Elizabeth Edwards’ illness and treatment are certain to affect her husband’s campaign schedule and may raise questions about the viability of his campaign, especially among financial donors wondering whether he will be in for the long haul. The first fundraising deadline is fast approaching on March 31.Edwards has been considered among the top-tier candidates although he trails front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) in public opinion polls. His forceful opposition to the Iraq war â€” and oft-repeated apology for his 2002 vote for it â€” as well as his plans on universal health care have improved his standing among the party’s liberal base.Both Edwardses said the cancer was treatable and that they would stick with their plans to campaign vigorously for the nomination.
“The campaign goes on. The campaign goes on strongly,” said Edwards, who argued, “other than sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, there was no reason to stop.”
Wade E. Byrd, a Fayetteville, N.C. lawyer and one of Edwards’ chief fundraisers, said the Edwardses sounded optimistic enough that he didn’t think donors would be wary “right now” about him abandoning the campaign to be with his wife.
“I wouldn’t have been shocked â€” although I would have been disappointed in a major way â€” if he had gotten out of the campaign,” Byrd said. “I’m not surprised at all that Elizabeth was more than likely the one saying, ‘You will not get out of this campaign.'”
New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro backed Edwards’ 2004 campaign in large part because of his affection for the candidate’s wife, but remains uncommitted for 2008. He said his heart broke for the Edwards family and he was a bit surprised that the campaign will continue.
“To some extent, yes, because she is such an integral part of the campaign,” he said. “I couldn’t envision the campaign without her.”
Why does it seem to me they’re going to use this to gain the sympathy of voters? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t intend to come across harshly, but it’s actually a strategist’s wet dream. If they play up to this……. just….utter disgust…..aside from that, my prayers go out to Liz Edwards.
Update by Nate @ 5:36am
My wife actually thinks that too. Think of a push for universal health care. Maybe it’s wrong to think it but when it comes to presidential campaigns, all is fair…