Hearing Thursday’s news about Elizabeth Edwards immediately took me back to November 2003 when I learned firsthand what a wonderful person she is.
With two vanloads of volunteers, mostly from Western NC, we were enroute to New Hampshire to spend a week knocking doors and phoning voters in advance of the nation’s first primary. We stopped overnight in Arlington, VA and got up early to hand out Edwards literature to Virginians before continuing on our way. It was snowing hard.
We knew it was a longshot, but we had requested that Elizabeth Edwards meet us bright and early outside a subway stop to join us for two hours greeting commuters (and potential voters in the February Virginia primary). We got an aide’s call that the Senator’s wife was stuck in their snowy driveway and might or might not make it.
But sure enough, a half hour later there she was, having apparently shoveled her car out herself. “I wasn’t going to miss a group of North Carolinians up here for a visit,” she said, “especially on their way to New Hampshire.” She spent the next hour and a half as cold as we were, greeting with a smile the often-surly subway riders.
When we ran low on literature, I distinctly remember her digging into a nearby trashcan, where lots of people had immediately ditched the fliers. “I don’t normally rummage through trashcans,” she said, “but these are still perfectly good.” Then she handed the same fliers out again, to more surly commuters.
Elizabeth Edwards is a class act, with a huge heart, tremendous intelligence, and lots of moxie. In my current role with the Party I can’t favor candidates in primaries. But I’ve seen nothing about favoring their spouses. I vote for Elizabeth Edwards and always will.
Photos by Pat Crawford.