20

TUESDAY

Peter Edelman is pissed off about poverty—its causes, its roots, its human reality—and the slipshod way welfare has been offered, administered, and repealed in this country. The policy wonk got his inspiration and his understanding of poverty from Robert F. Kennedy, and he has lived to see most of the former U.S. attorney general’s visions trampled. Edelman famously resigned his presidential appointment, when, in 1996, Clinton’s welfare bill U-turned federal commitment to the poor. His new book, Searching for America’s Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope, is an exercise in pitting Kennedy’s vision against Clinton’s cynicism. (The former president even had the nerve to quote RFK as justification to sign the bill.) And, Kennedy-style, it is way heavier on solution than the fare offered up by poverty-pimping pundits and politicos. Edelman speaks the truth about poverty tonight at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Colin Bane)