It’s been a long political campaign so far, and we still have a long way to go. But it’s also been a campaign lacking in big ideas — until now.

Of course, universal healthcare’s a big idea — for which John Edwards was the first to put forth a plan, still the best and most detailed by far. And now Edwards has come up with another bold idea: universal college education.

Details are sketchy so far, but Edwards says he wants to establish a government-funded higher education program called “College for Everyone,” giving every child in America the opportunity and the assistance needed to get a four-year college education. It’s the best way, says Edwards, to solve the serious problem of economic inequality in this country. And he’s right.

Of course, the very suggestion raises lots of questions, like: Who qualifies? How much would it cost? How are we going to pay for it? Will it automatically mean higher taxes? Questions we’ll need answers to before getting behind it.

But, as a national goal — after universal healthcare — what could be a more noble pursuit than making sure every young American can get a college education?

He may not be leading in the polls, but for bold, new ideas in this campaign, John Edwards leads the pack.