Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Edwards Should Drop Out Of The Race

While getting ready to pick up my son from pre-k, I always catch the first fifteen minutes of The View. I am not sure why I bother to let the drivel drone on in the background while I am getting ready, but I do. Perhaps, I have a need to see what moronic, unfounded opinion Rosie O'Donnell will spew forth with no real, intelligent opposition to show the faulty logic she so readily applies.

Either way, I watch briefly.

Today's topic was on Elizabeth Edwards and her recent diagnosis of bone cancer. It is apparently incurable and even with the best outcome only gives her a few years, barring a medical or God-driven miracle.

Apparently, Katie Couric had done an interview in which she questioned the Edwards about continuing the campaign for president in the face of this diagnosis. The questions centered around the issue of whether this would be a good use of the time she has left. The panel on The View spent much of their time discussing whether Couric should have asked those questions and if it was fair to the Edwards. No one was brave enough to actually focus on whether the actual questions had any merit.

When I first heard of Elizabeth Edwards diagnosis, I felt sad for her and her family. I am not a Democrat and have not really followed her husband's campaign, but I am a mother of two young children and a human being. I felt compassion for her.

That being said, I don't see how they can continue bidding for the presidency. I appreciate Mrs. Edwards' desire to continue life and fight for the things that are important to her, but the road to the presidency is grueling, unforgiving, and still about 19 months out. Should she spend so much time away from two young children that she might be leaving in a few years?

Of course, Mr. Edwards could still continue his campaign without her traveling with him. It certainly isn't necessary for her to go everywhere with him. That would be a temporary solution. But, despite what time Elizabeth has left and how she chooses to spend it, the most important reason for dropping out has less to do with her life and more to do with the life of her children. They are only six and eight at this time. If their father wins the presidency, they will be about ten and eight--still very young.

Mr. Edwards could be facing a presidency that would be fraught with dealing with the death of his wife and the future of his children. The presidency is a brutal job. It chews up men and spits them out four to eight years later. It shows no mercy to children. I still recall all the horrible remarks and jokes made about Chelsea Clinton when her father took office. Late-night comedians thought that calling a thirteen year-old girl ugly was perfectly acceptable. Never mind the fact that she wasn't/isn't, it simply shows the callousness of the world towards even children.

Presidents get little time for themselves and their families. They are called out of the country at the drop of a hat. They are required to be ready to respond to any emergency that arises, which is pretty much a daily occurrence. There is no snooze button in the White House.

So, how will an, eventually, single father be able to cope with the world and all its cares in the face of his wife's death? How will he be able to guide and comfort two very young children who have lost their mother? Nannies would never be enough in the face of such tragic circumstances.

Now is not the time for Mr. Edwards. He should spend the time that he has with his intact family while he can and seek the presidency in another four to eight years. His children will be much older and more able to understand the requirements of such a position. They will be more able to process their mother's illness and possibly her death. Even the presidency is meaningless compared to the health of one's own family.

I wish them all well.

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