“Every event I attended, somebody cried on my shoulder…”
--Elizabeth Edwards, March 22nd, 2007.
Before we go any further, a couple comments:
I barely looked at John Edward’s face during the press conference today.
But what a story Elizabeth’s face told.
I saw her smile, and I saw her courage, and I saw her fear.
I cannot thank both of you enough for allowing us to share this moment.
Elizabeth commented that she was glad to be able to tell her family first.
If you didn’t know it before, you have a bigger family here, and we are right here with you.
Just like you, we’re scared.
But just like you, we’re ready to take this thing we have forward together.
I’m a big fan of IZ Kamakiwiwo’ole. Who the hell is that? He’s the Hawaiian singer and player who does that hauntingly beautiful ukulele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What A Wonderful World” merged together. Which is a fantastic musical choice for the moment.
But not the best. There’s another song on that album: “Henehene Kou 'Aka”.
Unlike the other song, this one is lighter, happier, and looks to the future.
As we should.
So reassure the kids for us, let’s all have a little cry together, load up the ipod with happy music, and let’s move this thing along.
And with that said, let’s talk politics.
As is my custom, the remainder of this analysis is very much a “just the facts, ma’am” examination of cold, hard realities.
First, in an outcome unique to American politics, I think this is going to push the couple into the top tier of this race, if it’s handled well.
And oh my God was it handled well today. The Edwards couple has given us a lesson in family values that ends any R candidate’s chances of grabbing that issue for this cycle, if that already hadn’t occurred.
This event will be an opportunity to advance the discussion around national health care. What more powerful driver is there than Elizabeth representing all Americans with an uncertain health future and unsure how they’ll get the kind of care the Edwards family expects?
Here’s the tough one. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT attempt to campaign fundraise over this.
It will appear cold and heartless.
If money will come from this, let it come of its own accord.
On the other hand, a “pink ribbon” link, to support cancer research, or to help the American Cancer Society provide wigs and prosthetics for those who can’t afford them would be a magnificent gesture that would carry the imprimatur of truth, coming from this family in this situation.
Tell George and Jonathan to step away from the keyboard for today and let this one develop naturally.
One more thing-accept the invitation from “ellen”.
It will be an iconic event that will deliver woman voters better than any other campaign appearance you will make this cycle. Bring your doctor, and be just as open and loving as you were today, and you will not go wrong. (Be polite, too. Bring Ellen a present.)
Right now there isn’t much else we need to say.
And that’s good news in itself.
The fight goes on, and the fighters are all still in place.
The problems haven’t changed, but the way Americans perceive the ability of the Edwards’ to solve those problems may have. In a good way.
To sum up, in one sentence: medically, not so good; but politically, unbelievably good.
And finally, slipping out of the “fake consultant” character for a moment…
…if we should meet in person, you can borrow my shoulder anytime.