Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Have You Ever Noticed That She's The Only Candidate's Spouse Who Actually Looks Like A Mom?

We're curious what you guys think about this whole Elizabeth Edwards pro-gay marriage thing.

See, we like Elizabeth Edwards. We understand why she and her husband continued with the campaign, we think she's smart, incredibly brave, and surprisingly real. But like it or not, when she decided to go on stumping for her husband in the face of her deadly cancer, she assumed a far more pivotal role than any other candidate spouse (maybe even more than Bill Clinton, who can be excused for having his own opinions because, well, he used to be the most powerful man in the world). Elizabeth can raise as much money as John, she's better at earning headlines, and she has incredible draw as a speaker.

John Edwards has essentially endowed his wife with a co-candidate role. Which is fine, except they're not preaching exactly the same message. Elizabeth is touting marriage equality to the gays, which is sure to draw many to her camp. But that's not what we're going to get if John is elected. I'm not suggesting that gays are too dumb to understand this, but sometimes the positive feelings that are engendered by a touching speech or an inspiring interview is all it takes to earn a vote.

It feels like the Edwards are trying to have it both ways with the gays, who are a high-income, politically active group among the Democrats. In a race between leading Dem candidates with virtually identical positions on marriage equality, there's no way that this won't give Edwards a (false) edge.

We think it's fine for Elizabeth to disagree with John Edwards. But as a co-candidate, to keep emphasizing this point (and to not adequately explain her husband's position) is essentially false advertising.

Are we being naive? Are we underestimating the gays? We're not sure. We just miss the days of Teresa Heinz Kerry. It was so much easier to decide things with the potential of having a drunken drag queen in the office.


travellingstatic said...

there seems to be more going on here. it is as though john wants to be pro gay marriage, but given that he cant come out and say it, this is a policy decision to leak out of elizabeths camp. as such, the message of gay marriage is established, yet john doesnt lose support from the conservative liberals that they of course want to keep as well.

that, or i watched way too much of the west wing.

Zeke said...

considering Edwards history of dramatically shifting his position and pandering to whatever crowd or jury that is in front of him as well as his revolting over use of his dead son I wouldn't trust anything he says or promises and the use of his wife to send a pro gay message out as he trails a low third is just another way of trying to get votes. Wait till she dies of cancer and watch him use that too.
and sadly i do think that most gay voters are naive enough to fall for it. worked for Clinton the first time.

MattGaymon said...

It is frustrating that the field has seemingly been reduced to three (or two, if you're really couting). Elizabeth Edwards may have been in San Francisco speaking sort of not really on behalf of her husband, but Bill Richardson was actually in the Iowa City Pride parade. Hopefully he'll be everyone's favorite option for running mate.

All that said, this interesting, restrained article made me rethink my blind devotion to Hillary, though not my niggling crush on Bloomberg.

Aatom said...

If it's a bait and switch on their part, it's a poorly thought-out one. Won't matter to the fire-breathers on the right if she isn't speaking for her husband, they will still use her to brand him as a homo-sympathizer. My sense is that she's just a gutsy lady with a mind of her own, and she's been through too much to keep quiet about it. You have to respect them for emerging as two different people publicly. I still wouldn't vote for him, but I think I have a little crush on her.

MyMyMichl said...

I thought the first drunken drag queen in the white house was J. Edgar Hoover.

Zeke said...

What about Lincoln's wife? Mary Todd