Increased Role For Candidate Wives

The spouses of the candidates are having a more high profile role in recent years, and this sometimes means both conflict between some camps and others coming to the defense of wives under attack. In the past week we’ve both seen Elizabeth Edwards attack John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry’s chief of staff come to the defense of Michelle Obama.

Elizabeth Edwards has pandered to the anti-Kerry sentiment in portions of the liberal blogoshere by claiming Kerry conceded too early in 2004. Kerry waited one day to concede to evaluate whether there was any chance to win. After looking at the number of outstanding ballots it was clear that mathematically there was no chance,and a concession was not legally binding if evidence of fraud could be uncovered. The bottom line is that to date there has been no conclusive evidence that the election was stolen. If nobody has been able to prove it yet, there was certainly no possibility for Kerry to prove fraud in the narrow time frame between election day and when the electoral college votes were counted. Kerry’s brother summed this up in an op-ed in The Boston Globe:

COUNTING EVERY VOTE
Boston Globe, THIRD, Sec. Op-Ed, p A11 01-06-2005
BY CAMERON F. KERRY

SO NOW THE VOTES IN OHIO HAVE BEEN RECOUNTED, AND IT’S TIME FOR CONGRESS TO TALLY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. BUT WHILE THE ELECTION IS OVER, A FIGHT GOES ON TO PROTECT EVERYONE’S RIGHT TO VOTE AND MAKE SURE EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED.

I wish it weren’t so, but the final facts look like the picture on the morning of Nov. 3 when my brother, John Kerry, ended his campaign for president. As campaign leaders sat in a Boston war room overlooking a dwindling Election Night rally in the plaza below, on the phone was a team of smart, tough veterans who know how to count votes and how votes get counted. All were veterans of Florida in 2000 who would have jumped at a rematch with Karl Rove and James Baker III.

In the room was Deval Patrick, former assistant attorney general for civil rights. In Washington was Michael Whouley, the never-say-die loyalist who stopped Al Gore from conceding; Jack Corrigan, who helped fight Bush v. Gore in the courts and the precincts; and Robert Bauer and Marc Elias, leading election lawyers and Kerry campaign counsel.

On the phone from Ohio was the chief of the legal team there, David Sullivan, longtime election counsel for the Massachusetts secretary of state, who himself was a plaintiff more than 30 years ago in a lawsuit to register college students and – with me – a defendant in unsuccessful lawsuit brought against us for properly challenging vote fraud.

They were backed by 3,300 lawyers on Ohio’s election protection team, part of more than 17,000 Kerry-Edwards lawyers nationwide. They were joined by 8,000 lawyers with the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition of the NAACP, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, People for the American Way, and other organizations and thousands more lay volunteers and observers.

This is hardly the first time Elizabeth Edwards has made a ridiculous statement which added to the sense that the Edwards campaign is not ready for prime time as they increasingly speak and act out of desperation. Any illusion that they are fit to lead the Democratic Party was shot when Elizabeth Edwards wrote off a sizable number of potential voters as not being “actual Democrats.”

Considering these attacks, as well as the manner in which Edwards placed his political ambitions above the interests of the ticked in 2004, it comes as no surprise than when Teresa Heinz Kerry’s chief of staff wrote about strong spouses of candidates it was Michele Obama and not Elizabeth Edwards who was discussed:

This cycle, Michelle Obama has shown herself to be an articulate spokesperson for her husband’s candidacy and a concerned mom. Her reward? A snarky column in The New York Times fretting that Mrs. Obama’s irreverent take on her husband’s reputation is emasculating, and the revolting spectacle of TV talking heads – egged on by the right wing – taking one sentence from a stump speech and trying to spin it into “catfight” between her and Hillary. A catfight? Is this a Seinfeld episode or actual journalism?

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment