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PostTalk: Edwards Dismisses Haircut, Hedge Fund Critics

When The Post's Dan Balz and I sat down with former Sen. John Edwards yesterday in Cleveland, the former North Carolina Senator was in the midst of a three-day poverty tour designed to re-affirm his commitment to the issue in the 2008 presidential race.

His momentum on the issue has been slowed by a series of stories that suggest a contradiction between his rhetoric and his personal life. But, on Tuesday Edwards described his expensive haircuts, spacious home and work for a hedge fund as cherry-picked examples from a life dedicated to helping those less fortunate.

"This is something I've cared about for a very long time," Edwards told Dan and I. "Im proud of what I've done. But it is the nature of presidential politics that anything you do is going to be looked at through a microscope. So I expect that."

The sitdown with Edwards was part of washingtonpost.com's "PostTalk", a web-television program that features interviews with political newsmakers.

On Iraq, Edwards was defiant -- insisting that any concessions made by Congressional Democrats to President Bush on the war were a mistake. He rejected the idea that Democrats could support a bill sponsored by Republican Sens. John Warner(Va.) and Dick Lugar (Ind.) that would call on Bush to develop a new Iraq strategy; "It's not enough," said Edwards.

And, he again rejected the idea of a "global war on terror" not, he insisted, because he does not believe terrorists want to do harm to America but rather because the phrase is a creation of the Bush Administration designed to justify all of the actions taken since Sept. 11, 2001. (In a separate radio interview yesterday, Edwards said that the Bush Administration had engaged in "illegal behavior", citing the warrantless domestic wire tapping program as the most egregious example.)

Watch the full interview below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 18, 2007; 10:13 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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