But defending Edwards' choice to soldier on in politics got a lot more complicated when it became clear that she'd known of her husband's affair and yet continued to campaign for him. Women who had lionized her were crestfallen to find that she had believed (or that she'd pretended to believe) the affair was a mere one-night stand. Who was this credulous Elizabeth? Where had the straight-talking pragmatist gone? The revelation, as Rebecca Traister put it when Edwards appeared on Oprah in 2009 and let it be known that her husband had persuaded her he should stay in the race, was "crushing to anyone with an idealized view of Elizabeth Edwards."In 2004, I respected John Edwards for his rags to riches story about successfully suing large corporations on behalf of the little guy. But, when I read that his "two Americas" theme was hatched over a weekend as he brainstormed how to appeal to voters, I was astounded by his assertion that this was the "battle of his life". In fact, after never having engaged in any such battle before, this was merely the battle of his the near future, during his presidential nomination bid. That wasn't courage; it was opportunism, and eventually voters said so in the clearest way they could: by discounting his lies at the polls.
I wrote this about Elizabeth and John Edwards on August 27, 2007 and I believe that I was prescient in my analysis:
Elizabeth Edwards says of her husband John, "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."Slant Truth said at the time,
Here's a message to John Edwards: Even if you were Black, you wouldn't be Barack Obama. Even if you were a woman, you still would be no match for Hillary Clinton!
I didn't know that being a woman or being Black were automatic tickets to press attention and campaign contributions. I thought it took being a compelling candidate with a great message and a great organization. But Elizabeth Edwards is saying that only gender and color are winning for Clinton and Obama the attention and donations they have received.
Why have we gone 43 consecutive . . . white male presidential terms without any Black[s]or women taking advantage of The Edwards Insight?
With the best candidates being the woman and the Black man this time around, the tables are turned in the presidential race, and that's making Elizabeth Edwards envious, angry, bitter and resentful.
Damn. Did you just read what I just read? Elizabeth Edwards just played the “what about teh menz” and the “what about teh white folks” card in a single hand. And she did so in reference to a medium that is supposed to help democratize political participation in the U.S.. Does she really expect anyone to believe that her husband is at a political disadvantage because he is a white male?My mother died of liver cancer and that hurt me deeply. But she didn't engage in a campaign lying to and insulting the American public in her last days. Instead, my mother endeavored to leave positive relationships and memories with all of those who were closest to her.
Yeah, I suspect she (and her husband) does. Nice strategy there. Play up to the anti-affirmative action crowd. It’s obvious that the history of the U.S. Presidency shows blatant discrimination toward white males, so let’s play up how good the women and the Black men have it.
Oh wait. Maybe’s she’s been spending too much time at DailyKos. Those damn Special Interests GroupsTeh Revolution, according to Kos and the majority of his followers. So yeah, let’s find ways to bypass those bothersome Black folks and women and get down to what really matters: maintaining the status quo and keeping the Presidency in the hands of wealthy white men.
Elizabeth Edwards, on the other hand, fought a presidential nomination campaign that compelled her to lie to the public about her husband's infidelity while eventually Elizabeth Edwards became 'envious, angry, bitter and resentful' toward Blacks and women who refused to support her husband's candidacy. She wanted to make her sociopath husband President, even if he was secretly more like Richard Nixon than he was like John F. Kennedy.
We now know that if we had supported John Edwards, as Elizabeth Edwards begged us to do, then John McCain would now be President. The Republican negative background research campaign against Edwards' extra-marital affair, while his wife was dying of cancer, would have been leaked to the press, a day at a time, during an election campaign in which even Democrats might have called for John Edwards to get out of the race. This is the outcome to which Elizabeth Edwards spent half of her remaining days on Earth. If her last political wish had been granted, the Democratic Party Presidential Candidate would have been destroyed at the polls.
I'm sorry that Elizabeth Edwards died of cancer, because I know, based on personal experience, of the seemingly endless pain involved for her and her family. I think it would have been much better for her to be hit by a tour bus while crossing Pennsylvania Avenue.