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Colorado Bloggers Meet John Edwards

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Neither snow nor slush could keep Colorado’s bloggers from meeting former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards yesterday.

About 15 Colorado bloggers attended the get-together at the downtown Denver Hyatt Hotel.

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In a nutshell, color me impressed with him and his ideas. It was all q & a, no speeches, for about 45 minutes. Everything was on the record. Among those writing about the meeting:

Sen. Edwards began with the issues most important to him: Universal health care, energy and poverty in America.

One blogger asked him about his somewhat controversial plan for housing vouchers. Edwards explained his position: He said we have a broken housing policy and that the economic segregation that still exists is unhealthy for our democracy. He would add 1 million new housing vouchers and use them differently than today. His proposed vouchers would be a migration tool, allowing low income people to move into better neighborhoods.

Edwards was also keen on the concept of “moral authority.” He said what America should be doing is providing leadership and moral authority in the world. The world is in chaos and a very dangerous place. If the Democrats don’t do it, it won’t get done.

He said Democrats should not be talking on Republican terms, but on their own terms. He called the Republican vision an “abysmal failure.”

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We then got into a spirited discussion about the newly passed military commissions bill. He said he was disappointed in John McCain and that the bill undermines our moral authority. America used to be the leader in the human rights field, but after Guantanamo and Abu Graib, that’s changed.

Yet, he seemed to endorse the idea that if there was an immediate threat to the nation, the President, in his sole discretion, should have the right to “aggressively interrogate” a detainee who might have knowledge of the plan, without first seeking court intervention.

This exception is known as the Ticking Time Bomb theory, something I pointed out here is a slippery slope.

Sen. Edwards has never been a liberal on criminal justice issues. During the 2004 campaign, he did not hesitate to reiterate his support for the death penalty and his opposition to medical marijuana.

But, he’s a very personable guy and clearly committed to improving the lives of working class and poor Americans. His passion for the underprivileged alone is enough to warrant serious consideration of any future presidential bid he might undertake.

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