Benny's World

Saturday, December 04, 2004

JRE's Future, Pt 2

From the Durham Sun-Herald today:

Yesterday's DS-H:

CHAPEL HILL -- The whole vice president thing didn't quite work out, and the "senator" title will only apply for another month.So how does "Professor John Edwards" sound?

It sounds pretty good to officials at UNC, who would love to bring the soon-to-be unemployed Edwards back to the Chapel Hill campus, where he and his wife earned their law degrees.And, in fact, Edwards has made at least one somewhat indirect mention of his interest in returning to UNC's law school in some capacity.

Law School Dean Gene Nichol started discussions with Edwards several weeks ago by writing to the U.S. senator. Since then, the two have discussed the possibility of Edwards teaching in some capacity at the law school, Nichol said this week."I have indicated to John that we would love to have him be a part of our program," Nichol said. "I'm sure he's considering a million different things.

This might be one of them. He's indicated he's interested."UNC Chancellor James Moeser said this week he has had no direct contact with Edwards about a possible faculty appointment or other role in the law school. But like Nichol, he welcomes the idea."This university would be very interested," Moeser said. "It's something we'd like to pursue."

Edwards, 51, just concluded a three-day farewell tour of North Carolina. According to a report in The Charlotte Observer earlier this week, he said working at UNC's law school or at another prestigious university "would be on the list that I'd want to think about."His press secretary, Mike Briggs, said Thursday that Edwards thus far has been noncommittal about his future. He has plenty of options but is most concerned with helping his wife through cancer treatment.Elizabeth Edwards recently was diagnosed with breast cancer and is being treated at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

"He's had a lot of interesting offers," Briggs said. "He has said the most important thing is to get Elizabeth well. He's concentrating on that."Edwards will complete his six-year term in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2. He chose not to seek re-election, opting instead to serve as John Kerry's No. 2 in the Democrats' unsuccessful bid for the White House.

Elizabeth and John Edwards each received law degrees from Carolina in 1977 and have been involved with the school ever since. The couple has donated money to the school, and John Edwards has spoken there as well.Though Sen. Edwards hasn't yet decided what his professional future holds, it likely will include work on a few of his pet issues, which include terrorism, national security, health care and poverty, Briggs said.At UNC's law school, Edwards pretty much could do what he wants, Nichol said.

He said he wouldn't expect the senator to seek a full-time faculty position.But with Edwards' reputation and experience as a trial lawyer, his contribution as a part-time professor, guest lecturer or in some other capacity could be valuable, Nichol said."He's a great lawyer, a pretty powerful communicator, and a strong expert in a number of fields," he said. "I've told him we would be extraordinarily interested, whether it be for a lifetime or for whatever period."

Ed Turlington, a Raleigh attorney who led Edwards' unsuccessful presidential campaign before the senator became Kerry's running mate, said he has heard no indication that Edwards is interested in working for UNC.Then again, Turlington said, he wouldn't rule it out, either."Both Sen. Edwards and Elizabeth have a warm place in their hearts for the Carolina law school," said Turlington, himself a 1982 UNC law graduate. "I would not be surprised if he spent time on the Carolina campus and at the law school when he leaves the Senate."

The family soon will be local. They recently bought a 102-acre land plot in Orange County with plans to build a home there where the couple will raise their two young children, Emma Claire, 6, and Jack, 4.The couple paid $1.3 million for the land, which is on the northern side of Old Greensboro Road. They plan to continue living in Washington, D.C., until early next year, when Elizabeth's cancer treatments end, Briggs said. They then plan to move back to North Carolina and likely will live in their house in Raleigh while the new home is built in Orange County."He definitely wanted to come back to North Carolina," he said. "He just wants somewhere where the kids can breathe some fresh air, run around and have fun."The Edwards' land is within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district.

Pat Neville and her husband, Gordon, live near the Edwards land on Old Greensboro Road, and gave Elizabeth Edwards a tour of their land last summer before the family decided to buy the property.Workers have been busy clearing trees and putting in a rough road on the heavily wooded property for an apparent home site, Pat Neville said Thursday.But Neville said she had spoken to no one representing the family and didn't know their exact plans.Workers "are definitely working on the lot," she said. "There's somebody down there all the time."Orange County has received permit applications for a well and septic system on the property, but not for a building permit, said Craig Benedict, the county's planning director.

Herald-Sun staff reporter Rob Shapard contributed to this article.JOHN EDWARDS BIOBorn: Seneca, S.C. (raised in Robbins, N.C.)College: N.C. State University, graduated with high honors in 1974Law school: UNC, graduated with honors in 1977Career: Edwards spent 20 years after law school representing families and children allegedly hurt through others' negligence. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, serving on the Select Committee on Intelligence. This year, he ran president this year, eventually being tapped as John Kerry's running mate on the Democratic ticket.Family: Edwards met his wife Elizabeth when both were law students at Chapel Hill. They were married in 1977 and have had four children, including their eldest daughter, Catharine, a student at Princeton University; another daughter, 5-year-old Emma Claire; and a son, 3-year-old Jack. Their first child, Wade, died in 1996.
Interesting, EC is 6, Jack is 4..

Ribbons on Cars

Today my spouse and I went shopping for biking gear. He's the biker, I go along as the fashion consultant. We were looking for glove liners, and happily, one of our local stores had them, along with Tilley hats, silk undershirts, and good wool socks.

The store also carries magnetic ribbons for cars. I saw a variety of them: the yellow one with " we support our troops"; a black one with " POW/MIAs: We won't forget"; and one that grabbed my attention: a khaki camoflague one that says "Support our Troops." I liked that one the most because I hadn't seen it before, and because it would match our car, which is a metalic driftwood color.

While we were standing in line to pay the cashier, a woman and her son struck up a conversation about getting one of the ribbons. She asked her son if she should get one, and he replied, "Yeah,'s your car." I turned around looked at them and commented that I thought these were cool. She said yea, I want to show my support. My son's about to leave." And I replied, " Wow." He replied, "Well, it's my turn." Then I asked him, " you are going all the way over there?", meaning Iraq. He said, "Yeah, where else?" And I said, I wish you well and hope you don't have to stay long." He said, "Year and a half."

I thought my fellow blogger Tamara as her son has to go to Iraq next summer. This young man near me wasn't more than 20 years old. I wanted to ask him what he would be doing over there, but they signaled they didn't want to chat with others. He wanted to be in mother's company more than talking with a stranger. I didn't blame them a bit.

I turned back around and made my purchases. Inside, I was feeling sad, mainly because I didn't want him to go. I wondered if he would come back. I thought about if he did come back, what would his attitude be like? Losing the innocence of youth I suppose by having a war forced on him that he had nothing to do with.

However, I admired him for his resolve. I think I admired his mother most of all, who didn't show pride or sadness, or any kind of emotion. Maybe I absorbed all of her feelings.

I do support our troops. More important, I want the insanity of the war to end not to send any more young men and women because of blinders on the horsemen of the apocolyse who run through our executive buildings in DC.

With a tear in my eye, I put the ribbon on my car, and I said to myself, " good luck soldier..and be safe."


John Edwards is known for the expression, "I choose to be inspired. " Lately, I have felt inspired by his wife, Elizabeth and my colleagues, but for various reasons. Elizabeth has breast cancer, which is not uncommon. What was uncommon was that she discovered a lump two weeks before the election was to be held, and she withheld the information from her husband for a week. Part of it was that she needed to seek out a doctor to be certain, and the other was that she knew the news would hurt her husband. She was right, of course. So the day Edwards and Kerry conceded the race to their opponents, Elizabeth was rushed to Massachusetts General for more tests, which completely confirmed other opinions. But she has been so strong about the entire situation, and not afraid to discuss it with the public either.

For some time, I've also admired Elizabeth's looks and how she has turned a potential liability (her weight) into an asset, as discussed before on this blog. I've liked her hair in particular. It has made me wonder how long she's had her hairstyle and when it changed. Nonetheless, I've noticed some women in my office who have made some dramatic changes to their hairstyles as well. Both of them had long hair, one length, then over a vacation or holiday, they came back with short, but layered look haircuts. It made both of them look more professional. I decided to take the plunge yesterday: I cut my slightly past my shoulders one length hair and had it layered as well, but not as short as my colleagues or Elizabeth Edwards'. I remain without bangs, but I wear my hair parted to the side. It's now an auburn color, which gives my haircut the "oomph" it needs in terms of warmth, but all of the other ingredients give it "oomph". Both my spouse and I think my new style is much more professional looking. I awoke this morning hoping there would be no regrets, and there aren't.

Inspirations come from different places. I thank my colleagues for their bold moves, just Elizabeth was bold enough to come out about her disease. And I was able to make my move, at last being a bit more innovative on myself as I am in my worklife.