Sunday, February 04, 2007

John Edwards Offers America His Honesty

John Edwards appeared on NBC's Meet the Press this morning and faced tough questioning from Tim Russert about Senator Edwards' vote for the Iraq war and Edwards' subsequent comments supporting that vote in 2004. I asked myself if I would have the courage to confront actions and statements I had made years ago, knowing that I was sorry for ever having made them, having the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. Senator Edwards did not articulate this, but I got the impression that, between the shocking and excruciatingly disappointing 2004 electoral loss and the simultaneous life-threatening illness of his wife Elizabeth, Edwards was dropped out of the cloud of the stifling Kerry04 campaign to the ground of bitter realities, the darkest of which he, his children Cate, Jack, Emma Claire, and especially his wife Elizabeth had yet to face.

You don't get much more of a shock than when you find out your beloved partner in life has a health condition that threatens life as you've comfortably come to know it. Combine that with a slap-in-the-face loss of a closer-than-close Presidential election. I can understand how John Edwards came through this a changed man in many ways. Most of us have been turned around by experiences in our own lives. Why shouldn't we expect that Senator Edwards is any different then we are? Thankfully for us, he's willing to look people like Tim Russert in the eye (knowing that it's America he's looking in the eye) and tell all of us just how wrong he thinks it was.

I hope Americans "get" this. I think we Americans are apt to forgive those who are willing to take these tough confrontations head-on and those who are willing to reveal themselves, convincingly, as the human beings that they are. When you combine that with everything else I heard from Senator Edwards this morning about all the issues that matter here and now in 2007, I saw a leader that Americans, if they did not already know Senator Edwards, were invited to get to know in a way that revealed to them a man of outstanding character, vision, and honesty.