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Ed is tough minded, having once played for the Oakland Raiders. And at one time he identified with Republicans and money, but switched parties in 2000. Joe Connelly of the The Seattle Post-Intelligencer quoted Ed Schultz in his 2005 column, In the Northwest, Liberal voices turning up the volume on the radio:
"Oh yea, I was a conservative," he said. "I was probably hard-line, preoccupied with how much money I would make and how far I would go. But I began seeing a lady who directs a homeless clinic in Fargo.
"One of our first get-togethers was to a Salvation Army dinner, where I met some jobless Vietnam veterans. It started my transition, opened my eyes. I investigated veterans benefits, and began to discover where we are coming up short as a society."
"Finally, in 2000, I declared on the air: I'm a Democrat, I'm a liberal."
Like Keith Olbermann, Ed was a radio sports broadcaster but then switched to liberal talk broadcasting, eventually going head to head with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in the early afternoon time slot. I listened to him before he went on MSNBC. Like many TV and radio personalities, it is not good enough to just espouse a cause. They need to entertain, and Ed does that with his blue collar, plain talking passion that resonates with middle class workers. He is the true voice of the middle class worker, and not the pretenders in the Tea Party movement that are funded by the Koch brothers.
I watched Ed on MSNBC as he broadcast from the Madison capitol. The crowd was wildly behind him. It was Ed at his best...I sure hope he wins.