Nothing was delivered

John Edwards’s appearance yesterday on the Iron Range in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota was more “Big Rock Candy Mountain” than “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Introduced by former Minnesota Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale — would it be unkind to suggest that Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet” (“I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still”) could well have served as Mondale’s theme? — Edwards packed a lot of promised goodies into his 25-minute stump speech.
According to the account of the Minneapols Star Tribune, Edwards wrapped up his speech with promises of “college tuition tax breaks for the middle class, government-paid tuition in exchange for two years of national service, protection of hunting, fishing and snowmobiling rights and a promise to ‘preserve our water and land for our children and grandchildren.'”
The reference to hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling — as Jim Ragsdale observes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press — is an addition to Edwards’s “Hope is on the way” stump speech, an addition geared to an area where the popularity of standard liberal economic themes competes with the popularity of sportmen’s rights and standard conservative social issues. Indeed, the National Rifle Association chose to announce its endorsement of President Bush last week in Duluth, 70 miles south of Hibbing.
In addition to offering the politician’s little lies of “lemonade springs where the bluebird sings,” Edwards was also peddling the big lies of the contemptible Michael Moore and his ilk. Bush and Cheney are tied to “the Saudi oil family,” Edwards explained. “Their friends are making all the money. They’re never going to do anything about oil prices.”
Let’s just say, in the words of Dylan’s “Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll,” that Edwards has joined the ranks of those “who philosophize disgrace.”

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