« What Garance Doesn't Get About Voters | Main | The Economics of Magic »

July 21, 2007

Cancer as Electoral Ploy

By Ankush

I'm not quite sure what point Isaac Chotiner is trying to get at here, but I do wish he would just get on with it and tell us what he finds so strange about the Edwards' behavior in the article about them in the Journal today rather than subject us to his deliberately vague or possibly just unformed thoughts.

The closest we get to any sort of claim beyond the fact that things are "weird" is the title of the post -- "The Edwards Family and Privacy." Is Chotiner's argument that the Edwards are an unusually open family? That would be noteworthy, I suppose, though why it couldn't be stated outright is unclear. Or, more likely, is the suggestion here that the Edwards family is putting on some sort of show -- revealing things they otherwise wouldn't about Elizabeth Edwards's impending death -- simply to garner sympathy and attention? This would be an alternative to the possibility that the woman wants to show the public that there's no shame in illness or death, and that she's not interested in other people's definitions of what must be kept private.

Anyway: Do tell!

July 21, 2007 | Permalink


Thanks, Ankush. While the article did go into a lot of personal things about Mrs. Edwards' life, I can easily see these things being revealed when a reporter asked questions and Mrs. Edwards gave answers.

I have to imagine that any happy political spouse is less uptight about keeping the details of her life private than the average person would be.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Jul 21, 2007 11:15:09 PM


If so, it strikes me as a pretty weird thing to discuss in front of a journalist (why did she ask her husband this question at that moment?).


Doesn't seem like the type of thing you want to read to a reporter...

I think he's just wrong. People do have differing insincts about such things, but to me it seems entirely natural (in an admittedly sometimes bizarre way that applies in extreme circumstances--if that makes any sense) to be open that way.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jul 21, 2007 11:32:27 PM

Elizabeth Edwards: a genuine profile in courage.

Posted by: jncam | Jul 22, 2007 12:00:51 AM

I can easily see these things being revealed when a reporter asked questions and Mrs. Edwards gave answers.

It's a bizarre presumption of taboo. Lots and lots of families go through this, and they know the way it works: you parcel out your future to the next check-up, the next scan, the next course of treatment, and when you reach it, you look to the next one. You don't ignore how vague intimations of mortality have become much less damn vague, but you'll damn well think about it when you're dead and no sooner.

Most of those families obviously don't have to answer the astonishingly dense questioning from strangers -- essentially, 'so, what's it like knowing that you're likely to be dead soon?'. That's to say, there's a projected sense from certain sections of the press that: a) Americans are morons; b) Elizabeth Edwards is the first middle-aged woman ever to have inoperable cancer.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Jul 22, 2007 1:08:16 AM

Many people have what seems like strange reactions to impending or completed death. Example: when the death of a friend or office worker is announced, the first question usually asked is 'how did they die' - which is a hard question to understand being asked when you think about it. Similar questions are asked if a person (or their friend/family member says a person is facing a terminal disease.

I can't possibly explain Elizabeth Edwards approach to her illness and probable shortened lifespan since I don't know her. But I fully can understand how an educated, intelligent and caring period (which I think she is) wishes to bring these matters into the light of day. Death is the most normal thing that effects us all. That she genuinely believes her husband would be a fine President is obvious and her committment to helping that to possibly happen - not just for John (and his family) but also for the nation.

She's a true liberal in the truly broadest sense of that word, for which she has my respect, admiration and support.

As for Isaac C. (and the TNR): apparently everything has to be examined in probing detail to detect any political 'angle'. He's likely too young for me to expect he has any deep understanding of the meaning of an examined life as Elizabeth Edwards leads it.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jul 22, 2007 2:52:42 AM

I've been successfully recommending via my health practice MC-S to a number of prostate cancer patients.

A very close mate of mine died recently of prostate cancer, he was 44. Through a course of MC-S we were able to raise the activity of his immune system enough to give him what other doctors said would not be possible, an extra 5 years. I attribute this extension of his life mainly to three things, lots of exercise, as much fresh fruit and vege as he could eat and juice every day, and a daily routine of 2 MC-S tablets three times a day. If you know someone who is affected by prostate cancer or you have concerns, please see your doctor and you might like to read some of the details on www.mc-s.com.au

Posted by: Dr Jeff Aitkin | Oct 21, 2007 2:16:29 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.