HAMPTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Ex-Sen. John Edwards was late for Winnacunnet elementary school this morning and he didn't even get a hall pass. Cosmic justice: on the day that Edwards was set to speak to the National Education Associations"School to White House" team here, the American Federation of Teachers voted to endorse Sen. HIllary Clinton, a fact that will almost certainly appear in every newspaper account of the first half of the day.
(A union source says the vote for Hillary was "overwhelming" -- even though Illinois and New Mexico are well represented on the AFT's board. Now -- since the largest AFT affiliate is New York City's United Federation of Teachers, the fact of the endorsement is not too surprising.)
Edwards right now is talking to a high school civics class. They don't seem terribly interested; they seem to recognize that they're being used by a prop. As a crush of students passed by the classroom on their way to lunch, they paused and peered through the window. "He's in third place, right?" "Hillary is the forerunner," another said, referring, presumably, to her frontrunner-status and not to an animated vehicular doppleganger.
Earlier, Edwards faced the students, and they asked him some tough questions: why did it seem like Edwards had flip-flopped on withdrawing troops? (He didn't, and he used the students question to later say of Hillary Clinton, "My plan would end the war, Hillary Clinton would extend the war." Another student asked him a delicious question about how he would pay for all the federal education programs he had just proposed -- would he raise taxes? This is New Hampshire, after all. Edwards's answer was satisfactory to the student: he'd raise the capital gains tax, yes, but squeeze out other savings by removing the middlemen brokers who make money of student loans.
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