ABC News/AP: 'Edwards Takes Page From RFK's Book'

In an Associated Press story carried on ABC News' Web site, writer Nedra Pickler reports on Democratic presidential contender John Edwards taking a three-day poverty tour next week, a trip "reminiscent of [Bobby] Kennedy's 1968 trip."

Ms Pickler's article begins:

"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.

Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]

Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.

In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:

"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'

Of course, politicians tend to be much more savvy these days. If someone posed the same question to John Edwards, I'd be willing to bet his hedge fund consulting fees that his answer wouldn't be, "Because I'm pandering for votes."

So was Bobby in 1968. The mainstream media just prefer not to recall that aspect of the sainted man's candidacy.

2008 Presidential Government & Press