Edwards Gets Personal

By Ed O'Keefe

Aug 23, 2007 5:42pm

ABC News’ Raelyn Johnson Reports: Sen. John Edwards is getting personal.

"(The election) is a choice between the failed compromises of the past and the bright possibilities of our future," Edwards, D-N.C., in a speech delivered in Hanover, New Hampshire on Thursday. 

"The trouble with nostalgia is that you tend to remember what you liked and forget what you didn’t.  It’s not just that the answers of the past aren’t up to the job today, it’s that the system that produced them was corrupt — and still is," he continued.

And it didn’t stop there.

"The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate," said Edwards.

While Edwards, who is waging a much gritter campaign than the one that landed him the vice presidential slot on the Democratic ticket in 2004, did not mention Sen. Hillary Clinton or her husband directly, the inference was hard to miss.

It’s the latest move by a candidate trying to up the ante and create bolder distinctions between his campaign and that of rivals Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

"The choice for our party could not be more clear," said Edwards.  "We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other."

In early August, Edwards has called on his party to stop taking political contributions from Washington lobbyists. Last week when Sen. Obama muddied his relatively clear stance on the issue when he said lobbyists would "have a seat at the table" in his administration.

In an interview with ABC News senior political reporter and author of The Note Rick Klein, Edwards blasted Obama’s contention that he could curb the influence of lobbyists while still listening to their views as a "fantasy".

At the ABC News Iowa Democratic Debate on Sunday, Edwards presented a much softer edge, preferring to save his best shots, it seems, for the campaign trail. But the former Senator did deliver one shot across the bow regarding lobbyists.

"I don’t believe you can change this country without taking on very entrenched interests in Washington," Edwards told the crowd and debate moderator George Stephanopoulos, "including lobbyists that stand between us and the change America needs. And I don’t believe you can do it by sitting at a table, negotiating with them and trying to bring them together."

The aforementioned Klein has taken an in-depth look at the double-edged sword that is the Clintons.  Check it out by clicking here.

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