Chadwick Matlin (could there be a WASPier name?) writes in Slate that John Edwards has finally accepted the reality that he will never be President. Instead, Edwards can take on a far more important role:
But just because he’s done with the campaign trail doesn’t mean Edwards is done with politics. Hillary Clinton announced that she wants a Cabinet-level “poverty czar” in her administration—a position probably created with Edwards’ endorsement in mind. If Hillary doesn’t sweet-talk her way into the White House, Edwards can always emulate a certain former vice president and become a Poverty Gore rather than a poverty czar. What Al did for the environment John can do for the poor. Hell, if Gore’s current status is any indication, more people will want Edwards to be president when he isn’t trying to become one.
Why “far more important”? As powerful as the Presidency is, the domestic agendas of even a “fighter” like Hillary Clinton or a “kumbaya guru” like Barack Obama will get sucked into the special interest grinder of Washington politics and corporate lobbyists. If Edwards can do for poverty what Gore has done for recognizing the reality of global warming and increasing public demand for political solutions to the problem, perhaps the U.S. will be able to start the long process of seriously addressing the social inequities oppressing millions of people in this country. And then the Baby Jesus will come and fart gum drops for orphans and matchstick girls.