Sunday 28 April 2013

Bob Edgar

Bob Edgar was one of the Democratic freshmen in the 94th Congress ('the Watergate Babies'). This week he passed away suddenly. This interview was recorded in 2011.

A newspaper in his old district (The Delaware County Daily Times) published an obituary which said -

“He was a great American. He was a great Delaware Countian who left a legacy of good work of helping people in this county,” said Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau on Tuesday afternoon.

The Methodist minister defied Delaware County’s Republican-dominated politics in 1974 when he beat then-Delaware County District Attorney Steve McEwen for Pennsylvania’s 7th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by 17,000 votes. Dubbed a “Watergate baby,” Edgar was part of the Democratic sweep of Congress in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and subsequent resignation of President Richard Nixon…
The Delaware County Democrat represented the district for six terms until 1986 when he left to make an unsuccessful bid for Republican incumbent Arlen Specter’s U.S. Senate seat, an experience that reportedly fueled his frustration with the undue influence of money in politics.

“To maintain himself all those terms was extraordinary. He was someone who earned the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike. One of the true hallmarks of his tenure was that he was independent and he didn’t treat people differently because of their party affiliations,” said Landau , a volunteer for Edgar’s successful 1984 re-election campaign against Republican Curt Weldon.

Thomas Judge Sr., the former longtime chairman of the Delaware County Republican Party, called Edgar a gentleman and a great congressman after learning of his death on Tuesday afternoon.

“He was very, very conscientious,” said Judge. “We only disagreed once a year and that was in November. He did a very good job as a congressman. I thought the world of him.” inued...

Judge noted that he could always call Edgar for help and advice on a variety of matters. “Whenever I called him, he would help me out,” said Judge.
Although he was a liberal and a pacifist, Edgar was a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee where he fought for Vietnam veterans suffering from exposure to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other advocacy efforts he championed for U.S. veterans.

“He was certainly a person who was an idealist. He was a man of great faith and had values he tried to act on in legislation,” said Landau.

He was the President of 'Common Cause'.