Edwards Stops In Kentucky On Poverty Tour

WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) - As a 17-year-old living in one of the poorest counties in Appalachia, Evelyn Cosgriff eagerly listened to Robert F. Kennedy's early morning speech on Feb. 14, 1968 at the Letcher County Courthouse.

His speech was brief, but passionate.

"There are great possibilities in eastern Kentucky," Kennedy told the crowd on this stop of his two-day, 200-mile poverty tour.

"But there have to be people who are going to fight for eastern Kentucky."

"We thought he would be our savior," said Cosgriff, now 55 and still living in Whitesburg.

Nearly 40 years later, the towns on Kennedy's poverty tour continue to struggle with poverty. This week, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is making them a part of his own poverty tour, shifting the spotlight to the issue and in the process, linking himself to a Democratic icon.

But some eastern Kentuckians are less hopeful this time around.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Dan Location: St. Louis on Dec 27, 2007 at 06:11 PM
    Edwards can show the poor pictures of his pretty hair and tell them how "he even sounds Presidential" then show them photos of his vacations around the globe and his McMansion - that will make the poor feel inspired to know that given enough money any idiot can be president.
  • by anon Location: ky on Jul 21, 2007 at 07:24 PM
    it sure is easy to be sympathethic when you get to go home to your mansion when you are all done .gosh ,arent you glad you dont have to be like that ? poor poor people ......are we ready to go yet ?you know that is what he is thinking .
  • by Casey Location: Lexington on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:29 AM
    He is just saying what he has to say to get the votes from Eastern Kentuckians and then he will never give it another thought. If he, or anybody else, really wants to make a difference in Eastern Kentucky, or anywhere else, let's see actions instead of a lot of hot air which is what talking amounts to most of the time anyway.
  • by Judy Location: Salyersville on Jul 19, 2007 at 08:57 AM
    I am very glade that he stooped in Eastern Kentucky. Our people need help with many different issues, maybe getting to see this up front will help.
  • by Common Sense Location: Lexington on Jul 19, 2007 at 08:11 AM
    I have to agree with Sam and steve. When you have all the money Edwards has, how can you talk to someone about poverty? He is a joke. He needs to put HIS money where his mouth is.
  • by Carol Location: KY on Jul 18, 2007 at 02:34 PM
    I was 11 years old in 1968, and I have lived and worked in southeastern KY for the past 32 years. I think there are other issues besides just lack of enough money, when we think of poverty...There are at least 2 concepts of poverty...one is actual "financial poverty" where a family doesn't have enough monthly income to pay the necessary monthly bills. The other type of poverty that I think is much harder to combat is the "mindset of poverty"...where a family actually does have enough income to cover the needed expenses, but either doesn't know how to budget that income, or doesn't care about budgeting that income, so that they have the constant mindset that the world "owes" them....This is what I think has kept the War on Poverty of the '60's from being as successful as it could have been...Lots of money has been sent into the Appalachian area, but there are still alot of people out there that are not functioning any better, the following generations have not improved their lot in life, and there is no pride evident in their situations...I think education along with the "village" helping to raise our children (all of ours) so that the younger generation will grow up having self-confidence, a good work ethic, the skills needed, and pride in themselves and their environment...is the only way to combat the mindset of poverty. Only then will any amount of money even come close to putting an end to the War on Poverty. I'm glad to see John Edwards touring this area and hope that whoever wins the 2008 Presidential election will place priority on this issue, and on some new ways to approach the War on Poverty that remains.
  • by steve Location: irvine on Jul 18, 2007 at 02:05 PM
    Yea he needs to stop on a poverty tour heres a guy thats lives in a 20 room mansion and uses more electric in a week than i will use in a year. I think he needs to go back to hollywood and get a 5000 dollar haircut gees spare me i have listen to this bull for my 39 years bla bla bla.
  • by Sam Location: Richmond on Jul 18, 2007 at 12:59 PM
    I hope he brought along photos of his new 30,000 sqft home in NC. That shud make the day of many an eastern Kentuckian.
  • by wilmakeit Location: between the sheets on Jul 18, 2007 at 09:18 AM
    I can't believe the results on your poll about poverty. There is no comparison between then and now. Today is much better. Back when Kennedy visited Eastern Kentucky there were few paved roads, limited electric, indoor plumbing, no air conditioning, no TV, poor schools, few hospitals, very few cars, no industry and the coal mines were shutting down. It was a bad place to live. Most people had left ot were leaving for Ohio and points north to work in the auto or steel industries. When you take all that talent out of the mountains it really sets the area back for a long time. Yes people are still strugging in Eastern Kentucky and in much of the state. It is a matter of comparing 1950's to now not a comparison Eastern Kentucky to the rest of the state and other states. I say it is better.
  • by jake Location: richmond on Jul 18, 2007 at 09:11 AM
    He will stop by to promise help which he cannot deliver and act like he understands poverty.. This man would say anything for a vote and he still has no shot.. If you want help out of poverty you have to help yourself..

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