The Campaign Spot

Last Minute Addition to Obama’s List: Chet Edwards?

This news probably has much of the political world saying, “WHAT?!?”

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential candidate Barack Obama is hours away from naming his running mate, as little-known Texas congressman Chet Edwards is emerging as a finalist. Democratic officials say that Edwards was one of the few Democrats whose background was checked by Obama’s campaign, and he was a finalist for the job.

UPDATE: A disastrous pick, if accurate. He may be a perfectly nice guy, but he’s a complete unknown. It’s very difficult to see this one guy who represents communities near Waco putting Obama over the top in Texas, and it’s hard to see him having the pull and sway to put many other red states or districts in play. He’s been on budget and appropriations – classic bring-home-the-pork guy, with the Pig Book listing 73 projects worth $128,414,403. The outsider bringing change to Washington is going with a guy who’s been in the House since 1991.
He’s named “Chet” and was a junior golf champion. Voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment and line-item veto. He supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and for the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
National Journal: “In 2002 Farley ran again and national Republicans ran ads against Edwards arguing that he had the voting record of a Northeastern liberal. Edwards argued that he supported Bush on terrorism, education, welfare, energy and the Iraq war resolution.”
His ACU rating for 2006 was 68, for 2005 (a non-election year) it was 36.
He voted to extend the Patriot Act, and to build a border fence. He opposed an Iraq withdrawl proposal in the 109th Congress. He supports a Constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning, and increasing fines for “indecent” broadcasting.
He voted against raising corporate average fuel economy standards.
He supports limiting attorney’s fees in class action lawsuits.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A letter to the editor from August 4 in a paper in Chet Edwards’ district:

It raises the question, do our elected politicians really care about our real challenges? Why don’t we hear Edwards standing up saying that we do need more drilling and that the leader of his own party is wrong for not letting the American Energy Act to the floor for debate and an up or down vote. Edwards said he was in support of more domestic drilling in his letter to me, but he sure isn’t standing up in Congress to do anything. We are tired of the lip service we hear from our politicians.
We as voters in the 17th District can only do so much. We as voters are responsible for putting the right people in office to protect our rights and fight for our needs. The 17th District needs to start asking our nine-term congressman why we haven’t heard him take a vocal stance and push legislation of his own or even support other legislation to drill more to help lower gas prices.
It makes you wonder, is it really high on the priority list of our congressman or is party politics more important than the people who elect him to office. If you go onto edwards.house.gov and click on the link “issues,” it doesn’t even have a link regarding high gas prices or even energy, which should state our congressman’s position.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: A Chet Edwards pick would make the Netroots furious, and justifiably, for once: Chris Bowers notes, “Edwards is ranked outside the top 200 most progressive members of Congress on virtually every single issue.”

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