Though it hasn’t reached the volatility of the Hatfields and McCoys, the feud between presidential hopeful John Edwards and conservative columnist Ann Coulter is intensifying.
The latest salvo came from Edwards while on the campaign trail in Burlington, Iowa. While “rallying against the right-wing media,” Edwards referred to Coulter as a “she-devil.” He then caught himself and added, “I should not have name-called. But the truth is — forget the names — people like Ann Coulter, they engage in hateful language.”
Though the feud may make for interesting read or television viewing, it illustrates why Edwards is unfit for the presidency and should serve as a lesson for others whose lives come under public scrutiny.
Those in the public attract the attention of outspoken critics. Often these critics are simply people searching for attention; and the best advice to people with a following is to simply ignore them. Too often people running for office or in positions of power and authority let minor irritants bother them until those nuisances overshadow everything else.
Such is the case with the Edwards-Coulter feud. Their verbal sparing has gone on since March when Coulter jokingly used a derogatory term for homosexuals to describe Edwards behavior in a speech. Even though Coulter was lambasted for her remarks, Edwards didn’t let the remarks slide. Instead, his campaign posted Coulter’s remarks on its Web site, asking readers to “raise $100,000 in ‘Coulter Cash’ this week to keep this campaign charging ahead and fighting back against the politics of bigotry.” The two have been trading barbs in speeches, on television and in print ever since. Even Edwards’s wife, Elizabeth, has become part of the act when she called into Hardball and asked Coulter to stop the personal attacks on her husband and family.
Edwards may get some mileage out of Coulter’s remarks for fundraising, but the long-term effects of paying attention to Coulter are detrimental to his campaign.
Does anyone remember the message Edwards delivered in his Iowa speech? Nope. Instead of making headlines for his proposed agenda or vision of the future, all that came out of the speech was the continuation of his petty feud with a conservative bombshell.