Joan Lowenstein, an Ann Arbor City Council member, described
yesterday’s gathering at Ann Arbor Brewing Company as
“a kind of pep rally.”
Cate Edwards, the daughter of Democratic vice presidential
candidate John Edwards, came to Ann Arbor yesterday afternoon to
promote the Kerry-Edwards campaign. She addressed prominent issues
from the war in Iraq to employment to education.
Members of the audience said they thought the 22-year-old
Southern belle was calm and well informed.
“She answered some very specific questions and represented
her father well. So, other than her jeans, her intellect was very
impressive,” said Ann Arbor Brewing Company server Mike
Thurman, a University alum.
Edwards has been traveling to various college campuses for the
past two weeks, and her main goal is to motivate young people to
vote. Her main message to college students is that everyone has the
liberty to choose their next leaders, and “the choice is
“You have a choice between an administration that sat
still while jobs walked out the door or my father who, with John
Kerry, wants high paying jobs available for everyone,”
Edwards said this issue affects all young people who after
graduation will want an accessible, well-paying job.
“It’s important for young people to be aware of the
job market changing. New jobs today pay $14,000 less than
average,” Edwards said.
The Bush Administration considers tax cuts a central part of
economic stimulus, crediting recent cuts with putting America on a
path toward economic recovery.
Another issue that hits young people close to home is the war in
Iraq, Edwards said.
“Over 1,000 lives have been lost and half of those lives
belong to 18-to 24-year-olds. That 18-year-old is someone’s
son, friend or boyfriend … Kerry and my dad have a plan to
bring those men home and form coalitions with foreign countries to
fight the war on terrorism,” Edwards said.
The Republican party considers the war a liberation of Iraq.
Considering many men in Iraq are young adults, she added that
the war in Iraq is the most personal issue for students to keep in
mind with this upcoming election.
She elaborated on Kerry and John Edwards’s “exit
strategy,” in which they plan to bring in NATO and
internationalize efforts. She said with this plan, Iraqi security
forces will be trained to control their own streets and U.S.
soldiers can come home.
Fourteen-year old Jessica Field agreed with Edwards’s take
on Iraq, saying, “The most important issue is the war on
Iraq. Why should we lose money overseas when we need it here to pay
Edwards also addressed her father’s plans for education,
which include an organized strategy to cut college tuition costs
all over the country. Kerry and John Edwards say they will give
students four years of in-state tuition to any school if they have
completed two years of community service. Tax credits given to
students could also alleviate the burden of costs.
“The idea of valuing education separates my dad from other
candidates … he wants college to be an opportunity for
everyone,” Edwards said. “We can send kids to Iraq but
not to school? That’s a problem, and my dad and Kerry are
ready to address it.”
Edwards pointed out the statistic that in 2000, 537 votes in
Florida decided the presidential election. That is the same size as
one small dorm on campus.
“We’re determined to have a fair and effective
election this year — there are going to be teams of lawyers
at the polls to make sure no rights are violated,” Edwards
Char DeWolf works as a volunteer with the campaign and said
Edwards represents an important demographic of young voters.
“College students need to learn that they do have a huge
impact,” she said.
LSA junior Ramya Raghavan, president of College Democrats said
education is a critical issue in the election.
“As a college student, I think our most important issue is
education,” Raghavan said. “Every student should think
about each candidate and what that candidate can do for
Edwards also mentioned that many issues not projected through
the media exist, making it necessary for everyone to do his or her
For instance, when Edwards was informed that liberal filmmaker
Michael Moore was also speaking last night, she talked about how
his films bring issues, which may not receive media focus, to
“He’s a smart filmmaker,” she commented.
“Some ideas in his movie ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ are
going overboard, but bringing to light some of the truths of our
situation is beneficial in terms of stimulating (his audience)
personally and emotionally.”
Bottom line, Edwards just wants to motivate all young people to
“We deserve, and have a responsibility, to decide who our
president is … don’t trust others to do it for you,
take a stand and make your own choice,” she said.
Lowenstein said Cate is a powerful tool for the campaign.
“Encouragement from Cate has strongly worked for the Kerry
and Edwards campaign,” Lowenstein said.