I don't talk on the phone much anymore. Most of my colleagues and friends ping me on IM or email me at all hours. But for Elizabeth Edwards, I will happily make an exception and sit on my land line for hours and hours.
This afternoon Elizabeth Edwards sat down in person with more than twenty bloggers from Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Even though my first impulse was to hop a plane to SF to sit at the table with them all, instead I locked myself in the bedroom and participated by phone with a great group of women representing the Chicago Moms Blog and newly-launched DC Metro Moms Blog.
If you've not yet heard Elizabeth Edwards speak, you should.
And you should know that she is articulate, impassioned and very straight-forward. Oh, and she likes to be called Elizabeth and will correct you if you get formal and call her Ms. Edwards.
Today, she spoke at length about healthcare, insurance, what she sees as her work when she is First Lady, education issues ranging from public elementary school to the College for Everyone initiative. She talked about incentives for teachers who will serve in under-served and economically disadvantaged areas. She gave her opinion on what needs to change in our country to build relationships with other nations and rebuild safety for future generations.
Most of all, I loved these quotes by Elizabeth Edwards:
On commenting on blogs, specifically the controversial post on her as a mother by a SVMBlogger (oh yes, my comments are certainly right there with Elizabeth's), when asked if she jumps in to participate or has to follow campaign channels or protocol before publishing comments -- "Oh no, I don't call anybody. With blogs, there is an immediacy to them. If you went through the campaign, you'd get there 36 hours later. And that's old. Then it's not worth it."
When asked about how she sees herself as First Lady -- "It's really impossible to see yourself in that role. I'm really no different from anyone sitting here. Maybe slight differences...but it is really impossible to see yourself there."
On reestablishing the United States as a "moral authority" by being benefactors to education rather than engaging in war -- "George Bush has really been an anchor around [America's] neck."
In speaking about John Edwards' appeal -- "It's not the guy, it's the vision. You cannot sit on your hands and hope for change to happen."
And as a farewell -- "I wish you all lived
closer to me. Well, those moms in DC, if all goes well, maybe my
address will be a lot closer to you soon!"
And even though I gathered several very relevant and
smart questions the CMBers wanted to ask Elizabeth Edwards (thanks to
all of you who had input and a big woohoo to Veronica,
who's smarty pants question was addressed), I admit that I still put on
a little lip gloss and changed shoes for the call. You know, just in
case she's tuned into those sort of things. The thing is, you never
really know how sensitive people are.
The whole event was brilliantly live-blogged and photographed here. Since outside reporters, video and podcasting were not allowed, we are the press. How exciting is that! Tune into these posts so you can feel like you were there with us too. (And if you are so inclined, feel free to share what shoes you were wearing on the call or while you browsed the live-blogging post...Kidding. Sort of).
If you are considering or have decided on putting your vote on John Edwards, you simply must check out Momocrats, a new site started by several of the most talented bloggers I know. Good, good stuff.
Photo via SVMB.