I’m in New York City on vacation visiting Little Trunk and struggling with a precarious hotel internet connection. In case the balky internet connection is insufficiently irritating, the hotel is also providing me USA Today on a complimentary basis.
In USA Today’s profile of the wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards one can observe the creativity that USA Today will devote to touting the distaff side of the Democratic ticket: “2 sides of Elilzabeth Edwards.”
On the one hand, Mrs. Edwards is portrayed as a brilliant lawyer. On the other hand, unlike other brilliant women lawyers married to national candidates whom we have known, she is endowed with a human side. Both sides are prominently on display in the USA Today profile.
To complete the picture, however, we need to consider the reporter who spins the story on behalf of the candidate’s wife, adding a third dimension to the two sides. For such a reporter, the obesity of the candidate’s wife reveals a “mother earth” quality — a quality unlikely to be discovered in the candidate’s wife if she is, say, Lynne Cheney rather than Elizabeth Edwards.
With the tow-headed kids falling in behind Mrs. Edwards, we can all but hear them singing, “She ain’t heavy, she’s my mother.” By contrast, ringing in my ears are the the lyrics to the somewhat more real blues song “Mother Earth,” a song I first heard peformed by the awesome Tracy Nelson singing in the late-sixties group that took its name from the title of the song:
You may not have me all the time,
You may never go my way.
Mother Earth is waiting for you,
‘Cause the debt you have to pay.