By John Atlas on September 30, 2007
The mainstream media missed an important moment in last week's Democratic Presidential debate. It happened when the moderator asked John Edwards about his criticism of Hillary Clinton.
Edwards charged Clinton with messing up health-care reform in the '90s and her mistake had left tens of millions of Americans uninsured. He criticized Clinton for relying on a "bunch of Washington insiders who sit around tables together" to plot the fate of the health care system.
A week before Edwards said, "The lesson Senator Clinton seems to have learned from her experience with health care is, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' I learned a very different lesson from decades of fighting powerful interests -- you can never join 'em, you just have to beat 'em."
Edwards, unlike Clinton, promised to push for a universal health care plan through Congress by mobilizing public opinion and building a movement through grassroots organizing.
Edwards said the other candidates, including Clinton, believe that the way to get a health care bill is to broker a deal between "Washington insiders" -- insurance companies, drug companies and other lobby groups. "Its like the rest of America doesn't exist," Edwards noted.
He referred to himself as a "President who is willing to go to America and make the case for universal health care."
Edwards pledged to be a leader, not just a deal-maker. Twice during Wednesday's debate, he mentioned his hard work over the past few years helping community organizing groups like ACORN, and activist unions like SEIU, who will provide the troops trying to change the balance of power in this country to counter the powerful insurance lobby.