Saturday, September 8, 2007

John Edwards Returns To Pace University

At CBS4 in New York city, Kelly Marshall writes:

Sen. John Edwards entered Pace University auditorium Friday afternoon to loud applause, the pop, pop of camera flashbulbs and possibly a sense of déjà vu.

In September 2003, Edwards took the school stage in one of the Democratic debates in the last campaign. This time he had the stage all to himself.

Pace University sits at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and is just a few blocks from the World Trade Center. The sixth anniversary of 9/11 is just days away and it's a tough anniversary for some.

Edwards was introduced Friday by Kristin Breitweiser, whose husband, Ron worked in the World Trade Center and was killed on 9/11. After she lost her husband, Breitweiser and four other 9/11 widows formed the "Jersey Girls" and successfully lobbied Congress to form an investigative commission to look into the attacks. This blonde-haired single-mother calls Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, friends and is supporting Edwards on the campaign trail for a second time. In 2004, Breitweiser said Edwards -- who wound up as John Kerry's vice presidential runningmate --was the only candidate offering solutions to the country's current problems.

Edwards spoke to an audience full of supporters and media, but not a large number of students. But Edwards reached out to young people just the same. Touching on the war in Iraq, his views on foreign policy, and oil dependency, Edwards said he was willing to sacrifice for America and asked that they do the same. It is "these sacrifices from you and other Americans that will restore this country's greatness," he said.

To enthusiastic applause, Edwards said that it was, "time to be patriotic about something other than war." He also challenged the students in the audience to, "hold yourself accountable for creating a better nation. That is what it means to be American."

Edwards left the stage to a standing ovation. Breitweiser said she thought Edwards gave a great speech and that his ideas for changing the way America fights terrorism and improving foreign relations would provide a safer future for everybody.