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Thread: John Edwards: Humanitarian

  1. #1

    John Edwards: Humanitarian

    As he slips from the top, pretty boy and future super-cuts spokesman John Edwards uses his cancer-stricken wife to garner support.


    Perspective on Her Side, Mrs. Edwards Enters Fray
    By ADAM NAGOURNEY and PATRICK HEALY
    WASHINGTON, June 30 — Three months after Elizabeth Edwards said that her cancer had returned in inoperable form, her role and influence in John Edwards’s presidential campaign is undiminished. She has made a flurry of charged public appearances, become a regular presence advising Mr. Edwards on the campaign trail, and wields behind-the-scenes influence in many internal campaign decisions, aides said.

    Mrs. Edwards has also become a free operator on behalf of her husband of 29 years, a development that her friends suggest reflects the clarity and perspective that come from her cancer diagnosis, and her increasingly confident political instincts as she advises Mr. Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, in his second White House bid.

    When Mrs. Edwards called in to a television talk show this week to confront the conservative commentator Ann Coulter who had attacked Mr. Edwards this year, it was a decision that Mrs. Edwards said she made impulsively and on her own. The resulting dramatic four minutes of television created a surge of attention that at least momentarily electrified her husband’s campaign, winning applause from the left and apparently spiking contributions in the critical final days of this second-quarter fund-raising period.

    It also made Mrs. Edwards the sympathetic face of the Edwards campaign, for a few days overshadowing the candidate himself.

    Similarly, Mrs. Edwards told gay leaders at a kick-off event for the San Francisco gay pride parade last week that she supported same-sex marriage, a position at variance with Mr. Edwards’s. He learned of her remarks from reading a newspaper, an aide said. Mrs. Edwards said that she was just offering her opinion, as well as an explanation for her husband’s more conservative views on the issue, in response to a question. But the interview, some Democrats said, had the political effect of at least appeasing some liberal Democrats over Mr. Edwards’s views of gay-rights issues.

    At campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill, N.C., Mr. Edwards’s aides said they regularly heard from Mrs. Edwards, long known for being vigilantly protective of her husband’s ambitions, through e-mail or telephone calls, on matters large and small. They said that even in illness, she had kept a hand in some of the big decisions of the campaign. She was an advocate for hiring Joe Trippi, the manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, as a senior Edwards adviser, in large part to address her concern about lackluster fund-raising by the campaign. She argued vigorously with her husband over details of his signature health care plan — before an audience of transfixed campaign aides. (He won that argument, an aide said.)

    Mrs. Edwards, in telephone interviews on Friday, said reports of her influence were exaggerated. A noted lawyer in her own right until she retired in 1996 after the couple’s teenage son died in a car accident, she said the burdens of her life these days made it impossible for her to be as involved as she was in 2004, when by all accounts she was Mr. Edwards’s most influential adviser.

    “If you sit down with a list of the details of what I do, you wouldn’t come up with very much,” she said cheerfully. “I have a new house. I have kids. I have boxes to unpack. I have cancer.”

    Mrs. Edwards said that any impression that she was the 800-pound gorilla of a spouse — second this year perhaps only to another candidate’s spouse who once lived in the White House — resulted from the fact that she was a person given to strong opinions, expressed strongly.

    “I sit across the table from all these young people, and I see a colleague who wants something done,” she said. “When they express an opinion with vigor I appreciate that. When I express an opinion with vigor — and I do — I sometimes forget that they are looking at me as a spouse, as someone in an elevated position. My words seem more like a mother scolding you. I admit that I am not always conscious of that, and I should be.”

    “But I like it when somebody expresses their view with clarity and force,” she said. “It was Nietzsche or Kierkegaard who said you have to believe in something so strongly that you don’t acknowledge another’s point of view: That’s what real belief is.”

    There was a moment of silence on the telephone. “Now I don’t go that far,” Mrs. Edwards said.

    Her stamina on the campaign trail appears steady, and she and her husband frequently say that her cancer has proved no encumbrance on her daily life. Mrs. Edwards shows no visible manifestations of the disease — her hair is full, her skin color robust, and she bustles with energy. She often carries her own bags, aides say, and she can put in the standard 16-hour day expected from anyone in the business of running for president. She takes a little yellow pill once a day, oral chemotherapy, and visits a doctor’s office for treatment about once a month.

    Several aides who worked for the couple in 2004 said that while her public role had increased this time, she was not quite the sometimes feared force that she was in 2004, when she was known to dress down, and in some cases seek to force out, campaign aides she thought had failed her husband. Accordingly, she is viewed by Mr. Edwards’s aides with wary admiration: the strict and exacting schoolteacher of the Edwards campaign.

    At the wedding this month of Jennifer Palmieri, a friend of Mrs. Edwards and a one-time senior adviser to the campaign, Mrs. Edwards spotted Jonathan Prince, the deputy campaign manager, using his BlackBerry on the dance floor, and confiscated it from him, participants said. Mrs. Edwards and Mr. Prince were later seen dancing together.

    Some aides say that days go by when they do not hear from Mrs. Edwards; other days, they hear from her three or four times. She talks to Mr. Edwards several times a day and often passes along ideas or phrases that she has read on blogs or heard on television. Mrs. Edwards does not have an office at the Edwards campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill, but she often drops in unannounced, aides said.

    Mrs. Edwards is involved in the high-level decisions that are driving the campaign, including the drafting of major speeches, discussion of debate strategy and reviewing television advertisements. When the Edwards campaign was preparing a Memorial Day weekend plan to highlight Mr. Edwards’s opposition to the war, Mrs. Edwards argued that that the campaign restrict its activities on the Monday holiday to honoring soldiers, warning that anything perceived as an antiwar protest on that day would be politically damaging.

    Campaign advisers said Mrs. Edwards was the political strategist Mr. Edwards trusted the most, which added to her authority. Harrison Hickman, Mr. Edwards’s pollster since his successful Senate race in 1998, said she was “first among equals in offering ideas.” She has a tendency to crinkle her nose to signal when she dislikes something, and has what Mr. Hickman said was little patience for “empty words.”

    Still, several campaign advisers said the sharpest change in Mrs. Edwards’s role was the extent to which she has become a public figure in her own right. There may be a risk to this, aides to the couple acknowledged, to the extent that Mrs. Edwards might at once overshadow and diminish her husband at a time when opponents have sought to portray him as intellectually weak.

    But, the aides said, the gain far makes up for any potential loss. They described her as his most effective surrogate campaigner and fund-raiser. She appeared on three morning television programs last week. And she has turned up, without fanfare, in the so-called spin rooms at debates, joining the crush of campaign operatives telling reporters how well their candidate had just done.

    “Her impact on the campaign over all may be bigger this time all around because of her public role,” Ms. Palmieri said. “She has a much higher profile this time around.”

    Mrs. Edwards played down her public role. “I think that’s really you guys, not me,” she said. “It’s because of the cancer and now, for a few minutes anyway, because of Ann Coulter.”

    She added, “There’s a reason to talk to me separately: You’re paying more attention to me, but I was always sitting there in the corner.”

  2. #2
    If you actually read the article you posted, it says plainly that John Edwards didn't know Elizabeth was calling in to confront Coulter.

    I will say, while I'm not an Edwards supporter per se, it was awfully refreshing to watch Ann Coulter melt down when confronted. This vile woman says the most repulsive things imaginable about people --rooting for John Edwards' death is just the latest, and hardly the worst-- and, when confronted by a decent person like Elizabeth Edwards, Ann all but has a seizure.

    She's as thin-skinned as she is repugnant.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]If you actually read the article you posted, it says plainly that John Edwards didn't know Elizabeth was calling in to confront Coulter.

    I will say, while I'm not an Edwards supporter per se, it was awfully refreshing to watch Ann Coulter melt down when confronted. This vile woman says the most repulsive things imaginable about people --rooting for John Edwards' death is just the latest, and hardly the worst-- and, when confronted by a decent person like Elizabeth Edwards, Ann all but has a seizure.

    She's as thin-skinned as she is repugnant.[/QUOTE]

    I did read the article. perhaps I was too fixated on how it seemed to benefit the Edwards campaign.

    I agree, Coulter's comments were uncalled for, and it was interesting to watch her reactions when confronted.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]If you actually read the article you posted, it says plainly that John Edwards didn't know Elizabeth was calling in to confront Coulter.

    I will say, while I'm not an Edwards supporter per se, it was awfully refreshing to watch Ann Coulter melt down when confronted. This vile woman says the most repulsive things imaginable about people --rooting for John Edwards' death is just the latest, and hardly the worst-- and, when confronted by a decent person like Elizabeth Edwards, Ann all but has a seizure.

    She's as thin-skinned as she is repugnant.[/QUOTE]


    I am no fan of Coulter, but she didn't wish for Edwards' death. That's absurd. She was pointing out that Bill Maher, on his show, made a joke and wished for Cheney to have been killed in a terrorist attack and the MSM said nothing, or, praised Maher as "brave" or some such nonsense. All Coulter was doing is drawing attention to the double-standard. She was referring to that and saying hey, I got in all this hot water for calling him a f*ggot when I just should have rooted for him to be killed by a terrorist, because apparently that is okay...she was not rooting for Edwards to die. The f*ggot line was a joke, as was Maher's line about Cheney. But Maher gets treated differently than Coulter does by liberals in the media and no one ever seems to point out what Coulter was actually referring to when they report her comments about Edwards and terrorist attacks. But hey, completely misrepresent what she said and take it of context, that's what you guys do, so I am not surprised you are doing it here and if you didn't truly know what Coulter was referring to, you have been led around by a leash.

    Oh, and I am waiting for your righteous indignation and moral outrage at Bill Maher for wishing Cheney were killed, even in jest. You know, call him vile, just like you did Coulter. I imagine I'll be waiting for quite some time, though...liberals are long on sanctimoniousness, short on introspection and honesty. So, go ahead and put your sanctimonious preaching on toast...it ain't flying.

    That said, Coulter sucks and I can't stand her and she is an a-hole. But at least be informed and honest about what it is you are talking....
    Last edited by jets5ever; 07-02-2007 at 05:23 PM.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=jets5ever]I am no fan of Coulter, but she didn't wish for Edwards' death. That's absurd. She was pointing out that Bill Maher, on his show, made a joke and wished for Cheney to have been killed in a terrorist attack and the MSM said nothing, or, praised Maher as "brave" or some such nonsense. All Coulter was doing is drawing attention to the double-standard. She was referring to that and saying hey, I got in all this hot water for calling him a f*ggot when I just should have rooted for him to be killed by a terrorist, because apparently that is okay...she was not rooting for Edwards to die. The f*ggot line was a joke, as was Maher's line about Cheney. But Maher gets treated differently than Coulter does by liberals in the media and no one ever seems to point out what Coulter was actually referring to when they report her comments about Edwards and terrorist attacks. But hey, completely misrepresent what she said and take it of context, that's what you guys do, so I am not surprised you are doing it here and if you didn't truly know what Coulter was referring to, you have been led around by a leash.

    Oh, and I am waiting for your righteous indignation and moral outrage at Bill Maher for wishing Cheney were killed, even in jest. You know, call him vile, just like you did Coulter. I imagine I'll be waiting for quite some time, though...liberals are long on sanctimoniousness, short on introspection and honesty. So, go ahead and put your sanctimonious preaching on toast...it ain't flying.

    That said, Coulter sucks and I can't stand her and she is an a-hole. But at least be informed and honest about what it is you are talking....[/QUOTE]

    You're missing my point. As I said, this is the latest in a endless string of hideous statements. The body of evidence that Ann Coulter is vile is so long that the circumstances of any one instance is irrelevant.

    As it stands, I'm not outraged by Coulter. I'm bored by her. Her act --limited only to taking cheap, vile shots at people, with no hint of substance-- has grown old. I'm not outraged by Maher either, even though he said something stupid about Cheney, which he did, because his record of vile statements is a rounding error in comparison to Coulter's.

    Anyhow, as I was saying, it was a pleasure watching Coulter melt down when confronted, just as it is always a pleausre to watch any bully exposed as a sniveling coward.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]You're missing my point. As I said, this is the latest in a endless string of hideous statements. The body of evidence that Ann Coulter is vile is so long that the circumstances of any one instance is irrelevant.

    As it stands, I'm not outraged by Coulter. I'm bored by her. Her act --limited only to taking cheap, vile shots at people, with no hint of substance-- has grown old. I'm not outraged by Maher either, even though he said something stupid about Cheney, which he did, because his record of vile statements is a rounding error in comparison to Coulter's.

    Anyhow, as I was saying, it was a pleasure watching Coulter melt down when confronted, just as it is always a pleausre to watch any bully exposed as a sniveling coward.[/QUOTE]
    Fair enough, but you mis-represented what she said in your post. You know she is not rooting for Edwards' death yet you implied that she is and the circumstances are completely relevant. That's all I am saying, really.

    Coulter = Maher = Franken = Moore = Hannity = O'Rielly = Limbaugh

    They all suck, every one.
    Last edited by jets5ever; 07-02-2007 at 07:09 PM.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola] As I said, this is the latest in a endless string of hideous statements. The body of evidence that Ann Coulter is vile is so long that the circumstances of any one instance is irrelevant.[/QUOTE]
    Bill Maher is mostly a stranger to hideous statements?

    Ann Coulter would decimate any liberal thinker in a debate, by the way. The best Edwards could do is have his wife phone in. Also just read today that a Pew research showed that the average conservative radio listener to be more broadly informed on current issues than NPR listeners. No shock there.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=jets5ever]Fair enough, but you mis-represented what she said in your post. You know she is not rooting for Edwards' death yet you implied that she is and the circumstances are completely relevant. That's all I am saying, really.

    Coulter = Maher = Franken = Moore = Hannity = O'Rielly = Limbaugh

    They all suck, every one.[/QUOTE]

    They may all suck, but not everyone who sucks sucks equally. Coulter is worse than Limbaugh or O'Reilly, if you ask me.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=sackdance]Bill Maher is mostly a stranger to hideous statements?

    Ann Coulter would decimate any liberal thinker in a debate, by the way. The best Edwards could do is have his wife phone in. Also just read today that a Pew research showed that the average conservative radio listener to be more broadly informed on current issues than NPR listeners. No shock there.[/QUOTE]

    I didn't say he was mostly a stranger to hideous statements. I said the number of hideous statements he's made --which is not a short list-- amounts to a rounding error in comparison to Coulter. Making hideous statements is all she does. There's nothing else to her act. And it is an act.

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    [QUOTE=jets5ever]Coulter = Maher = Franken = Moore = Hannity = O'Rielly = Limbaugh
    [/QUOTE]

    Only true if you can get Hannity, OReilly and Limbaugh to admit that they are nothing more than comedians and not to be taken seriously.

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    [QUOTE=sackdance]

    Ann Coulter would decimate any liberal thinker in a debate, by the way. [/QUOTE]


    :bangwall: :bangwall:

    God if you only could see how annoying this line of thinking is....

    Why does it always have to resort to the schoolyard stuff...

    Yes some liberals are annoying in their thinking.

    Yes some conservatives are annoying in their thinking.

    Neither have it all figured out, neither are completely correct in their thinking.

    Get over yourselves and offer something to the conversation instead of resorting to who is "right," who is "hypocritical," who is "etc etc etc..."

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve]

    Get over yourselves [/QUOTE]
    Whoa! Captain Dull speaks up! Why don't you start your own messageboard where everyone can go express themselves CanadaSteve-style. Until then, eff'off.

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    [QUOTE=sackdance]Whoa! Captain Dull speaks up! Why don't you start your own messageboard where everyone can go express themselves CanadaSteve-style. Until then, eff'off.[/QUOTE]


    How mature....sorry sackdance, I didn't take my "adhere to whatever sackdance prescribes to" pill today.

    Try raising the bar to the conversation, not lowering it...

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    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve]sorry sackdance, I didn't take my "adhere to whatever sackdance prescribes to" pill today....[/QUOTE]


    It's not a pill, dude...it's a suppository. Enabler advice ALWAYS works best when taken anally.

    Its amazing how the people in this country still buy the whole left/right divide. Republican, Democrat...whats the difference? A couple of election year wedge issues that neither party has any intention of addressing? What "conservative" things has GW Bush really accomplished in his presidency? How's the end of the war coming for those "anti-war" Dems that "swept" into office last November? The White House is still as slimy as ever, even though Bush promised it would be a whole lot different. Democratic led congress is still getting sucked off by lobbyists...I thought they were gonna change that?

    Its all a facade, all a show....put on for the American people to make them think that voting actually matters. Keep believing it makes a difference, you fools....keep believing.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan] Enabler advice ALWAYS works best when taken anally[/QUOTE]



    This has to go into the "PK Words of Wisdom Hall of Fame". F-ing brilliant!;)


    Sometimes I think its the, my team is better than your team mentality. If only it could be, who will move this country forward with the kind of spirit the Founders displayed, type of mentality. Maybe we would be more demanding in regards to interviewing candidates based on policy and hold them to their word.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan]It's not a pill, dude...it's a suppository. Enabler advice ALWAYS works best when taken anally.[/QUOTE]
    Don't you mean Aynally?

    You claim to be an authority on Ayn Rand, that you even made a decision to stop reading her books - yet Ayn Rand was a man. Holy sh*t.

    In one fell swoop you've shown yourself an idiot and a poser.

    Here's some advice for you: slow down with the finger pointing and go back to posting jpegs. Can't mess that up.

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=jets5ever]Fair enough, but you mis-represented what she said in your post. You know she is not rooting for Edwards' death yet you implied that she is and the circumstances are completely relevant. That's all I am saying, really.

    Coulter = Maher = Franken = Moore = Hannity = O'Rielly = Limbaugh

    They all suck, every one.[/QUOTE]


    Your forgot Olbermann.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan]It's not a pill, dude...it's a suppository. Enabler advice ALWAYS works best when taken anally.

    Its amazing how the people in this country still buy the whole left/right divide. Republican, Democrat...whats the difference? A couple of election year wedge issues that neither party has any intention of addressing? What "conservative" things has GW Bush really accomplished in his presidency? How's the end of the war coming for those "anti-war" Dems that "swept" into office last November? The White House is still as slimy as ever, even though Bush promised it would be a whole lot different. Democratic led congress is still getting sucked off by lobbyists...I thought they were gonna change that?

    Its all a facade, all a show....put on for the American people to make them think that voting actually matters. Keep believing it makes a difference, you fools....keep believing.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for expressing so eloquently, what was in my mind.

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