'We Have to Elevate the Discussion'

"Last week The New York Times ran a story suggesting that it was wrong for John to have spent the last three years raising awareness of poverty and advocating for solutions," wrote deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince. "As if there's any way to draw attention to poverty without publicity! And to make matters worse, the reporter just refused to even talk with any of the people who benefited -- like any of the 200 young people who got scholarships through the College for Everyone program, or the 700 students who went to New Orleans with John to help rebuild. So we really need your help to get our message out; please, give what you can today."

"I think this is much broader than Ann Coulter," John Edwards said. "I think this is part of a language and an attack system that is calculated to move us away from the things that affect people's lives."

Edwards said comments Coulter made about him and his Democratic rivals are all "calculated to keep us from having a serious dialogue and debate about universal health care, the war in Iraq, energy policy -- those are the things we should be talking about in a presidential campaign.

"When this kind of effort is being made you have to stand up and fight back, and that's what I'm doing," Edwards added.

According to a source on the Edwards campaign, that anti-New York Times appeal was the most successful e-mail appeal of this quarter. Until Ann Coulter showed up again, of course.

This week Coulter is hawking the paperback edition of her bestselling book "Godless," just as Edwards approaches the June 30 deadline for second-quarter fundraising for presidential campaigns. Enemies can have their uses.

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