In the past few days, since I put the piece in about Resiliency and Conspiracy, I've received a couple of E-mails questioning me on my take on this. Both indicated to me that Elizabeth Edwards should get more of break because of her cancer or because of her cheating husband.
When I first wrote that on the blog, it was much much longer than it turned out to be as a finished product. I cut alot of things out and probably shouldn't have cut some of it out. Due to both E-mails, I went back and looked again at my sources that I used before putting that blog item out there.
So, let me be absolutely clear on this. "Transparent", if you will, but probably not "Enchanting". I still believe that Edwards should not have run and his wife should not have allowed him to run for the Presidency of the United States. They were given no less than two chances to drop out of the race for their sake and for the sake of the country.
I'm going to begin with what we know.
Edwards Joins Presidential Race: On December 28, 2006, John Edwards announced he's running for the Presidency.
At this point, we did not know that Edwards was having an affair or had an affair. Had we known that, his candidacy would have been a joke. We also did not know that his wife had cancer and we certainly didn't know that her cancer was incurable.
I did make a mistake in response to one who E-mailed me about Obama's position in the race when he announced in February of 2008 that he was in the running. I thought that the race, early on, was between Hillary and Edwards. However, Obama's entering the race made the fight between he and Hillary and Edwards had dropped to third.
On March 22, Edwards announced that Elizabeth's cancer had returned and was now in her bones as well and was incurable. On the 25th, he said he was continuing his campaign.
I have found in my search on this subject that Elizabeth knew of the affair before the Candidacy was announced. If that's true, then my question is why would they put the country through that again? We'd already gone through this with Bill Clinton. That was ugly enough. But to do it again didn't make sense.
In going over this again since receiving the E-mails, I found others that said she knew of the affair a couple of days after the candidacy was announced and that she wanted him to drop out. If this is true, then I have to take some of what I said away.
However, when March arrives and they know she has incurable cancer, again, I have to wonder why they didn't drop out then. My own conclusion is that they were looking for power. Just the affair, if it got out would destroy him politically forever. The cancer would cause people to wonder if he can handle a wife who will at best be in terrible health and quite possibly worse, while he was President. It would likely leave the country at risk during that time. Thus far, the kids haven't even been considered.
What happens if the affair ends up in public after the campaign gets underway? As it turned out, he was out of the race when it came out in August of 2008. But suppose he had been the eventual winner. The race was over in July. Would the Democrats still support him? Would he have a chance against John McCain?
The only conclusion that I can reach is that they shouldn't have run once the affair was known to them. Whether a month before he announced or a day after he announced. Once her health situation was known, the campaign should have stopped. Even cynically, he had his "out" with her cancer information. It solved the problem of the affair. He had to have known that the affair would come out because he'd been asked about it.
The mainstream media ignored the story at first because the information came from the National Enquirer. This may also have delayed the inevitable.
I stand by my original position that Edwards should not have entered the race. His first reason could and probably should have been for the best interests of the country. But, even if not for the country, he should not have entered the race for the sake of his wife and children. If she knew, she should not have encouraged him to run. If she didn't know, it's a little more understandable. However, once the cancer was found to be incurable, it's my opinion that his wife and children should have come first and he should have immediately dropped out of the race.
Mrs. Edwards book dealing with her cancer is a terrific idea. It can serve as help for others facing similar circumstances. She had to know though that the affair is what people would be looking for in her book and when started touring, that would be the first set of questions. Since she has children, her including the affair in the book only serves to degrade their father, who will be caring for two younger children alone at some point. Is this the lasting memory she wants to leave for her children?
It's likely that this will only upset women even more with my update here. I consider men and women equal. No special rights, just equal rights. I believe that women should have been equal from the beginning. When George Washington cast his first vote in the new country he helped to create, Martha should have had a vote as well. If Billy is earning $100,000 per year doing his job, Mary should be earning $100,000 per year for doing the same job. If John is out earning the money and Joan is home taking care of the home and the children, Joan's work is every bit as important as John's job is. I don't consider either of them as being a lesser person because they do something different everyday. I consider them equal partners in a joint life together. I also think that if a pregnancy comes about, the man should have the exact same amount of say about the future of the baby as the woman. It ceased being her body alone when she shared it with the man and a new life was created whether intentionally or unintentionally.
So, if you don't like my position that I've taken on this, at least understand that it's not because she's a woman or because he's a man. It's because he screwed up the partnership they had and that screw up affects the public because of the choice that they made to attempt to take that partnership to a position of leadership that affects millions of other Americans. She just apparently joined that screwup by allowing him to run after the affair was known to them. The cancer just added another reason for him to drop out of the race for the sake of his wife, and the mother of his children.
You're welcome to comment.