THE PLANK DECEMBER 30, 2007
It's hard to do justice to Josephine Hearn's hilarious piece on John Edwards and Pakistan, but I'll try:
The man in the audience here at the Holiday Inn hadn’t asked about
Pakistan; he’d asked about a Department of Peace as proposed by Rep.
Dennis Kucinich. But John Edwards, flush with praise for his swift
response to the Pakistan crisis, was determined to talk about political
unrest in the faraway country.
“Pakistan. Let’s use Pakistan as a vehicle for talking about this,” he said during a question-and-answer session with voters.
In fact, Pakistan served as a vehicle for talking about almost anything
Saturday. Department of Peace? Pakistan. Iraq? Pakistan. Military
readiness? Pakistan. Even a question that began with a discussion of
cancer treatment ended with Pakistan.
Then there was this:
At his final stop of the day in Des Moines, Edwards was supposed to
have had some help. His wife, Elizabeth, announced that she had a
question: What would he do about Iraq?
Edwards appeared incredulous for a moment. “I thought you were going to
ask about Pakistan,” he told her. He had hardly talked about Iraq all
day. The theme of the day was clearly Pakistan, and here Elizabeth had
forced him to blaze through yet another tricky segue.
“All right, Iraq, then Pakistan,” he advised. He then devoted all of 25
seconds to Iraq before making his way back to the issue at hand.
Then, after weaving the turmoil in Pakistan into four political
appearances that day, he asked that the situation not be exploited by
U.S. presidential candidates for political gain.
“The most important thing, though, I just have to say this, for the
president of the United States and any presidential candidate should be
doing in talking about this issue is not politicizing it. This should
not be politicized. … We need to be a calming influence on this
extraordinarily volatile situation.”