John Edwards and Matt Dunne Connection
John Edwards announced today that he is running for president in 2008. He made this announcement while standing amidst residents of one of the most devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans, the lower ninth ward, where he was involved in a volunteer project with local residents to rebuild one of the many homes that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. John Edwards states his perspective on the upcoming campaign on his website. "It is a campaign not just about what we can do in the White House, but what we can do on the way. " Good idea. A campaign trail should be littered with more than credit card receipts and press conferences.
Does this volunteering on the campaign trail sound familiar to any Vermonters? It does to me. This "activist" campaign strategy that John Edwards is outlining seems quite similar to that of Matt Dunne's during his campaign for Lieutenent Governor of Vermont. As you may recall, Matt Dunne focused much of his campaign energy on what came to be known as "service politics." While on the campaign trail, Matt Dunne and his supporters volunteered around Vermont, putting their ideas to work by building a bike trail in North Branch Park, sorting donated groceries at the Vermont Food Bank, and digging up potatoes at Food Works farm. Matt Dunne spent a lot of his time "doing" instead of "talking about doing". John Edwards website shows that he may also try to run a campaign with a little more elbow grease than most presidential candidates.
So, after jogging my memory a little bit, I realized that the connection between the politics of Matt Dunne and John Edwards should come as no surprise. Back in February, Matt Dunne invited Edwards to be the keynote speaker at a conference in Vermont entitled "United Against Poverty". Here is what Matt had to said about Edwards back in February.
"Poverty remains a critical issue facing Vermont," said Sen. Dunne. "We have some of the most innovative organizations in the country leading the charge in the fight against poverty. Senator Edwards has dedicated his efforts to the issues of poverty since his bid for Vice President, and I am delighted that he has chosen to join us for a day to take stock of where we are, share strategies, and determine ways to make our efforts more successful in ensuring that every Vermonter has a chance to succeed."
Sounds like Edwards and Dunne have a lot in common. I've been wondering what Matt Dunne is up to after his busy campaign season. Maybe we will see him next to John Edwards more often in the next few years. If I'm right, you can say you heard it hear first. If not, it's good food for thought.