Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Attended the Edwards Event in Chariton

I drove over to Chariton yesterday for the John Edwards event. It was a beautiful evening, so they had the event out on the courthouse lawn instead of inside Bizzy's Ice Cream.

There was a bigger crowd there than I expected, and I saw a lot of familiar faces. I asked a few of the local people who I know, and they said this visit was the first of any of the top candidates to Chariton. It's kinda like Albia, where we've only been visited by Tommy Thompson and John Cox.

Edwards continues to show that he's running strong in these small towns in my neighborhood. After the event, I had the opportunity to ask Edwards about how he would change federal agriculture policies. Here's his answer:

"Lower payment limitations. Lower limits on subsidies. What I've proposed is $250,000. More money put into moving toward clean, renewable sources of energy. More effort, although there's been some good effort under Tom Harkin, more effort made to conserve the land...more conservation funding. And a lot of the programs for low income families are in the Farm Bill. And I would want to bolster those also."

Edwards' proposed Rural Recovery Act is the only one of its kind so far among the presidential candidates.

For all of the national pundits who are still surprised at how well Edwards is doing in Iowa -- that's part of it. He seems to grasp these rural issues and concepts better than the other Democrats, with the possible exception of Iowa's neighbor from Illinois, Barack Obama.

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