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Edwards Using Son's Death As Political Tool

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.

Update:

Ace:

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.


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Comments (12)

The Paul Wellstone funeral ... (Below threshold)
penny:

The Paul Wellstone funeral launched the Dem's strategy of playing death as a political tool. What the idiots have forgotten is that it cost them that election in Minnesota.

Playing the death card killed them.

i heard that edwards will c... (Below threshold)
moseby:

i heard that edwards will channel her son on his next show and that the son will clear Karl Rove...

Casey & Edwards' son died o... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Casey & Edwards' son died on the same day of the year (but different years).

Casey died helping to liber... (Below threshold)

Casey died helping to liberate Iraq, Mary Jo died because Teddy had just liberated two quarts of liquor. That must be the connection they are making.

You don't hear George W cro... (Below threshold)

You don't hear George W crowing about how much compassion he has because of his sister's death.

Johnny used his son's death... (Below threshold)
HM:

Johnny used his son's death/memory in closing argument in a multi-million dollar injury case down here in NC, involving a little girl's injury in a swimming pool.

Sounds like more of the same. Maybe he got so excited about Ms. Sheehan's popularity, he dropped his rhetorical trousers for a swoon from the balcony.

One can only hope that this... (Below threshold)
moseby:

One can only hope that this dopey sheehan twat will evetually dry up and a good ol' Texas wind will blow her dust away...

Sad and pathetic? Certainly... (Below threshold)

Sad and pathetic? Certainly and without shame. I suspect the next few years will bring on a legion of dearly departeds, tearfully grieved for and I don't mean 'voters' in Chicago.

I hope Chelsea has exceptional security.

If this is such a noble cau... (Below threshold)
Greg:

If this is such a noble cause, I wonder if Bush encouraged his own daughters to sign up and serve our country. At least people like John Edwards do not use a tragic event like 9/11 and the deaths of nearly 2000 soldiers in Iraq as a campaign tool. And god help George Bush for claiming God is on his side. God belongs to everyone, not just the right wing of the republican party. Someday he will have to answer for this.

<a href="http://www.thegrea... (Below threshold)
And god help George Bush... (Below threshold)
joe:

And god help George Bush for claiming God is on his side. God belongs to everyone, not just the right wing of the republican party. Someday he will have to answer for this.

Please cite your source that Bush ever claimed such a thing. Your imagination is not a source.

God belongs to everyone,... (Below threshold)
Ring:

God belongs to everyone, not just the right wing of the republican party

Well, I agree with you except I don't believe the left does since they seem to spend every waking moment trying to eradicate him from any form of public life*

*Only the Christian God of course, Islam is just spiffy, and part of the standard public education should involve spending a week pretending to be a muslim (bonus marks for any honor killings)




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