Elizabeth Edwards, Resilience

The Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa, closed its doors in October, 2007.  On the last day, “some of the Maytagers unlaced their work boots, placed them neatly side by side, and walked to their cars in their socks, their boots symbolizing what they were leaving behind, the part that could not come with them on the next part of their journey.”

Elizabeth Edwards left her boots behind when her son Wade died.  It happened again when she was diagnosed with cancer.  And when she learned of her husband’s infidelity.  Then came the final blow:  her cancer had returned, and it was inoperable.

My guess is John Edwards has been a philanderer for most of his life.  That Elizabeth Edwards knew of his dalliances, but because they did not threaten the life she had built for herself and her children, she ignored them.

A friend who read Edwards’ first book tells me Elizabeth is glowing in her descriptions of this so deeply flawed man.

Is he so deeply flawed?  Or did this couple, John and Elizabeth, climb too high and too fast up a shaky ladder, both so intent on grabbing the greatest of all brass rings, they began to believe they were invincible?  Then came the storm.  The perfect storm.  Cancer.  Rielle Hunter.  Cancer.

What a pathetic creature, Rielle Hunter, to have brought it all down.  Aspiring actress.  Second rate videographer, if that.  Opportunist.  “You are so hot,” she said to John Edwards.  Now we know where her talents lie.

All the while, Elizabeth was still reeling from the loss of her son.  He died in 1996.  “Tell me he is alive,” she said to the Highway Patrolmen who came to her door.  They could not.  “The halcyon days came to an end,” she writes.

I read a third of this book while I was on the elliptical trainer at my workout facility.  They have a time limit – you’re only allowed thirty minutes on a cardio machine.  I wish I’d been able to stay until I could finish the book.  It’s that good.

One Response to Elizabeth Edwards, Resilience

  1. John McDade September 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm #


    I completely agree with your article.

    I must admit, I waiver on my opinion of Ms Edwards as basically I want to see the good; however her husband’s actions have chipped away at her credibility. I believe you are spot on with your observations when you ask “Is he so deeply flawed? Or did this couple, John and Elizabeth, climb too high and too fast up a shaky ladder, both so intent on grabbing the greatest of all brass rings, they began to believe they were invincible?”
    Here I believe you uncovered the ultimate flaw in our political system which is basically politicians are human and being human is what is wrong with our political system.

    In addition, what is even more compelling to me is the role of Mr. Andrew Young. Mr. Young is the aide who allowed himself to be Edward’s fall guy in this vile tale. Has it all become about fame and money as according to CNN “The New York Times reported in August that Young has submitted a book proposal in which he tells publishers that Edwards knew all along that he was the father of Hunter’s child — and that he promised to marry her after his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, dies.”
    All I can say after reading this is that if this is true, I will have to swallow hard as I voted for the Kerry/Edwards ticket back in ’04. Also I just hope this story and the Edwards just go away so we are not faced with a story like “John and Kate Plus Eight” which has turned into “John and Kate Twisted Fate”.

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