John Edwards Blows in to the Rusty Pelican

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

A populist in Miami?

Sure enough, as I was waiting for a vodka tonic at the crowded cash bar, John Edwards somehow materialized and took the stage to cheering. He had blown into town for, among other things, a fundraiser at the Rusty Pelican, with its wide-open views of the Magic City’s skyline.

A hundred or so people crowded around, but the second floor events room was far from packed. Twenty-somethings in red, white, and blue donkey ties and thirty-somethings wielding cellphone cameras were getting giddy.

In all his blue-eyed, perfect-hair glory, Edwards took the mike and launched into a list of causes: the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, genocide in Darfur, AIDS in Africa, primary school education, carbon emission caps, New Orleans. “Think of the good that America can do.”

Telling personal stories in his North Carolina drawl and calling for moral justice, Edwards was almost a vision of a folksy, grassroots leader. “The greatest movements in American history didn’t start in the oval office. They started out here.” He sounded tired though, his speech somewhat rushed. The crowd clapped like a studio audience, seemingly on cue.

Andrew Weeraratne stood against a wall taking it in. A onetime financial adviser to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the 56-year-old had come to hear Edwards’s message. “In order to change the world, we need a philosopher king,” he said after Edwards’s brief speech.

Looking toward the scrum following Edwards across the floor, Weeraratne whipped out a business card and flyer advertising his book, Uncommon Commonsense Steps to Super Wealth. “I want to dedicate my book to him, but I don’t think I’ll get to meet him.”

What advice does the financial advisor have for Edwards? Better organization and outreach would help, Weeraratne said. “The Republicans send me a letter every month.” --Rob Jordan

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.