WASHINGTON — Throughout his campaign for president and then vice president in 2004, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina made it clear that the death of his teenage son in a car accident was off-limits, not for discussion in a political context.
But now his wife, Elizabeth, has sent an e-mail to supporters voicing a connection she shares with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. As Sheehan was camped near President Bush’s Texas ranch, protesting the war, Edwards called on her own family’s backers to support Sheehan.
And, in a departure from a campaign-trail silence that the Edwardses kept about the death of their 16-year-old son, Wade, Elizabeth Edwards noted that Sheehan’s son, Casey, 24, died in Iraq eight years to the day after her own son.
For John Edwards, who voted as a senator to support the invasion of Iraq, his wife’s outreach to subscribers of their One America Committee Web site bears a distinct anti-war voice that could augur a new tack for Edwards as he prepares for a potential run for president in 2008.
“The president says he knows enough, doesn’t need to hear from Casey’s mother, doesn’t need to assure her that Casey’s is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home,” Elizabeth Edwards wrote in her e-mail last week. “He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq. The president is wrong.”
The Edwardses left questions about the e-mail to spokeswoman Kim Rubey, who said, “When Elizabeth read about Cindy Sheehan and her son, she immediately felt a strong personal connection.”
The Edwards kid died in a car crash. Sheehan’s kid died fighting for a cause he made his own in Iraq. Where’s the connection?
I suppose, perhaps, that Elizabeth feels some compassion for Sheehan’s loss of her son. That’s understandable, but if its true why announce it to the world? Especially along side her husband’s political call for support for Sheehan? They were so adamant about not politicizing their son’s death during the campaign, and rightly so.
Why politicize it now?
It seems to me as though the Edwards are using the death of their own son to leverage some of that “grieving mother” political capital against the war. Which is sort of sad. And pathetic.
Cindy Sheehan says President Bush murdered her son. Has any liberal ever complained about a lowlife drunken adulterer from the state of Massachusetts committing murder?
He’s talking about Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo, in case that wasn’t obvious.
By Rob Port of Say Anything.