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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

New York Times > Edwards, Hailing Kerry, Says 'Hope Is on the Way'

July 29, 2004
By ROBIN TONER and KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
BOSTON, July 28 - Senator John Edwards made an impassioned case for Senator John Kerry Wednesday, hailing him as a peerless commander in chief for a perilous age and a man who could restore economic hope and opportunity. "Hope is on the way,'' Mr. Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Democratic National Convention.
Reprising a theme he sounded throughout his primary campaign, Mr. Edwards declared that "we still live in two different Americas,'' one for people who "are set for life,'' the other for "most Americans who live from paycheck to paycheck.'' He proudly recounted his own rise as the son of a millworker and said that Mr. Kerry shared his values. "We must build one America,'' he said.
Mr. Edwards, who will officially become the Democratic nominee for vice president on Thursday, also tried to make a simple but politically crucial point: that Mr. Kerry, assailed by the Republicans as too risky and untested to be a wartime president, is made of sterner stuff and proved it even as a young Swift boat commander in Vietnam. [Man in the News, page P8.]
His crewmates "saw up close what he's made of," Mr. Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "They saw him reach down and pull one of his men from the river and save his life. And in the heat of battle, they saw him decide in an instant to turn his boat around, drive it straight through an enemy position, and chase down the enemy to save his crew.
"Decisive. Strong. Aren't those the traits you want in a commander in chief?"
Rarely was the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the war with Iraq more apparent on American politics, as Democrats rolled out a series of testimonials from leaders in the military establishment, comrades of Mr. Kerry's from Vietnam and a chorus of elected officials. The testimony was aimed at what many consider Mr. Kerry's principal vulnerability in his race with President Bush: that voters still tend to trust Mr. Bush more to keep them safe, according to polls.



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