EDWARDS: Behind me is one of the clinics that serve nearly a half-million Maryland veterans. You see, I grew up in a military family and I honor those who served, especially those who need our help right now. We've got to keep America's promise to care for them, but right now in Washington the political insiders are playing politics with a government shutdown. The Tea Party Republicans are trying to defund Planned Parenthood, and meanwhile the political insiders are gaming out a partisan advantage. No one is paying attention to those who get hurt, like the Maryland veterans who count on clinics like this. Or the women who count on Planned Parenthood for health care and cancer screenings. Or the 145,000 federal employees in Maryland who count on earning their pay checks to provide for their family. Or Maryland's economy, which counts on them shopping for groceries and paying their bills. It's average Marylanders who get hurt when Washington politicians don't fight for the right things. I know – I've been that single mom, working hard and really struggling just to make ends meet. I know the importance of Planned Parenthood for my own health care and I know the importance of a VA clinic for veterans just like my dad. And I also know what can happen when something you count on is taken away. That's why this Senate race is so important, because we have real choices to make. This campaign is not about currying favor with Washington insiders or piling up mountains of corporate special interest money or playing political games with people's lives. It's about the moms and dads who work hard every day, the veterans who stood in harm's way, the seniors who earned a decent retirement, and women whose health care shouldn't be used as a political pawn. It's about giving them a voice at the table. It's about putting people first.