Benny's World

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards Engages Audiences in NJ, CT

Yesterday, Elizabeth was engaging with women about mind and health issues in New Jersey, and later she went to Connecticut to talk about the role of a spouse in a presidential campaign. As far as I know, JRE was not mentioned in either talk.

(photos courtesy of the Courier)

At Mount Laurel, NJ, she spoke about making her cancer public. She said that she has received over 65,000 e-mails and 30,000 letters, among them a thank-you note from a woman who hadn't had a checkup in years, got a mammogram, and discovered she had breast cancer. The woman started getting treatment right away. As Elizabeth said, "I was overwhelmed".

Cooper Hospital officials said they wanted to have a women's conference not only just about health, but about mind and spirit too, and that inviting Elizabeth fulfilled that goal. Christine Messina-Boyer, director of women's health at Cooper, explained it this way: "We were looking for someone to tell women that no matter what they face, they can live life to the fullest."

Read more about it here.

And indeed, they got their money's worth.

Later, Elizabeth was on a panel about the Presidency in Hartford along with Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Joseph Ellis and Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney ticket. Elizabeth said that her spouse may have won the presidential race in 2004 if he had run the campaign of ideas from this past cycle, such as poverty and universal health care. "These ideas in a less cluttered field may have gotten more attention.

Then the panel discussed why voters care about spouses. Dowd said that until Hillary Clinton emerged with Bill Clinton in 1992, spouses were never part of the equation. Elizabeth believed it was sooner than 1992 and presented Rosalynn Carter as an example. Elizabeth said "by sitting down at the kitchen table and talking about issues with people in Iowa, Mrs. Carter — a farmer like many Iowans — was able to influence voters and help her husband reach the White House." And that she tried to do the same for her husband's campaigns.

All of the panelists agree that it takes a tremendous ego to run for the Presidency, and often surround themselves with "yes" staffers. Elizabeth expressed another role for the spouse. She said Michelle Obama is very important, because she can bring Barack Obama back down to earth. Elizabeth knew from experience that " generally people working on the campaign don’t care about making the spouse happy, because the spouse often is an impediment because she’s being honest."

You can read more about the conversation here.

Elizabeth is definitely living life to its fullest. Next month, in addition to the many speaking engagements listed on the right sidebar, she is opening a furniture store.

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  • Thank you for posting this information! The extremely important issue of universal health care is likely to get lost in the next administration addressing the financial meltdown unless there are strong voices like Mrs. Edwards pushing the issue back to the forefront. Even those of us with insurance need the system overhauled as we pay more for coverage but receive less in benefits. Without action, the system is going to fail but at what cost to lives?

    Best wishes for her, especially for continued good health to allow her to share in the joys of her children, and for her family and friends.

    By Blogger indyvoter, at 2:17 PM  

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