Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Edwards Pushes the Pity Envelope

From all evidence, Elizabeth Edwards is a courageous, highly intelligent woman whose devotion to her husband makes “admirable” seem like an inadequate adjective. But a new commercial now running in New Hampshire raises again nagging questions about her role in John Edwards' campaign for the Presidency.

In the TV spot, Mrs. Edwards lauds her husband’s “unbelievable toughness, particularly about other people, and...his ability to fight for them."

She goes on to say, "You're not going to outsmart him. He works harder than any human being that I know, always has. It's unbelievably important that, in our president, we have someone who can stare the worst in the face and not blink."

We are on the outskirts of exploitation here and possibly beyond the boundaries in suggesting that a man’s response to his wife’s cancer tells voters what they need to know about his character and courage in the Oval Office.

Edwards did something similar with his operatic apologies for voting to take us into Iraq in 2002, stressing the need for “honesty” in a president but overlooking the fact that telling the truth, George Bush notwithstanding, is only a minimal requisite but that good judgment over taking the country to war is a vital quality for a Commander-in-Chief.

The impression keeps recurring that John Edwards at heart is a smooth-talking lawyer who will do anything to make his case, and it is no discredit to her that his wife is doing everything she can to help him.

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