Edwards out?

by Henry on March 22, 2007

From what I’m hearing, it sounds probable that John Edwards “is going to pull out of the race for Democratic candidate today”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/us/politics/22edwards.html?hp, because of his wife’s health. I’m very sorry if this is so; Edwards is the candidate whom I would have voted for, if I had a vote. He’s as close to being a Social Democrat as can reasonably be expected of anyone in the mainstream of US politics, and seems as a person and candidate to be deeply smart, serious, and committed to making hard choices in order to right some of the economic inequalities that have become pervasive in this country. I’m even sorrier because of the circumstances. From all accounts, Elizabeth Edwards is an extraordinary force in her own right, combining a tough intelligence with a fundamental sense of decency. I wish them well.

Update: Elizabeth Edwards has had a recurrence of her cancer, but it appears to be treatable, albeit not curable; Edwards says he isn’t dropping out.

Update 2: See “Jane Hamsher”:http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/03/22/best-wishes-for-elizabeth-edwards/ (and Elizabeth Edwards in comments).

{ 22 comments }

1

Steve LaBonne 03.22.07 at 1:57 pm

What Henry said- he has all the qualities we need in both a Democratic candidate, and a President. Until noon I’m still holding on to some hope that he’s merely announcing a suspension of his campaign while waiting to see how his wife responds to treatment. Hats off to him in any case for putting family before ambition.

This is a couple that’s been through a hell of a lot. Losing a child and fighting / watching your spouse fight cancer- ouch. My heart goes out to them both.

2

Robin 03.22.07 at 2:20 pm

I empathize with him, and was pro-Edwards. How often is poverty raised as an issue these days by presidential candidates? I wished he had stayed on long enough to have the issue picked up by one of the other viable candidates. (Kuccinich doesn’t count here.)

3

SamChevre 03.22.07 at 2:34 pm

Bad link?

I hope his wife recovers well and quickly.

4

jacob 03.22.07 at 2:38 pm

I’ve been an Edwards supporter ever since Dean’s implosion in Iowa last time around. The power of a politician who talks about poverty is unlike anything I’ve seen in my political memory, and unlike the other Democratic candidates, he gets organized labor, too. I hope, of course, that Elizabeth’s health is less bad than the rumors have it. More selfishly, I hope that John doesn’t call off the campaign entirely, just suspends it. Indeed, that’s what I suspect, given that he attended a fund-raiser last night even after announcing the press conference. An ability to suspend campaigning is one of the benefits of this absurdly extended campaign season.

5

Tom Scudder 03.22.07 at 2:53 pm

The link to the news story (or whatever) doesn’t go anywhere, btw.

6

Henry 03.22.07 at 2:59 pm

link should be repaired.

7

Marc 03.22.07 at 4:08 pm

This is sad, and I wish both of them well whatever decision they make. This was leaked in the Politico website, by the way, but only go there if you have a strong stomach. The comments on the Edwards thread are truly vile.

8

r@d@r 03.22.07 at 4:14 pm

at the very least he should be drafted as a speechwriter for whoever they end up with – his words are dynamite.

9

Henry 03.22.07 at 4:18 pm

I saw those comments too, and was depressed and disgusted.

10

Shelby 03.22.07 at 4:28 pm

Unlike the others here I’ve been neutral toward Edwards. I’d like to see him get more experience, perhaps as a governor, before running for president. I do wish he and his wife well, and it would be a pity to see him forced to drop out of the race for such a reason.

11

Filter 03.22.07 at 4:32 pm

Well, it seems that he will go on, instead. Good luck to him and Elizabeth.

12

Steve LaBonne 03.22.07 at 4:43 pm

I’m glad he’s not dropping out, and my best wishes to Elizabeth Edwards for successful treatment.

13

Uncle Kvetch 03.22.07 at 5:32 pm

14

Jane Galt 03.22.07 at 5:42 pm

Sadly, I think “treatable” for breast cancer bone mets is kind of a euphemism here; it means they can extend her life to two or three years, not that she’s going to have some kind of manageable chronic disease. If Edwards gets the nomination, he will probably be a widower in office.

15

Peter 03.22.07 at 5:57 pm

Unfortunately, I think Jane is correct. My understanding is that her 3 to 5 year survival odds are probably something in the neighborhood of 1 in 4.

16

Henry 03.22.07 at 6:27 pm

I suspect that the family is indeed up against tough odds – but I can also understand why they are approaching it the way that they are.

17

luci 03.22.07 at 6:29 pm

I googled a bit (I’m a layman), it seems that when breast cancer metastasizes, it’s considered Stage 4, the most serious. Often after initial treatment, breast cancer pops back up metastasized into “distant areas”. Areas most often affected are 1) bone, 2) lungs, and 3) the liver.

The 5-year survival rate for ALL stage 4 metastatic breast cancer is 20%.

But metastatic breast cancer confined to ONLY the bones, is the least serious of the three. (which might explain the optimistic remarks, compared to the alternatives). 5-year survival rates of this specific type vary from 20% to 50%. Chance of recurrence within those 5 years is 65% to 85%. 10-year survival rates are 25%.

So, it depends on a lot of specific factors – number, location, size, agression of lesions. But it sucks, all around. Sorry for them.

There isn’t any surgical treatment to remove the cancer. Only chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and system-wide approaches.

18

Jane Galt 03.22.07 at 6:30 pm

Oh, gosh, no criticism implied. I’m just sad, that’s all.

19

Henry 03.22.07 at 6:46 pm

I certainly didn’t take your comment as being critical (if you’re responding to me) – I understood it as it was obviously meant, as an expression of personal sadness about someone else’s personal difficulties, leaving the politics to one side. I was just saying that I understand (on a practical level of trying to live with this but not let it beat you) why they may have taken the choice that they have taken of going on with the campaign. Obviously, I don’t have any specific knowledge of why they are doing what they are doing – but I can understand why if I were in their position, I might do what they have done.

20

Slocum 03.22.07 at 8:01 pm

Well, it’s probably no surprise that Edwards would be my last choice among the viable Democrats–a populist, ‘fair trader’ isn’t attractive to a libertarian-leaning independent who greatly preferred Clinton’s free-trade and liberal (in the classic sense) economic policies.

But of course it’s very sad — especially given the young ages of their children. I have to assume that Elizabeth told him not to drop out, and I give her full credit for that.

21

Matt 03.23.07 at 12:45 pm

My mother-in-law died of just this thing almost exactly a year ago. It’s a hard go- for some time things can seem mostly okay (though she’ll not feel good most of the time, for sure) and then go down very quickly and unpleasently. Surely she’ll get better medical care than someone in Russia would and that will make a big difference, but as others have noted it won’t be something that will be minor. Best wishes to them for as good of a go as they can get.

22

H. E. Baber 03.23.07 at 7:05 pm

If Edwards gets the nomination (as I pray he will) he’ll be the first authentic Democrat I get to vote for. The last Democrat who held high political office that I remember was Hubert Humphrey.

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