Hillary Clinton:

I’m going to hand everybody in America a shovel and we’re going to start digging our way out.

John Edwards:

What I will do is ask millions of Americans, including you, to join me in taking action and taking responsibility, not waiting around for someone else to do it, but actually doing it ourselves, from the ground up.

Michael Tomasky himself on Barack Obama:

He is in many respects a civic republican—a believer in civic virtue, and in the possibility of good outcomes negotiated in good faith. These concepts are consonant with liberalism in many respects, but since the rise in the 1960s of a more aggressive rights-based liberalism, which sometimes places particular claims for social justice ahead of a larger universal good, the two versions have existed in some tension.

The rhetoric of civic republicanism seems to be there, but I’m wondering what kind of policies will be different. The words are the easiest things, but actually handing shovels out, actually getting people to take responsibility is the hard thing.

Edwards’ and Obama’s issue page doesn’t have any special focus on bringing citizens into the process or empowering them to make a change, or even service. Clinton doesn’t have any issue section that I could find.

So, what would be a civic republican issue for 2008?