John Edwards Focuses on Education and Other Issues of Concern to African Americans

While many black voters are focusing on the matchup between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, former U.S. senator and vice presidential nominee John Edwards is making a strong push to attract support from African Americans.

Edwards’ populist message as a fighter against poverty and inequality resonates with millions of low-income African Americans. On his campaign Web site he features blog entries on the crisis in Darfur, AIDS in Uganda, and the continuing plight of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Recently, Edwards took his campaign to Benedict College, the historically black educational institution in Columbia, South Carolina. There he called for increased aid to education in African nations. Edwards said the United States must be “committed to the long-term interest of humanity” regardless of whether it doesn’t “seem to be in our short-term interest.” Edwards also touched on the issue of the Sudan and AIDS in Africa during his Benedict College speech. And what pleased the crowd most was his call for the federal government to make a college education more affordable and to ensure that students do not leave school with “crushing debt for years and years and years.”

Edwards’ poll numbers have increased since it was announced that his wife is once again undergoing treatment for cancer.