It was a very hope-filled night ... I went home and read some of more Barak Obama's "Audacity of Hope" ... and all this day after we had Arianna Huffington here speaking about being "On Becoming Fearless" ... not only a good Advent theme but the title of HER new book.
All in all a great start to Advent and contemplation of how we balance our faith and action in these reflections from people of faith who live their lives walking their talk in the most public of arenas.
From today's Pasadena Star-News:
Edwards in Pasadena sounds like candidate
By Janette Williams Staff Writer
PASADENA - John Edwards all but declared his 2008 candidacy for president at what was billed as a book-signing Monday night at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Many in the overflow crowd of about 500 hadn't even bought "HOME: The Blueprints of Our Lives" for him to sign. And the 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate announced be would spend "two or three minutes" discussing the $29.95 book - the famous and the unknown talking about the homes they grew up in - before the real business of the evening began.
The crowd came to hear the former senator from South Carolina, John Kerry's 2004 running mate, talk politics.
An hour and three standing ovations later, Edwards wrapped up a Town Hall-meeting style question-and-answer session, leaving his mostly middle-aged audience hopeful his name will be on the 2008 Democratic ticket.
"He's very charismatic, a breath of fresh air," said Jean Tam of San Marino, who did buy a book - which she described as "warm and fuzzy" and perhaps designed to make him connect with voters on a personal level. "I think he's using \ as a barometer" for a presidential bid.
Earlier, in All Saints Rector Ed Bacon's office, Edwards said he was aware of the Internal Revenue Service's investigation of alleged politicking from the pulpit there before the 2004 election, although he wasn't familiar with the sermon's details.
"But I think it's naive to think politics don't go on in churches across America every Sunday - I saw it in my own campaign" in 2004, Edwards said. "I'm more concerned with the opposite, candidates who themselves inject their personal faith belief system into national policy."
After Edwards, relaxed in jeans, a navy blue blazer and open-necked striped shirt, was introduced by Bacon, a woman in the audience shouted "Three cheers for the nominee" to laughter and applause.
And Edwards sounded very much like a candidate as he touched on a wide-ranging series of topics raised by the partisan audience, including Darfur, poverty, healthcare, the tax system and Iraq.
The Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints, whose son is stationed in Tikrit, Iraq, asked Edwards if he had "a word of hope for us" about the situation there.
"America and the world desperately need the truth," Edwards said. "I voted for the war and I was wrong ... it's what makes it so hard to say to people like you, whose son is serving in Iraq, and to those who have died or were maimed in Iraq, that they did nothing wrong ... mistakes were made by people like me. But I don't take responsibility for the conduct of the war."
That, he said, belonged to President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
"My personal view is what we need to do is make it clear we are going to leave" Iraq, Edwards said. "And the best way to do that is to start leaving."
Edwards said the "single greatest responsibility" for the next U.S. president will be to reclaim American's moral authority to lead the world.
"I really liked him when he was the vice presidential nominee," said Loretta Alvarez, one of scores who waited in line hours before the event. "Now I feel he will be one of our future presidents."
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