In advance of his announcement today that he would once again run for president, Democrat John Edwards had been spending a great deal of his time and energy immersing himself in one particular issue: Wal-Mart and its alleged mistreatment of its employees.
In particular, Edwards has been a key supporter of WakeUpWalMart.com, an activist group with strong ties to labor unions that has led the charge against
Edwards was not lucky enough to pick up a great deal of support from labor unions during his 2004 campaign, though this time around all that is likely to change. However, opinion polls indicate that the average American is not all that concerned with the company’s labor practices, preferring to focus on the lower prices offered by Wal-Mart instead. In fact, many job hungry individuals don’t seem to care at all that Wal-Mart might mistreat its employees. In June, 8,000 applicants applied for the 350 jobs offered by a Wal-Mart in
These are loyal customers, and would likely turn and run from Edwards if they thought their low price retailer would be put in jeopardy by his presidency, even if they shared his party affiliation. In the grand electoral scheme of things, the interests of the tens of thousands of shoppers each Wal-Mart serves will likely outweigh the lack of union benefits for those 350 employees, many of whom do not share Edwards’ feelings about their employer anyway.
Besides, Edwards has already given his opponents a way to push back against his anti-Wal-Mart crusade. Last month, an Edwards staffer dropped the former Senator’s name in order to cut the line at a Wal-Mart in
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