Saturday, March 24, 2007

A good article in the NY Times about voters' reactions to John Edwards decision to stay in the race and their thoughts on whether this was a courageous decision or an ill-conceived one. The reactions appear to be mixed but I thought this one voter's comments were insightful and probably in the back of a lot of people's minds but few felt comfortable expressing what could be construed to be an insensitive remark.

"Robert J. Weinberg, a lawyer in Philadelphia who said he has an incurable cancer-related illness, myelodysplasia, and an uncertain amount of time to live, said that he thinks the Edwards campaign will have a hard time recovering. Cancer takes all your attention, he said.

“Don’t let this stop our lives, let’s go on just like we were and make believe this isn’t happening,” said Mr. Weinberg, who said he was a Democrat leaning toward supporting Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. “Of course that’s the selfless thing for her to do.”

“But if I go in to pull the lever and I know that person has a situation in his family that may divert his attention, I may not vote for him,” Mr. Weinberg added. “That may sound rough, but it’s the president of the United States, and he should be able to spend his time being president.”

I suspect that John Edwards' poll numbers will initially go up but that some people will have doubts about voting for someone whose wife could conceivably become terminally ill at any point and who would then be solely responsible for raising two young children. Whether that will be dispositive is anybody's guess but I doubt that it is the most important thing on his mind right now. Despite my strong objections to much of his policy platform, I hope that his family difficulties does not impede his political future.


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