A Decision I Would Not Have Made

I can’t say whether continuing his campaign for President is the right decision for John Edwards or not. That’s a call that only he and his family can make, given his wife’s very unfortunate medical condition.

Certainly they are well off and she will not want for good medical care, but her cancer is metastasized and that’s not a good thing at all, whether you are well off and running for President, or financially challenged in obscurity. No one would want that sort of thing to happen in their lives, although of course thousands of people confront this very issue every day. Certainly it lends some urgency to Edwards’ health care platform. But at a human level, obviously, Democrats and Republicans alike are wishing Elizabeth Edwards and their entire family the best in the face of bad news and trying circumstances.

For me, it would be an easy call — I would want to be with my wife as much as possible, no matter what, and it would be a no-brainer, no-second-thoughts kind of decision. But when I mentioned this to The Wife last night, she said that if I were in that position, she would want me to pursue my dream and wouldn’t want to feel responsible for holding me back.

I wonder if John and Elizabeth Edwards didn’t have a similar sort of conversation, only for real, and the results were kind of the same. I can’t imagine how it could be otherwise in a loving relationship. It would be a hard decision for a couple to make, that’s for sure; obviously, they’ve decided that Senator Edwards should continue his campaign, and as the linked article says, they want people to evaluate the Senator on his merits, not on sympathy for Elizabeth’s condition.

Like I said, I can’t say whether this is the right decision or not; my family is not the Edwards family and they had to figure out what would be the right call for them. And maybe it’s an easy decision for me to make, or at least to say I would make, because I do not have a burning desire to be President. But if it were me, I would have put the campaign into a low-key mode to be with my wife as much as I could.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.