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You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

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Sometimes, even in the deepest, stinkiest dungheap, you find a flower growing. From Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewitt's place:

I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW BAD I FEEL FOR ELIZABETH AND JOHN EDWARDS. I’m familiar with the body-blow of a sudden diagnosis that turns your world upside down. It’s incredible – you walk into a doctor’s office and within a span of minutes you find out your life will never be the same. In the back of your mind you nourish the hopes of miracle cures or that you might be like that guy in Dubuque who got the same diagnosis but oddly enough lived forever, but the reality of the situation sits there in your mind. You can’t shake it – it just won’t leave.

But you try to carry on. I think I may know some of what the Edwards are feeling. They’ve been running for the White House for seven years now. And make no mistake – as Hugh points out in his book, running for president is a family affair. It’s more than a dream and an ambition for them. It’s a big part of what defines their lives.

So they walked out of that doctor’s office refusing to let her disease take their lives away. Some people are calling their decision courageous; others find it puzzling. Having been in a situation analogous to theirs, I think I have some understanding and I know I have some sympathy. They’re working through all of this. Their first instinct is not to surrender. That’s good, and it’s what you would have expected. People who seek the presidency aren’t the types who give up or even compromise easily.

. . .
But as we approach that end, we finally realize that all along they were what mattered most. As a consequence, life often remains beautiful and worthwhile right up until the end. The past several years for me have been a journey to what’s at the center of my life. One of the things I found there that I didn’t expect to was writing. (You lucky people.)

The Edwards have begun their own journey of that sort. Whether they still find presidential politics at the center of their lives a few months from now is an open question. Regardless, the journey is theirs, and one would have a heart of stone to wish them anything other than good luck and Godspeed.

Of course, Dean described his own journey info Cystic Fibrosis (serious stuff, we lost a friend in '93) thus:

Over time, as my condition worsened and got more serious, denial was no longer an option. Compromise became the order of the day. On the golf course, I used to carry my bag for 36 holes a day. First I began to take a caddy. Then a cart. Soon I was playing twice a week instead of twice a day.

Yep. There's some sacrifice. Golf. Don;t get me started.

Digging into Dean's comments, we see a few really nice ones:

* Well said. I wish her a speedy recovery. I know that this is a very serious diagnois. Perhaps it is bravado, but there is always hope.

* But life goes on. And yes you prioritize. My attitude about a lot of things has changed. I'm sure the same will happen to the Edwards'. Just not right away. My prayers are with them.

* The news about Elizabeth Edwards sounds grim, but we aren't privy to the exact extent of the cancer or the prognosis of her doctors. She and her husband may have some grounds for optimism, or at least hope. Only they, with that information, are able to weigh the alternatives and risks so as to determine whether it's worth continuing John's Presidential race.

* In the best of cases, if there was a good chance of successful treatment and recovery, I can easily understand their decision to go on with the campaign. It's equivalent to getting on with their lives, and not giving in to fear or despair. If they just quit, it's another victory for the cancer.

And then, as I predicted yesterday, we have these:

Russell writes: Thursday, March, 22, 2007 6:15 PM Power It is amazing that Edwards would be willing to sacrifice the last years he may very well have with this wife to campaign for the Presidency.

How appalling it is to see a person want power that bad.

Its scarry that there are people out there who are that power-hungry.

God save us from them. PokerGuy writes: Thursday, March, 22, 2007 6:57 PM Politics So, this required a full-blown press conference with cameras et al because...

It could not have been handled by a succinct statement focused on Edwards' wife, her cancer, her condition, all legitimate cause for sympathy, because...

There could not have been a follow-on conference, after say 24 hours, involving Edwards alone and addressing his continuing political ambitions because...

Does it need to be any more obvious? Cancer is a huge emotional hook that touches a large part of the population. The medical news worked as intended by being conjoined with the political statement, thus powerfully creating the new triumvirate - candidate Edwards/wife/cancer. It's a form of imprinting. Thinking off. Feelings on. Hook in. Continue. /end Russell writes: Friday, March, 23, 2007 1:07 AM Too Harsh? Geez, I'm suprised that others don't feel the same way I do.

If my wife had malignant cancer the last thing I would think about is "How can I STILL run for President."

No my friends, this man has a taste of power and wants it more than life itself.

He, and people like him, are to be feared. SJR writes: Friday, March, 23, 2007 2:54 PM Edwards is a fraud I hope his wife gets well. Those two statements can co-exist.

But here is the best, the denouement:

lilly writes: Friday, March, 23, 2007 8:57 AM Can't Win I am old enough to remember the last twelve presidents and I can't remember a nastier political climate than the one introduced by Karl Rove's masterful manipulation of divisiveness. A candidate of the opposite party is now viciously attacked for personal attributes rather than ideology, for to destroy him or her by smear and ridicule is to kill any chance of that ideology coming to the fore. A week ago all we heard about John Edwards was that he was a pretty boy who combed his hair too much. Now that his wife's cancer has recurred, we hear that he is heartless to stay in the campaign. But if he had announced yesterday that he was withdrawing, it would have taken about thirty seconds for the Ann Coulter-esque crowd to be saying, "Well, THAT was convenient timing---Edwards knew he couldn't win so he used this excuse to quit". Yesterday I even read a townhall post "I wouldn't put it past this slimy sleazebag to have made up the story about the cancer to get the women's vote". Meanwhile, of course, you folks are sure to remind us that you are all PRAYING for these people you have been doing all possible to destroy.


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