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John Edwards: Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

(apologies for the Galaxy Quest quote, but it seemed appropriate.)

I've been following the debate over John Edward's decision to keep running, including over at Dean's World. Since that thread seems to reflect some of the "real world," I'll ground my comments from that thread.

First up we have Arnold Harris, who says

If Elizabeth Edwards were my wife, with terminal breast cancer, I would not leave her immediate presence -- except for the obvious and vital sanitary purposes -- for as long as she could live.

I sure as hell would put aside every other activity.

I feel sorry for the former senator, even though I would not want him for US president. I feel sorry for his family. I feel sorry for his beautiful and gracious wife.

Well, Arnold, you -in spite of you very kind words- aren't John Edwards, are you ? Nor am I you.

Which is my point, really. This truly is a personal decision, one which pretty much by definition will be different for each person, as they are different people.

I have to say I have trouble understanding those who espouse the "can he still run the country" thread. Do these people think he'll just fall into an incoherent puddle if/when his wife dies? Have they been watching too many cheesy movies on the Lifetime channel?

Let's shift the question just a little. The personal pressure a recovering alcoholic faces every day is tremendous, because every day is a new challenge all over again. And it will be that way for the rest of their lives.

My question is: do you think someone who faces that kind of day-to-day emotional pressure can handle the job of President of the United States?

I hope -if you answered "yes"- that you didn't vote for Dubya, since he is in fact a recovering alcoholic, and will be so for the rest of his life.

Let's look at another facet: the men and women who have a spouse in Iraq or Afghanistan. Should we expect that each and every one of them to collapse into a futile heap of emotional goo if their spouse dies? From what I've read and heard, just about all of them (Cindy Sheehan excepted) have managed to master the pain & grief, and get on with their lives.

...How odd it is that I am on the same side as mikeca on this one. :))

I am reminded of the old question: would you rather have a long life, or a glorious one? Or -to rephrase the latter- would you go out fighting?

...Hmmm. How many of you critizing Edwards have seen (and loved! {g}) 300 yet? You know the drill: death before surrender; glory; fight for what you believe in... whoops, isn't that what the Edwards are doing?

Right now I'd like to cite the excellent Captain Ed on this. By way of context, his wife (the lovely First Mate) has faced several health challenges the past few years.

It's a tough call for Edwards to make, and it's tough to criticize it either way. I think it's fair to say that Elizabeth has invested herself pretty deeply into John's campaign up to now, and she probably strongly resisted a suspension in the campaign. If this is what will keep her spirits high, then Edwards made the right decision.

All I can offer is my own perspective. My wife has had a number of chronic illnesses and acute crises, such as the one ongoing now, and one simply cannot stop living life or making a living. That being said, it usually helps to stay closer to home and family, just for one's own peace of mind. Edwards might find himself distracted on the campaign trail, and nagging issues might get blown out of proportion as he gets frustrated with the stress. ...

Edwards has the good fortune to have a fortune, so he can keep his family close while on the campaign trail. If he can balance the needs of his family with a presidential campaign, then he's made the right decision. I'm not hoping he succeeds in his political ambitions, but I do hope he stays strong for his family and that Elizabeth can remain as healthy as possible from now on.

Bottom line, that's it; we need to keep Elizabeth & John Edwards in our prayers, respect his (and her) decision, and base our votes as sane adults.

CODA: Joe Gandelman has an excellent round-up, as well as a truly heart-breaking wedding photo of the Edwards. I defy you to look at that picture, and not shed a tear...

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Comments (4)

It's infuriating, all this "concern" masking criticism for it's own sake.

My god, she's not on her death bed, she isn't even symptomatic at this point.

Going on, going forward is what makes her happy, what husband in his position wouldn't want to do her wishes.

As for running the country, polio didn't slow down FDR. I too could go on. Nice post.

BTW, Hi Casey, it's been a while.

Casey Tompkins:

Thanks, Mark. Long time, no see, even if you are silly enough to think l'affair Plame is newsworthy. Heh.

There's them who think all politicians are worthless ammbulance-chasers. There's also them who think the other side is nothing but a bunch of unprincipled scalawags. Including (in this case) those who think that this is all just a publicity scam. Feh. I've lost family members to cancer, and I can tell you that only a truely souless person would think that way.

...Ok, so there's them on both sides who see each other that way. Sad, really...

Me: I doubt I'll ever vote for Edwards (still crossing my fingers for Richardson over here {g}), that's no reason to disrespect the man.

Richardson has everything you want in a president, except popularity.

Casey Tompkins:

...So he's kinda like Dubya, eh? {chuckle}

I would love to see a Giuliani/Richardson election. Truth to tell, a Giuliani/Thompson vs. Richardson/someone election. That would be fun!

BTW, remind me in a day or two that I'm working on a little thank-you note to the "left." Heh.

Details to follow... ;)

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