Edwards Supporters On the Web: Early Activity
(June 5, 2006 grab)
(May 13, 2006 grab)
(Dec. 16, 2006 grab)
(Sept. 11, 2006 grab)

Draft John
About the Site:
This effort started with the site at www.draftjohn2008.com (The Draft John Edwards for President 2008 Website); labor activist Bernard Pollack was a key figure in that site (first postings on Nov. 20, 2005 and last posting on May 30, 2006).

Tom Adkins (TominDC) helped put up a totally reconfigured successor site which went up at www.draftjohn.com at the end of May 2006 (first postings on May 31, 2006).  Adkins wrote in a June 5 e-mail: "Our goal is to convince likely Democratic primary voters that John Edwards is the only candidate with an economic message powerful enough to win in November and make real change for working Americans."  However, Pollack was kept busy directing AFL-CIO's Labor 2006 in Pennsylvania and Adkins went to Michigan to manage Andy Levin's State Senate campaign.

In July 13 e-mail Brian Sandberg of Portland, ME took up the cause, writing, "We can help to brand Senator Edwards as the only candidate who understands the economic realities of working America and has the political courage to make change."  Sandberg suggested a few ways to help including: sign up to blog; grassroots media events; help us build a story bank; sign up on draftjohn.com.

Draftjohn.com faces a challenging dynamic in that Edwards' official One America site is quite active.

From the main page of the initial site, www.draftjohn2008.com:
"This website is yours. This movement is only as big as you create it. We are here to connect you will others feeling a deep desire to change the direction of our country, here to provide resources, here to share ideas -- but whatever happens beyond that is entirely dependant on you.

"Join us and lead this effort!

"We are working hard to identify great people in all 50 states deeply committed to our shared goal, will you be that person that helps plug others in? Want to dedicate less time? How about being a team leader in your Congressional district or even your local precinct? Want to offer your skills in other ways -- we are seeking webmasters, designers, copy editors, field organizers, media specialists, and any other way we can match your skills, interests, and ideas with our collective effort."

Some plans did not come to fruition.  From the donations page:
We'll create and distribute educational material to targeted voters across New Hampshire
We'll stage media and public events to bring John’s message to the public
We'll start Draft John chapters on college campuses and pay stipends to student interns

The sky is the limit as this summer we will tour “Draft John Edwards - Build One America ” caravans across New Hampshire!

Iowa For Edwards
We are the leaders we've been waiting for

Site launched by Joshua Brown, age 24 of Indianola, in mid-2006.

About the Site:
Joshua Brown responded to questions in a Sept. 11, 2006 e-mail.

> Was there a specific event that prompted you to start the site?

I have been a John Edwards supporter since 2002 and have been working in Iowa to get his name out.  Ever since July 2006 I have been getting more active on the web, creating the www.iowaforedwards.com website.  I have also created a myspace group and facebook group.

> Have you done other blogging or web activity before this?

I have done blogging or online journaling before for myself but never for a cause.  I have found that fighting for a cause means a lot more and has been a great way to talk to other supporters and support John Edwards.

> Are you a political veteran; have you worked or volunteered on any political campaigns and if so which?

I have been active in Democratic Politics since 2001 when I was a student at Simpson College.  I was the president of the Simpson College Democrats and Secretary of the Iowa Young Democrats.  I am currently a member of the Warren County Democrats and serving on the executive committee as the candidate recruitment chair.  I am also on the 4th District Central Committee.  I am also currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Iowa for Edwards netroots organization though People for Edwards.

> What do you do in real life?

In real life I teach 8th Grade Special Education and am a youth director at local church here in Indianola, Iowa.  I am very involved in my church and in school through the NEA and PTA.  I am also busy helping raise my four month old son.

> What are some of you preferred sources of information (be it print/radio/tv/online) that you turn to most frequently?

I find that I get most of my news from online, and when I can I try to at least catch the nightly news or watch a little CNN.

> Do you recall when you first became aware of John Edwards?

I first became aware of John Edwards during the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton.  I met John Edwards and became a instant supporter at the Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner in 2002 where Paul Begala was the keynote speaker and Edwards, Kerry, and Dean all gave speeches as well.

> Why do you think John Edwards would be the best candidate for president?

John Edwards is the best candidate for President because he cares about people.  He doesn't just go by public opinion polls like most politicians he genuinely cares about this country and the direction we are going in.   From meeting dozens of potential presidential candidates he is the only one who comes off as a genuine and honest.  He has the charisma and the speaking ability to sway audiences that may not even agree with his positions on issues (which will be good when running in the general election).  He is one of the most honest people in politics today.  His whole family is amazing and would be great people to have in the White House.

He also has an outlined vision for our country and has tried to implement some pilot programs through the Center on Poverty at UNC such as the College for Everyone Program and his focus on early education.  He is also one of the few actually fighting for true universal health care and working towards the empowerment of all types of unions including service unions.  He cares about issues that normally don't attract a lot of votes such as ending poverty but these issues are important moral issues of our day.

I think the amount of time he fights for those who cannot fight for themselves is evidence of why John Edwards should be our next President.
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action