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He was also in her computer. The only modern touch in this neo-Victorian threnody is the enormous correspondence she conducted with other bereaved parents at various grief.com sites. She is the consummate online junkie who Googles every subject that pops into her head, so this may be where she read up on how to get pregnant at the age of 48.
Mirabile dictu, it worked. She had not only one baby, but two, becoming the Fertility Queen of the 2004 election, the 55-year-old mother of six-year-old Emma Claire and four-year-old Jack. How did she do it?Do not look for the answer in this book. Considering how garrulous she is on the subject of bereavement, I expected an Ovariad on the subject of fertility treatments, but all she says is: “Tests, appointments, procedures, failures. It was not until the week of Wade’s eighteenth birthday [January 1998] that the shots and medications and good fortune were translated into a pregnancy.”
Then she makes a mistake no lawyer should make, the bane of the witness under cross-examination: qui s’excuse s’accuse. She turns defensive and starts to overexplain: “I speak less of this not because it was unimportant,” she avers, but for the sake of those women still undergoing fertility treatments, “women who had tried and failed to get pregnant, or women who had gotten pregnant but were unable to carry the pregnancy to term…. False hope is a bitter poison… I could not encourage it.”
She must have Googled her husband’s Wikipedia entry that claims she used surrogate mothers for both births. I disregarded this in view of Wikipedia’s way with errors, but the Slate article by Suz Redfearn claiming that she used donor eggs is carefully researched and well-reasoned. One thing is certain: the questions are not going to stop. If the Democrats hope to lure voters away from the Religious Right they will insist on knowing if Edwards has any leftover embryonic stem cells in his closet.
Presuming they conceived in the good old-fashioned way, another question arises: How did they manage with their daughter sleeping in their bedroom? When her brother was killed, 14-year-old Cate lapsed into a frightening regressive state and refused to be alone in her room. The author is vague on dates, but she says that Cate slept with them for two years — the same time span of the two conceptions. Even more intriguing is how John, who was representing the bereaved parents whose daughter was swallowed by a swimming pool drain, managed to get into begetting mode while caught up in the family man’s garden of voluptuous delights: coaching soccer, playing Santa Claus, running charities, volunteering at Cate’s school, and performing community service. Mentor me, baby. Gimme some P…T…A!
INASMUCH AS ANY PART OF THIS BOOK could be called a fun read, it’s the section on Campaign 2004. Elizabeth the outgoing Navy brat was in her element, but continental Teresa Heinz Kerry most definitely was not. It’s obvious that the two women couldn’t stand each other, and small wonder: they were Mata Hari and Mary Poppins; Garbo and Charo. They also have very different views of children, being Martinet and Permissive; Elizabeth’s tortuous assurance that she didn’t mind it a bit when Teresa yanked little Jack’s thumb out of his mouth is one of the most determinedly agreeable passages ever penned.
Two weeks before the end of the campaign, she found a lump in her breast that turned out to be malignant. Whether it was caused by the massive doses of female hormones she took is not known, and she wouldn’t admit it if it were, but some of her passing comments betray a desperate need to convince herself that there is no connection between her fertility treatments and her cancer. What she hates about wearing a lymph-node drain: “the children had to keep more distance than they were used to.” Why she created a special outfit for her radiation treatments so she doesn’t need to don a lab gown: “the changing time might eat into my get-back-to-the-children time.” Her law career: “My main job for years to come will be — until I am nearly too old for it — raising children.”
She also gives herself away by denying in advance what she doesn’t want people to think, thereby planting the forbidden idea in their heads, as when she brings up Pat Conroy’s novel, The Great Santini. They’re not all like that, she insists. Her father was “as far from Bull Meecham as any military man can be. Oh, sometimes he would wake us up with a bugle — because he thought it was funny. Sometimes he would ‘inspect’ our rooms — but I never remember anything awful happening.”
FITNESS REPORT: This book is a maudlin, lachrymose orgy of sentiment by an author who makes Niobe look like Betty Hutton. Recommendation: Bust her father to cabin boy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?