Monday, August 22, 2005

A Ray of Light

On July 26th, I posted the following on the blog:

The only leading Democrat who has come out strongly in opposition to this war is Gore, and it's doubtful he'll run in 2008. Perhaps it's time for Edwards to reconsider his position on Iraq and become his own man. I believe that Americans will be so weary of this bloodshed (as the majority now are) in 2008 that a pro-occupation policy will be poison for any Democrat, but a rapid turnaround on the issue will appear insincere and pandering. If Edwards came out now against the occupation, he'd be a lock in 2008. He'd then get the "unity" Clinton preaches for, and not destroy the party (as she will).

The Chicago Tribune this morning is speculating that this might indeed happen:

Edwards signals shift against war

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."

Rob Tully, a Des Moines lawyer who campaigned for John Edwards in 2004, suggests that Elizabeth Edwards' battle with cancer since the election has given her an added perspective.

"She has gone through her own life-threatening experience, and that is life-changing," Tully said.

Yes, the Chicago Tribune is a right-wing rag, evidenced by the fact that it's Elizabeth, and not John Edwards who is signaling a 'shift'. Still, I remain hopeful that John Edwards will make a major political address that will indeed signal a shift in his stance on the occupation, and do so sooner rather than later. Elizabeth Edwards is one of the most intelligent and influential political spouses around, and if she's on board that's an extremely hopeful sign.

You can sign Elizabeth Edward's statement of support for Cindy Sheehan at the One America Committee site (please do this), and you can also jump on their blog and encourage John to oppose the occupation. Unlike Bush, he actually listens.


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