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Elizabeth Edwards for vice president

I’d like to throw a hat into Obama’s VP ring: Elizabeth Edwards.

She is so right for an administration that is promising fundamental change in the politics of governing. Edwards hears past differences to what is shared. She hears past anger to what is worth defending. She hears past fear to what is worth cherishing. If — as a defining phrase of Obama’s puts it — we are the ones we are waiting for, Elizabeth Edwards models who we need to become if we are to enable change to happen.

And is there a better model of the hope Obama stands for? With Elizabeth Edwards, no one can confuse hope with mere wishful thinking or weakness. Edwards faces her mortality with clarity, and seems strengthened by it. I’m sure she hopes that she will survive for many, many years. But she seems to embody a larger type of hope as well: The notion that our future doesn’t have to be like our present. That every moment is an opportunity to move that future closer to us. That we bring that future closer by relentlessly finding what is best in those we encounter. That we can change our world by giving in to our urge to connect with others, our urge to be better people than we are.

There are obvious negatives to an Edwards vice-presidency. She is not ready to step into the presidency if, G-d forbid, something should happen to Obama. True. We would have to rely on the machinery of the administration to carry us forward. And, of course, she has untreatable, fatal cancer. John Edwards could be prevailed upon to be, in effect, her co-VP.

She has political strengths. She’s a woman, a southerner, a speaker who connects with her audience, a military brat. Those strengths could help.

But most of all, Elizabeth Edwards is hope walking on two legs. [Tags: ]

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