While it smacks of a desperate candidate, I do have to applaud John Edwards for his “Poor Tour” because it brings to light one of the many domestic issues that plague the country right now. It feels to me like these issues have been largely overshadowed by the Big Bad Wolf of issues right now, namely the war in Iraq.

Barack Obama, whether in response to Edwards’ shifting gears towards domestic issues or not, commented on the increase in violent crime in the U.S. in recent years. I live just outside and work in Philadelphia, which on pace for a horrific year in shooting deaths, and I work at a university, so I am very curious to see what some of the candidates on both sides have to say about things like crime and education.

Anything that leads to a little less of the “George W. Bush is wrong, the troops must come home, end the war now” drivel is a good thing. It’s beating a dead horse (pun intended). Obviously, the Democrats want to pull the troops out, the only thing that seems to be the real debate among them is when to pull them out.

It may behoove some of the GOP candidates to establish themselves on domestic issues as a way to further distance themselves from a Bush Administration that is rapidly losing its base and political capital. Getting out front of the Democrats on the home front could be the only way the GOP avoids a bad Dubbya hangover.