The Instigator
blond_guy
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Patrick_Henry
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

John Edwards was the best candidate in the democratic party. He lost because of the media.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,285 times Debate No: 2868
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (8)

 

blond_guy

Pro

What really upset me in this 2008 election was that John Edwards, my favorite candidate in the democratic party at the time, was that the media payed so much attention to the woman and the black and made it look like it was a 2 candidate race.

In this debate I'd argue that John Edwards WAS a better candidate than both Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Edwards has fought to decrease the poverty rate in the country, he had the best Universal Health Care plan of all and he has fought the big corporations and interest groups and he has fought against corruption best.

I will also argue, if my opponent would like, that the reason John Edwards lost and was basically forced to drop out of the race was the media's influence.

This is a 5 round debate, so I'll leave it at that for my opponent.
Patrick_Henry

Con

I'm glad that you were able to find a favorite candidate out of the 2008 primary season. However, the fact that he may have been your favorite candidate does not mean that John Edwards was the best candidate in the Democratic Party. Naturally, as your favorite you may feel this way. I am an expert on the candidates of the Democratic Party, having met all of them except for Gravel. I went to more than 140 presidential events during the Iowa Caucuses while working for a nonpartisan nonprofit and paid close attention to the platforms and speeches of many of the candidates.

There are two possible ways to evaluate whether or not a candidate was the best candidate in that party.

The first and foremost, and also the most obvious is how that candidate does during the primaries.

The second is whether that candidate was the best possible candidate to actually be the president of the United States.

To address the first possible consideration, John Edwards did not retain much support in the early states. A sad fact, giving that he is from South Carolina, and effectively spent two years in Iowa, he couldn't mobilize much of an effort to do well in either state. While Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were serving the people with their offices in the government, John Edwards was politician with no true obligations on his time, and tens of millions of dollars stuffed in his mattress.

To address the second statement, John Edwards was not the best possible person to be president out of the Democratic perspectives. Senator Joseph Biden was the best possible president of the United States of America to run in the Democratic Party.

You do, however, state that John Edwards was a better candidate than Both Obama and Hillary Clinton, which may be true. But when it comes to it, all three of them can't hold a candle to Joseph Biden. Everything is just a matter of taste. Edwards also lacked foreign policy experience, and significant political experience. He has had nothing to do with shaping the policies of the United States as a one term Senator. He and Obama have some of those things in common. You learn from experience. As a Senator, Edwards did not fight poverty, he did not successfully achieve a Universal Health Care plan, and best of all, he didn't actually fight big corporations.

How many picket lines did Edwards appear on while he was actually a Senator? Where was his harsh criticisms of corporate polices while he was actually in the Senate? You can say a lot of stuff when you have nothing to lose. Edwards was a charlatan, at best. He has not kept a single promise he made, including the fact that his non-Iowan staffers caucused in spite of a pledge signed by their campaign stating that persons living in Iowa for the expressed purpose of working for presidential campaigns would not caucus.

The Media did a very poor job of covering the race. However, in the state of Iowa, Edwards received a whole lot of media coverage, and compared to the best possible president, Joe Biden, he received a great deal of national press recognition, as they made the habit of talking about the top three candidates in national polls.

Yes, the media failed this nation, but if they had done their job, John Edwards still wouldn't have been the main focal.
Debate Round No. 1
blond_guy

Pro

I can see you're trying to make yourself important by stating you know so much about the democratic party. However, none of your arguments hold water.

First you argue that John Edwards didn't have much of a chance to win the primaries. You're no expert, we all knew that as soon as we saw the polls and primaries. What I'm arguing here is that he was the best, and you are supposed to just tell me who's better and why you think so.

So then you say Joe Biden is the best candidate. Well this just shows a great deal of hypocrisy. You claim John Edwards isn't good because he didn't have a chance, then you choose Joe Biden? That guy had to drop out before the Iowa primaries even finished! He had 1% of the vote.

Lastly, you criticize John Edward's record:

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Edwards was the first to come out with a Health Care Plan out of all the candidates. Hillary Clinton almost copied his whole plan, and then Obama took Hillary's and made bigger changes to it. As a Senator there's not much to do about Health Care. How can you make a Universal Health Care plan with one state? Makes no sense.

You claim he didn't fight big corporations. All his life he has fought corporations. He made his first 20 million dollars fighting corporations, and he takes no campaign donations for interest groups. He has always stood up to corporations and defended the lower class, because he himself was poor in his early life.

He has fought poverty all his life, but to give an example, he had been working full time at the One America committee in which he was appointed the director of the center on poverty. So as it is hard to do much when you're only a center, there are millions of reasons to believe he tried, because that has been his cause his whole life.
Patrick_Henry

Con

I can see you're trying to make yourself important by stating you know so much about the democratic party. However, none of your arguments hold water.

Actually, I was attempting to establish creditability.

My argument was broken down into the two possible ways of classifying the strength of a candidate. One is actual performance in the race, the other is actual ability to be the best possible president. Your argument had two points, the first that he was the best candidate, and the second that the media was to blame for his failures during the election. He himself dropped out fairly swiftly, in spite of promises not to do so. So obviously, in the first classification, he was not the best candidate. This isn't a rhetorical argument, it's a fact. It is one validation as to why he was not a good candidate.

I did say Senator Biden was the best possible president out of all of the Democratic Nominees. I was giving you an opportunity to attack why you felt John Edwards was better than Biden. You chose not to do so because I didn't support Biden, which I was planning on doing in round two that I am currently writing. I was also planning on further criticizing John Edwards.

Your cause for accusing me of hypocrisy comes after I explained two ways of measuring the "best candidate." I specifically stated that the best possible president of the nominees was Joe Biden. You are also debating the person who is directly responsible for 9% of Joe Biden's total statewide support after only being on his campaign for less than 3 weeks and there was almost zero support for him when I got their just before Christmas. If you'd like, I can expand further into why various campaigns met with successes and failures. I'm very good at knowing things I'm not supposed to. You might be referring to his 1988 campaign where he dropped out for numerous reasons, including a very excusable instance of accidently not crediting a source he had credited dozens of times before. In 1988, he was also chair of the Judiciary committee, and was distracted from campaigning by his efforts to keep Judge Bork from becoming a supreme court justice, which would have gravely undermined the 9th amendment. If he had stayed in the race, it is also likely that when he suffered his massive aneurism, he may not have been near medical facilities and might not be among the living.

Before I speak to the virtues of Senator Biden, I need to attack the pretensions of John Edwards.

What he did as a Senator of the United States of America does not reflect his claims as a candidate for President. As a freshman Senator, there was little he could have achieved by himself, and he never really learned how to function within the federal government. This is why he doesn't understand his Universal Health Care plan will never pass the Senate with the 60 vote majority that it would require. It is very unlikely that Senator Obama's, or Senator Clinton's will either, unless somehow the Democrats pick up ten Senate seats in addition to the fifty they already possess during this session. As a Senator you have influence on national policies, and he could have drafted and introduced and built consensus for a Universal Health Plan and then worked to get it enacted into law. He chose not to do this when he had the opportunity.
Senator Edwards, the "champion of the middle class", is the same John Edwards that took on a lawsuit against the American Red Cross three times. That certainly is fighting major corporations. And the pool filter cover? The manufacturer got sued because the pool staff hadn't appropriately maintained it. As a trial lawyer, John Edwards took a third of the reward that others received for their pain and suffering without pain and suffering, except for when his own son died, and even then he used the story in the courtroom to win a trial. This story also reappeared as a part of his stump speech quiet frequently. He capitalized on his son's death.

You should define "Special interest group," because they're more than just "Big Tobacco." Unions, like the UAW or the Teamsters are also special interest groups. For eleven months I worked for a nonpartisan nonprofit which issue based, and also a special interest group. This wouldn't be much of a big deal, except that John Edwards saught the endorsement of these organizations, and when it was received, he was more than happy to have them mail out literature, and make phone calls, and direct advertisement on his behalf. But, I suppose its okay so long as you don't take money from the Teamsters' PAC.

"Always" is an interesting word. Like I said, when he "fought corporations" in the court room, he took a third of the winnings away from the battle. So unbelievably selfless. And now that he's a multimillionaire, he wants to be a campion of the middle class. So, he set up a nonpartisan nonprofit group that allows him to write off a majority of what he owes the nation in taxes. And while he often claims to be the "son of a mill worker", his father was management at the mill, which is a step up from what he depicts. He'll tell stories about how his father taught him the value of honest work, and how where he grew up there was no distinction made between people based off of the work they did, or the money they got paid, yet a few minutes later he'd say "I'm the son of a mill worker. I came from dirt." So, apparently being working class is tantamount to being dirt? Right. This is the same guy who used to say things like, "I'm not worried about my kids. My kids are set for life. I'm worried about your kids."

Then, there are some examples of his dishonesty. For starters, he frequently told me he was going to stop by the bar I own sometime, yet it never happened. More significantly, his campaign signed a pledge stating that none of their employees living in Iowa for the sole purpose of working for Edwards would caucus, yet their campaign constructed all of them to caucus.

John Edwards started the "One America Committee." It's a political front. He would use this One America Committee to travel to Iowa during the 2006 campaign year, along with a staff, to give speeches on behalf of candidates for congress, and state representatives, and state senators, in an effort to build a stronger organization for his 2008 campaign. But, most candidates do this.

So, to build my case for Joe Biden. Joe Biden's been in the Senate for 35 years, and he and his wife still make less than 300,000 dollars a year. This amount includes his wife's salary that she receives as an education professor at a community college, and what Senator Biden gets paid for teaching a weekend class on Constitutional Law at the University of Delaware. This makes him actually a member of the Middle Class, unlike Edwards. Senator Biden had a habit of quoting his grandfather, "I don't want the government to solve all of my problems, I want the government to understand my problems." How can a multimillionaire who thinks his kids are set for life honestly understand a middle class family?

Joe Biden also came from a middle class back ground, but he didn't need it for the center piece of his campaign. While Edwards dwelled on his childhood, trying to ignore stories about how he sued the Red Cross, or about how when someone else's daughter gets disemboweled, he got paid several million dollars. While Edwards told stories about how his father would have to leave restaurants because he couldn't afford the prices, Senator Biden actually thanked his father for the multiple jobs and the hard work, and didn't tell sob stories. Biden doesn't resent his youth, and that might be why he's still making less than a million dollars a year

In the next round, I'll expand on Biden's foreign policy and domestic polices. 8,000 characters – just not enough. I'll also explain why the media isn't to blame for Edwards' loss.
Debate Round No. 2
blond_guy

Pro

blond_guy forfeited this round.
Patrick_Henry

Con

Senator Biden has authored what is known as the "Biden Exit Strategy" for Iraq. It is a resolution that passed the Senate with a 75 vote majority, and the house with 361 votes. This resolution dictated the way in which we'd handle the situation in Iraq, and it is the only actual plan for Iraq that was produced during the 2007-2008 Primary Season. All other plans for Iraq are position papers, and usually have very little to do with reality as they attempt to appeal to ideology. Senator Biden's plan recieved the support of the Legislative Branch.

While all of the other Democrats played to the crowd and voted against funding the war, it was only Senator Biden that understood that without funding the war would still continue, and the President would have other funds diverted from other federal programs which he controls. I've known people who have lost their research grants because the money was literally redirected to funding the conflict in Iraq. He also voted for the Iraq war funding because of his labors to introduce to the bill an amendment that allowed for the replacement of every HUMVEE being used in Iraq with a Mine Resistant Up-Armored Vehicle, or, an MRAV. The vehicles, constructed with a v-shaped hull, are designed to more effectively protect the personnel within from an explosion. If these vehicles were implemented, it is estimated that the total number of deaths and causalities would be at least 60% fewer. The amount of head trauma and permanent brain damage would likewise be considerably lower. The Bush Administration kept the development of these vehicles secret, and then decided not to fund the construction of them. Senator Biden found out about them from a whistle blower, and within a matter of months saw to it that almost 8,000 could have been produced in less than a year.

The funding for these vehicles was a part of that bill, and so every other Democratic candidate attempting to make a futile demonstration in an attempt to gain support during the primaries, voted against protecting our soldiers, and lowering the long term costs of health care for our wounded veterans. Biden was the only candidate with the qualities of a statesmen, and so he voted for the best policy in spite of the fact that many people were ignorant of what the best policy was.

Senator Biden, serving on the foreign relations committee for the last 35 years has also had the unique distinction of being one of the most internationally well known American statesmen in history. He even met with Kosygin during his career. Biden's approach to foreign policy would have almost instantaneously restored our reputation in the world, and combined with his incredibly ethical and broad understanding of the world, he would have fixed the trade agreements which would work very well if we upheld them.

For example, it was Senator Biden who understood that the reason why we didn't shut down trade with China was not because we need China's imports, its because of American based multinational corporations which owned the factories that were attempting to drug and poison our children. These corporations lobby for their own interest, while actively working against the common good of our republic.

Domestically, Senator Biden understood very well that the flaw with our public education system is that it lasts for only 14 years, compared to 16 years in the other industrialized nations. His ideas for expanding education included mandatory pre-kindergarten, and grants which would have allowed the 400,000 students who didn't attend college in 2007 because they couldn't afford it to attend.

He has seen the Bush administration strip the funding for decent federal programs that were working, like COPS and the Biden Crime Bill, which put 100,000 cops on the streets, and provided 10 billion dollars for prevention of crime. He understood the effect of our 9 trillion dollar deficit, and to quote him "I can lift up my shirt and show you the scars on my back from the first time we balanced the budget."

He could fix social security easily and simply by merely increasing the amount of payroll subject to the payroll tax to 117,000 dollars and ensuring that there will never be want nor need for social security.

Biden actually knows how to build a consensus, and how to manage the governmental systems. He knows the power of the executive, and the influence it has. The United States doesn't have fuel efficient cars? He'd use the market place. Biden would have made the executive order on his first day that no federal agency would be allowed to purchase a fleet vehicle that got less than 40 miles the the gallon on the high way. Over night, you'd see American auto-manufacturers turning out vehicles that met those standards.

Biden's healthcare plan is the only one that could have passed the Senate. It doesn't begin by mandating the creation of a federal healthcare system, it starts by building the need and demand for one by putting simple policies in place first, then encouraging certain states to make certain things work. Senator Biden understood better than any candidate the power of the bully pulpit to effect change and policy.

Now, given the clear virtues of Senator Joe Biden, if the media had been doing it's job instead of polling and only talking about the candidates that were popular before the campaigns began, Senator Biden would have likely recieved a lions share of the support. With one sentence, he destroyed Rudy's candidacy. If he had chosen to, he could have severely, and I meant this, severely embarrassed every single one of the front runners, including your precious John Edwards. Unfortunately, it's not Senator Biden's style to burn bridges.

When each of the candidates that was whining about Iran spoke, it was Biden who informed the nation that maybe they should be worried about Pakistan. It was Biden who reminded the media that Pakistan is going through a difficult time, and as if on cue from Senator Biden, they began talking about Pakistan. Now, the media often neglected to mention finer details, like the fact that the Senator would be speaking at a campaign event in Davenport when he'd receive a call from the President of Pakistan, and then he had to excuse himself again from the audience because he had to brief the State Department and the White House because the President of Pakistan called Joe Biden, and not the President of the United States.

If the Media wanted to talk about foreign policy experience, how about the only person running for President that the President of Pakistan talks to instead of talking to the President of the United States?

If the media cared about health care, they wouldn't care about the difference between plans, they would care about the viability of the plan successfully being implemented, which would mean passing the House and the Senate. If they wanted to actually discuss experience, maybe they should have brought up the fact that somebody got elected to the Senate in 1972, what were the other candidates doing?

The biggest frustration in my life is hearing the media talk about Obama's experience as a constitutional law professor, and failing to mention that Senator Biden's been teaching constitutional law on the weekends for the last 18 or 19 years.

Edwards got a lot of media coverage, especially in Iowa. He spent a lot of money, too.

He tried, and he failed. It was him, and not the media. He was not the best candidate to be President.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
Well, here we don't, you pay taxes for it.
There are syndicates, but they merely are executing some practical stuff and are politized (if that is a word :D)

Ron Paul doesn't live over here. ;)

Just look at the amount of taxes paid in Belgium.
We're ranking as the top of the world. (as % of income)
Also, i've never ever seen anything ran more efficiënt by our government than by the private sector.

And as i stated, i can come in that government imposes some regulations. Like they obliged insurance companies to include floods and nature disasters in house insurances.

They could do the same for healthcare: clearly defining what should be in the insurance policies as a minimum.
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
<<Or at least to give people the choice between private insurance and government national healthcare>>

They do!!! I don't know about Belgium but in Portugal they do and Hillary wants them to also.

<<It also comes at a huge price.

If government could be trusted to be efficient, I'd have no problem with national healthcare.
However, it isn't.>>

You must be brainwashed by Ron Paul, it so doesn't come at a huge price, it's way cheaper. Here, even with insurance you have to pay co-payments and even with insurance your insurance companies find the smallest excuse they can not to cover something like the anesthesia. Once you live here you'll change your mind right away :)
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
It also comes at a huge price.

If government could be trusted to be efficiënt, i'd have no problem with national healthcare.
However, it isn't.

In the end, national health care is the government playing assurance agent. I can't see why they should do that instead of the private market.

It is my honnest opinion that it would work far better to leave it up to the private market and impose some criteria on them to prevent excesses and abuse.

Or at least to give people the choice between private insurance and government national healthcare
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
Oh! You're from Belgium, now I get it. I lived in Brussels for a year and my brother in law is from a german speaking town called Oipen.

What you say is true, there's a big difference in terms in Europe. I also lived in Portugal so I can see.

I see you are against national health care though... You must not know the problem it is here to get an operation or any expensive treatment. You should appreciate the health care in Belgium, you have no idea how lucky you are.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
Well, for example: liberal has a total different meaning for us.
It means striving for less government and more focus on individual freedom.

And it seems that socialist for US people is far more left than it is for us.

Don't want to say that one of both countries is superior in usage of the words, that would be totally dumb to state.
It's just different and i do find it kind of funny. ;)
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
what terms? what?
25 character rule is stupid.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
Quite funny how terms in the US and Belgium are so different from each other :D
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
Obama a socialist? I think that's pretty unfair, would you like to debate me on the fact that he is not a socialist? Because in my opinion, socialist is going a bit too far.
Posted by Conspicuous_Conservative 9 years ago
Conspicuous_Conservative
With Hilary bringing so much baggage. from her husbands campaign and Obama being a socialist with no history John Edwards was the best candidate for the democrats
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
oh shoot, that's right. Oh well, it won't matter that much, I made enough arguments.
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