Supporters of John Edwards seeking a new candidate following his withdrawal from the presidential race today should look to Hillary Clinton “based on substance and merit,” Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said this morning.
Dellums, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk spent Thursday barnstorming Oakland, Sacramento and Los Angeles on Clinton’s behalf. They started the day at Merritt College, where they were briefed on a green jobs training program before addressing the press.
Dellums said he was impressed in 2004 by Edwards’ “courageous” and “articulate” focus on narrowing the divide between America’s haves and have-nots, “and it is my view that Senator Clinton has done exactly the same thing.” By embracing the ideas and recognizing the needs of America’s mayors, as well as by deeming “untenable, unconscionable and un-American” the continued racial disparities in education, ecomomic opportunity and other areas, Clinton has distinguished herself “based on merit, based on substance, based on clear ideas,” he said.
“Too much of this campaign has been about issues that are not issues,” he said.
Newsom said the mayors chose to highlight the green jobs training program Monday because it’s working to better working families’ lives, protect the environment and conserve energy, and “that’s the spirit of the Clinton campaign… She understands the importance of taking these ideals and working together to make progress.”
Dellums chimed in that “jobs are the byproduct of a society’s commitment to solve other problems,” be it environmental protection and energy conservation, or crumbling infrastructure, or inadequate health care, or affordable housing. “And guess what: You can’t export these jobs. They all have to be done in the United States.”
Clinton in October named Dellums chairman of her campaign’s urban policy committee.
Villaraigosa was asked why Latinos should support Clinton when only Obama has expressed support for granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. He replied that Clinton “has a strong record in support of immigration reform” which would include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but that Latinos “don’t define ourselves by just one issue… We make decisions based on the totality of issues and experiences.”