Elizabeth Edwards, What Are You Doing?

Personal moment: My mother passed away 11 years ago from breast cancer. Believe me, I can sympathize with what Elizabeth Edwards and her family are going through. I have nothing but hope for Mrs. Edwards that she can vanquish her illness, and nothing but admiration for her courage in the face of a terrifying disease.

But really – does she think she’s helping her husband in his battle for the White House by sniping at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

“The problem for me with the other candidates is I don’t know what it is that drives them,” she explained, “I should think the president has to be somebody who has that kind of vision outside themselves.”

I’m sorry, but what? You don’t know what drives them, but you’re assuming they’re heartless, selfish and power-hungry, with no vision for the country?

Okay, fine. What if I said this to Mrs. Edwards? “I don’t know what drives you, Mrs. Edwards, but I’m assuming that you don’t care what you say, as long as your husband becomes President.” That seems just as fair a conclusion to draw.

Unfortunately, there’s more.

Mrs. Edwards praised her husband for apologizing for his vote in favor of the Iraq War, and questioned Senator Hillary Clinton’s, D-N.Y., for not doing the same.

“She even, in the New Hampshire debate said, ‘I made a mistake.’ People are looking for a mea culpa from her. And when she buried a line like that –- I give her credit for saying that –- but when she buries that line… we’re electing a leader of the free world, and just like the votes on this last funding bill, we’re looking for a leader,” Edwards contended.

And while Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., was in the Illinois state legislature and not the Senate in 2003, Mrs. Edwards equally questioned his motives.

“Obama gives a speech that’s likely to be extraordinarily popular in his home district,” Edwards said, “and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding… so you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way.”

Oh. You mean that apologizing for voting for the AUMF makes it okay? I’m sorry, but to me, an apology for a policy vote doesn’t work the way an apology for a personal decision does. The policy is still in place, and it’s still one of the worst foreign policy disasters in American history. And as far as Obama, isn’t she being a little holier-than-thou herself by holding up Mr. Edwards as some kind of pure leader with only the good of the country at heart?

I agree with what Hillary Clinton said at the AFL-CIO debate. The Democrats should be united against the Republicans and the right wing, not attacking each other. You can point out differences between yourself and your opponent with more respect than this. And whether it’s fair or not, it seems like John Edwards is sending out his wife, who is viewed as an unassailable target due to her illness, to do his dirty work. That’s not the action of an incorruptible leader, is it?


2 responses to “Elizabeth Edwards, What Are You Doing?

  1. Hate to be the one to say it, but if any more blather like her recent statements comes from Mrs. Edwards, I think some will begin to question just-how-ill-with-cancer she really is.

    Her demonstrated willingness to whine for whine’s sake and spount inanities about Clinton and Obama is of zero value when it comes to explaining to voters who her husband is and what he stands for.

    Four years ago John Edwards was the Belle of the Ball and the press fawned—now that he’s no longer the new face in town, Elizabeth’s comments sound like nothing so much as sour eff-ing grapes.

    Again, given her medical condition, where are her true priorities?

  2. I met them both, before the cancer diagnosis. I don’t agree with the current strategy (I’d like us to avoid a circular firing squad), though I get why they’re doing it — Edwards needs to keep in the news; if the media decides he’s out of the running, the lack of coverage will make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    But the notion of Edwards pushing his wife to do anything doesn’t computer… Like Hillary, or great political wives of the past like Eleanor Roosevelt, she’s her own woman.

    I believe it was Ana-Marie Cox who made the point, when the couple first announced the diagnosis — if Elizabeth Edwards had one year to live, probably the way she’d most want to spend it is getting John elected. Not because she’s subservient to him, but because she believes he’d be good for the country.