Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How Desperate Is John Edwards?

No one would ever accuse the Edwards' family of having a traditional family in the old style American sense: stay-at-home, docile wife, breadwinning hubby, 2.4 kids. But you'd figure John wouldn't hide behind his wife's skirt:
WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Edwards thinks her husband is a better woman warrior than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In an unusually blunt, no-holds-barred interview with, Elizabeth Edwards, who is fighting cancer, said Clinton is "not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see."

She went on to question Clinton's commitment to defending abortion rights, making a veiled reference to the former first lady's recent claim that abortions are tragedies.
Fair enough, we're all entitled to different opinions. After all, we're not Republicans. Hillary Clinton, whose work for women's issues stretches way back to pre-First Lady days, doesn't need me to defend her comments that abortions should be safe, legal and rare. It certainly doesn't help us sway moderate voters when Ms. Edwards' tries to claim that's too moderate a position. Continuing...
"She describes some cost-saving things, which John also supports, but she acts like that's going to make health care affordable to everyone," Edwards said.

"She knows it won't. She's not really talking about poverty, when the face of poverty is a woman's face, often a single mother," she said.
You can't have it both ways, Ms. Edwards. If your husband supports the same measures that Hillary supports, then it's kind of pointless to claim Ms. Clinton doesn't have a comprehensive plan, unless by extension you're admitting your own husband hasn't done his homework as well.

What bothers me most about these comments is that it's not John Edwards who is making them, and it ought to be. I'm not saying Elizabeth Edwards has no place on the campaign trail...hell, she's earned her stripes...but attacks like this ought to come from the candidate him (or her) self, and Mr. Edwards ought to stand by them. That would take courage, of course, which seems to be in short supply in the Edwards' campaign.

I say this having remarked in the past that I think Elizabeth Edwards' voice may be the most important in her husband's campaign, but I said that with the meaning of speaking to the issues, not tearing down other candidates. Contrast these comments with the ones Hilalry made in 1992 when she was running against Barbara Bush for First Lady.

What's that? She said nothing about Mrs. Bush?

My point, precisely. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bush had great sport with Hillary Clinton and in the end probably cost her husband more votes with her bitchiness than she garnered for him by tearing down Hillary.

I voted for Edwards over Kerry in the 2004 primaries. I won't make that same mistake again.