-) Love you Elizabeth. Thanks for being with us.

Social Contract

I believe I have watched the unraveling of our nation's social contract over the last six years. Our social contract is built upon sweat equity, not credit -- and yet our nation borrows against it over and again, with no regard for the damage being done. This damage IS felt by those who are most at risk for being failed by this social contract, with dire consequences.

I feel so very hopeful when I watch you and Senator Edwards fully participating in the "grunt-work" required to sustain our nation's social contract, e.g. Habitat for Humanity, New Orleans clean-up, etc. This is in stark contrast from our current leadership, whose hard work to "clean-up" appears to be limited to the brush on his Texas ranch.

Thank you. Exponential gratitude for all the hard work.

well said

I believe I have watched the unraveling of our nation's social contract over the last six years.

true true

I feel so very hopeful when I watch you and Senator Edwards fully participating in the "grunt-work" required to sustain our nation's social contract

and Amen.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Two Americas

I appreciate your participation in the blog!

Do you think the "Two Americas" theme will be an important one for 2008 or do you see problems with focusing on the increasing inequality in this country?

:)

Side note:

ontherise is one of my dearest friends in the world, and this is her first time ever visiting a blog. She even posted a comment! What a great name, too!

Thanks, sweetie pie. I hope you get addicted.

welcome! Any friend of A's is a friend of ours.

actually, if you are in Chapel Hill you might actually BE a friend of mine. Or, at least someone I've bumped into at Whole Foods.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

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