Edwards' campaign has seen a surge of online support of late, often a barometer of how well any candidate is doing. They've raised $500,000 in the last two weeks over the Internet, $200,000 of it the day after the Philadelphia debate, at which Edwards was by most accounts the clear winner. Even more importantly, the campaign says 40% of recent donors were new to the campaign. The cash infusion comes on the heels of a series of important union endorsements for Edwards, who trails in overall fundraising behind both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by more than $50 million. Edwards has won support from seven Iowa unions — a huge boon to the campaign because it effectively shuts out Obama from bringing in any outside organized labor support. Obama has no Iowa union endorsements; Hillary leads the field with eight.
And from a recent speech, "The Moral Test of Our Generation":
It's time to tell the truth. And the truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They're right.
As I look across the political landscape of both parties today -- what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth -- good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office. ...
And a few weeks ago, around the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a leading presidential candidate held a fundraiser that was billed as a Homeland Security themed event in Washington, D.C. targeted to homeland security lobbyists and contractors for $1,000 a plate. These lobbyists, for the price of a ticket, would get a special "treat" -- the opportunity to participate in small, hour long breakout sessions with key Democratic lawmakers, many of whom chair important sub committees of the homeland security committee. That presidential candidate was Senator Clinton.
Senator Clinton's road to the middle class takes a major detour right through the deep canyon of corporate lobbyists and the hidden bidding of K Street in Washington -- and history tells us that when that bus stops there it is the middle class that loses.
When I asked Hillary Clinton to join me in not taking money from Washington lobbyists -- she refused. Not only did she say that she would continue to take their money, she defended them.
Today Hillary Clinton has taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any candidate from either party -- more money than any Republican candidate.
She has taken more money from the defense industry than any other candidate from either party as well.
She took more money from Wall Street last quarter than Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama combined.
The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.
We have a duty -- a duty to end this.
I believe you cannot be for change and take money from the lobbyists who prevent change. You cannot take on the entrenched interests in Washington if you choose to defend the broken system. It will not work. And I believe that, if Americans have a choice, and candidate who takes their money -- Democrat or Republican -- will lose this election.
For us to continue down this path all we have to do is suspend all that we believe in. As Democrats, we continue down this path only if we believe the party of the people is no more.
As Americans, we continue down this path only if we fail to heed Lincoln's warning to us all.
"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected," he asked, "if it ever reaches us it must spring up amongst us. It can not come from abroad. If destruction be our lot -- we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide."