Edwards Hopes Good Works Will Give Him The Ticker

John Edwards's fireworks grabbed the attention of YearlyKos attendees, and it is probably not an accident that his next production, a lavishly-planned week-long "smart trade" message roll out, coincides with the summer meeting of the AFL-CIO.

There is a presidential forum on Tuesday at Soldier Field, but Edwards is aiming at a slightly smaller audience: perhaps the executive committee of the AFL-CIO, which meets Wednesday to decide whether to move forward on a joint presidential endorsement.

Except -- they're not _really_ the intended audience, either. It's unlikely the AFL-CIO will muster a consensus for an endorsement. The target this week is individual unions. Some of them are flirting with Sen. Barack Obama and others with Sen. Hillary Clinton. By making such an aggressive case for his labor bona fides, Edwards wants to make sure that these other unions think very carefully before deciding to endorse someone else. His campaign hopes to persuade these unions not to make endorsements; they hope that enough of these unions' rank and file will pressure their leaders to stay on the sidelines.

This week, Edwards will outline what he calls a "smart and safe" trade policy that, in the words of a campaign aide, "will improve our economy and build One America where each person has the chance to work hard and get ahead."

Watch for Edwards to press Democrats to refuse to take contributions from lobbyists, an encore performance from YearlyKos.