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A Meeting With Elizabeth Edwards

Through the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, I had a unique opportunity to sit down on Tuesday and meet with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards (Attorney, Senator, Presidential Candidate, VP Nominee), mom, attorney and breast cancer survivor.

Fifteen of us met with her for an hour and here were our observations: a) she really is as down-to-earth as she seems on TV and in her new book, Saving Graces, b) she is very smart and educated on public policy (no surprise, but comforting), c) she is a genuinely considerate woman and d) she has exquisite penmanship.

A few things she said stuck in my mind. “The Internet is the last real democratic institution.” This was in reference to the media and how more often than not, members of the press just take whatever sound bites they can get from quick phone calls to insert into articles already written. She feels that online we can truly say what we want when we want. She said she was glad “citizen journalists” exist. And she really grokked blogging. She says she posts anonymously sometimes, and in other places as herself.

On political topics, she said that her husband is considering running again. He seems (this is my thought here) to be one of those people who is truly compelled to do something to help the world and Mrs. Edwards said that his campaign and his work now at the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity is all under the same feeling that regular people need a voice. He’ll probably run again, but at the same time, he is really happy where he is now.

For my part, I just enjoyed meeting another woman who seems to juggle a lot of things and come out ahead. She has weathered enormous storms only to come out stronger, and for that she deserves a great deal of respect. Whatever your politics, it’s easy to admire this woman for her courage, her honesty and her openness. I hope I have the opportunity to meet her again someday.

Press from the meeting…
“Elizabeth Edwards meets with San Francisco area MomBloggers”, on Blogging Baby (by Jennifer Scharpen)

Some other bloggers’ perspectives…
“from giggles and mud to loving your home the best – a recap of our meeting with Elizabeth Edwards” on SVMoms, including links to posts by other moms present (by Jill Asher)
“Mommybloggers in conversation with Elizabeth Edwards” on MomWrites (by Mary Tsao)
“Silicon Valley Mommybloggers Spend an Inspirational Hour with Elizabeth Edwards” on SVMoms (by Beth Blecherman)

Photos from the meeting can be found here. (The one where she and I have big smiles and are looking at my phone is of me showing her a great video of my daughter, Julia.)