John Edwards Exploits His Wife’s Cancer To Raise Money In A New Web Ad

Right Wing News on April 9, 2007

The Edwards campaign has already gotten a boost at the polls from Elizabeth’s cancer and they’re now cynically using her illness to get fund raising emails, so don’t be surprised if they go whole hog and use it in a “win one for the Gipper speech.”

Something like,

“All of you know how sick Elizabeth has been. Such a brave woman, struck down in the prime of her life by cancer. but, she’s a fighter and working to get better — and do you know what would really make her feel better? Your donations to the John Edwards campaign (or alternately, “If your votes could help us win Iowa.”)

It sounds tasteless, but it would just be par for the course for the same people who trotted out Max Cleland to campaign for Kerry, used Michael J. Fox to plug stem cells, hyped Cindy Sheehan up into an anti-war superstar, and turned Paul Wellstone’s funeral into a campaign rally.

The New York Daily News, today,

In a new fund-raising appeal evoking powerful echoes of her own battle with incurable cancer, John Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, yesterday reminded voters, “We don’t have all the time in the world.”

“Sometimes we put things off, don’t we?” the soft-spoken Edwards says, looking directly into the camera during the 80-second Web spot, a link to which was e-mailed to potential donors. “We think we have all the time in the world.

“Well, we don’t.”

…Campaign advertising authority Darrell West, a professor of political science at Brown University, said the Edwards campaign had skillfully used Elizabeth Edwards’ medical condition to reinforce subliminally a central campaign message.

“Everyone is aware of her health situation, and that makes the ad more powerful and poignant,” West said.

Granted, they were a little more subtle than I thought they’d be, but the campaign is still young. Still, this commercial must have made for eye-raising ’round-the-dinner-table conversation. You know,

“Honey, my campaign isn’t doing so great. What do you think about exploiting the fact that you have cancer to try to raise more money for me in a web pitch? Here’s what I’m thinking: we don’t mention it outright, but we subtly allude to the fact that you’re sick and might not be around much longer to get people to give me money. You’re OK with that– right, honey?”

It’s more than a little bit crass, yet it’s also par for the course in the party of Max Cleland, Cindy Sheehan, Michael J. Fox, and the Wellstone funeral.

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