In the wake of the announcement that Elizabeth Edwards had a recurrence of cancer, I decided to read and listen to conservative commentators to see what they had to say.
- Sean Hannity - He understood the Edwards' decision. His dad died of cancer.
- Hugh Hewitt - Understood the decision. His mother (or mother in law) died of breast cancer.
- Dean Barnett [blogger at HughHewitt.com] - Understood. He is dealing with cystic fibrosis.
- NRO's Corner Crew (Byron York, Mona Charen, Kathryn Jean Lopez] - All supportive.
- Jonah Goldberg
I am no fan of John Edwards as a politician, but given the facts as we know them, I don't see anything wrong whatsoever with him staying in the race. The guy's been married for a long time. His wife shares his views and obviously wants him to be president. People react to illness differently. When my Dad was in the hospital for months he made it very clear that he didn't want me putting my life on hold. It would have driven him crazy if I hovered constantly and, it would have given him the sense that I'd lost hope in his recovery. He liked hearing the "news" about my life. So we talked often, I visited often. It wasn't an easy call, of course. But ultimately you do what you think helps most or hurts least. These are the sorts of complicated, emotional decisions families make. That's why they're called families. I think it would be in very poor taste to second guess the Edwardses on this. I also think it would be in very poor taste if Edwards exploits this in some overly political way. But he hasn't done that and may never do it. He had to give a press conference. And, from what I hear he did it with class and dignity. So, again, as long as the facts are what they are, leave them alone. They deserve that much.
- Captain Ed - Understood. His wife is dealing with serious medical issues.
That was on Thursday, the day the news broke.
Friday morning, I tune into the Laura Ingraham show to see what she's got to say. For those who don't know, Ingraham underwent breast cancer surgery
in 2005, followed by a nine-month treatment period. She opened her show by noting that she'd been asked to be on cable news program Thursday night to discuss breast cancer (but declined for a variety of reasons). Then she talked about how she understood the Edwards' decision. And that when she was being treated, one of the things that kept her going was her radio show. That those three hours a day were often the only 'normal' times of her life. (Since then she's recovered fully.) And then she said -
That during those nine months while she was battling cancer, she had heard from Elizabeth Edwards. A mutual friend had brought them in contact (from what she said, it sounded like it was via email). Elizabeth had been encouraging Laura during that period and when Ingraham was better, Elizabeth emailed:
I see you're in fighting form. I'm not sure that's such a good thing!
Laura said she didn't want to hear any crap from her listeners about Elizabeth Edwards.
PERSONAL NOTE: I was taking an early morning walk (6 AM) and listening on a portable radio. It was cool and quiet and as Laura Ingraham's story unfolded, especially when she said Elizabeth Edwards had been in touch, it was like "Wow!" I'll never forget it.
Once you or a loved one is "in the club," you feel differently about criticizing other club members.
Elizabeth Edwards is the real thing. There's a lot of human being there.