Classy, Caring, And Completely Human: Elizabeth Edwards

Words fail me as I keep replaying the words and affect today of Elizabeth Edwards, with her husband John, announcing that her cancer has spread YET she wants her husband to continue his campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination because it's that.

Totally and utterly fake is usually the best thing that can be said about most politicians and their spouses, sporting smiles that freeze their mouths yet never reach their eyes. You know that every single word has been engineered to draw the maximum calculated affect from the audience and that they've probably spent a bundle on marketing and focus groups to refine the message down to a science. You see it with Laura Bush and with Hillary Clinton; you see it also with male pols.

But that is NOT what I got from Mrs. Edwards today. Instead, I saw and heard a very genuine human being expressing most genuine feelings. It left me not just with a wildly heightened great respect for her - the mother of still young children - but also for John himself. When she told us that America needs her husband in a leadership role, I know she meant it with every fiber of her being; not just for blind ambition but for the good of the country.

Of course, Rush Limbaugh and others from the hate-hugging far right immediately attacked her and ridiculed John, coming close to suggesting that the announcement today was a stunt, a ploy to gain sympathy. How sick - truly pathological - is that? Poor Rush wants sympathy for his drug addiction - which I doubt he overcame - but the Edwards, he wants us to think, are so desperate for attention they "conjured up" metastatic breast cancer in a still-young woman.

Elizabeth is amazing. She deserves our respect.