I get happy when I see people getting involved in politics around a major election. It gives me a sense of hope that there are people out there who care and do participate, when the numbers can often times look shockingly weak.

I’ve not started to go the route of really “backing” a presidential for ’08 yet, but rather am using this opportunity to keep my ears open and gather as much information as I can.

When the Dems took back Capitol Hill in November, I was excited for two reasons; One being that I was looking forward to actually seeing things get done in the better interest of the people, not just the people with deep pockets. Second, it was the first step to winning The White House in ’08. It was time for Dems to really take matters into their own hands and make things happen. It is their duty now to make the country feel good about the party so that when a candidate is proposed in ’08, the undecided vote may be slightly swayed by the good work of the last two years of good deeds on Capitol Hill. I believe this has been working, and perhaps faster than expected because of the massive hole that the GOP keeps digging for itself every few days.

Certainly I would stand full-force behind Barack Obama if he were to win the Democratic ticket. I love the man and his ideas and I find that he’s an incredibly bright mind with some wonderful plans, a strong foundation and the drive to get it done. He’s got charisma, and seems like an incredibly respectable man. I am slightly glad that what appeared to be his hype stage has started to die off because I think that what he’s saying will slowly become less processed and more organic.

Similarly, I’d vote for Hillary, not just because she’s married to one of my top five people of all time ever, but because I think she’s turning herself into a vehicle for change and progress, which is what I think we all need to see happen as soon as it can.

However, the concept of “electability” is constantly on my mind with these two candidates. Are we as a country that is ready to elect a woman? What about a non-white male? Do enough Americans hate Bill that they wouldn’t vote for Hillary just on that basic principal? You might be, but what about the other millions of Americans who get to have their say too?

It is with this that I felt particularly confident in John Edwards as a promising candidate.
I was unsure of Kerry in ’04 until he picked Edwards as his running mate. Edwards, to me, speaks this version of what it means to be American that I love. His ideas on health care and poverty speaks 10 different kinds of sense to me and the fact that he’s been spending the last 2-ish years working on his humanitarian efforts around the world truly comes off as nothing short of wonderful. He’s one of the only candidates who is really mentioning our global responsibilities, especially in relation to Darfur, which is something I’ve been very appreciative of.
He seems like a man who loves his family, believes in himself and believes that there is still massive good to be done in this world, and on days when I feel dejected by the state of the world, that speaks to me and makes me happy and proud to support him.

That being said, I was heartbroken to hear about his wife Elizabeth. She seems like such a beautiful soul and a huge part of who he is, and the news about her cancer returning made me feel scared for her, and scared for the campaign. I didn’t expect them to continue the campaign, but they say they are. And this, to me, says quite loudly of the kind of man that John Edwards is. I got an e-mail yesterday from the Edwards mailing list I’m on:

Our campaign goes on and it goes on strongly. We are so proud of the campaign we are running—a campaign based on ideas and reaching out to people. This campaign is not about me or Elizabeth—it’s about all the people we have met these past few years and people like them all across America and the world—people worried about feeding and clothing their kids; people without health care; people facing hardships overseas.

Both of us are committed to this campaign. We’re committed to this cause and we’re committed to changing this country we love so much.

I would completely understand if he were to in fact suspend his campaign or put it on hiatus for the time being, but they’re not. It’s easy for a candidate to make a campaign about their name being on a bumper sticker, but to me this selfless act shows that the Edwards family realizes that this campaign is about so much more than John Edwards running for president. It embodies what this, and all elections should be about. Us. The people. This collective family of human beings that can face great adversity in a lifetime, or an 8 year period, but must learn to pick ourselves up and work to make things better than they were before.

I wish nothing but the best for John, Elizabeth and their family and find this form of dedication to a cause and nobleness to an idea, a shockingly beautiful thing and hope that others can realize the same.