ConvergeSouth 2006
October 14, 2006
Greensboro, North Carolina


"If you're going to go to a place and you don't reach out - you know, any politician or business - if you don't look at your market and say, what are they interested in, what are they talking about already, then you're not going to do a very good job of selling your product or your candidate."

"Basically every place I go, I try to make certain that I'm meeting with people there.  I know there's a lot of suspicion about trying to win over a particular blogger to be a voice for you.  I actually have more respect for you than that.  I figure you can make your own decisions.  But if I know what you're thinking about and I'm not talking about it... maybe I should."

"It is enormously important that we maintain the neutrality of the net.  The great thing about the internet is the fact that nobody has a megaphone.  The bad thing about politics is that some people do have a megaphone.  And the very idea that we want to recreate that on the internet is - you know, you should use whatever you've got in your arsenal against it.  And I think this crosses political lines.  None of us are going to be able to compete with the commercial interests in terms of getting access... we absolutely can't allow it to happen.  We have this pure vehicle right now."

"[The campaign website] is a website where we try to use as many resources as we know, as many ways to build a community as we know.  And we try to translate that community not just into the conversations that take place and the bonds that take place - and they honestly do, it's incredible to me the warmth that that community has with one another... I thought you wouldn't be able to recreate that in a political atmosphere.  Actually, it turns out you can create it anywhere where people share ideas." 

"This is true in politics and it's true in the online community of politics:  you try to create movement and momentum that makes people feel good enough to go out and act.  And it's a real problem to do that because you have to admit the diversity of people who are out there participating... you try to direct it as best you can into the things that we share.  And try, on the other parts, to say, we're going to disagree on these things, but look, we can act on this.  So you can use that commonality to help the community grow.  I think it's a model not just for the online community, and not just for a particular politician -- it's a model for the country.  We need to find the things we agree on, and move on those first, so that we don't get so divided from one another."


"I was soon overwhelmed by the sea of support, or perhaps more literally by the lines cast me when I was still at sea and still coming to terms with what breast cancer might mean to me, to John, and most of all to my children. Five of the many boxes of letters sit across from my desk right now, and every card, note, every line, photograph, drawing, ribbon, and letter, mattered deeply to me and matters still. My gratitude goes to everyone for their tenderness, advice, encouragement, humor, honesty, courage, tears, recipes, and love, and also for the generosity they showed in understanding how right it can sometimes be to be touched by the hand of a stranger."

"In the package from Christine was a scarf. I've gotten lots of beautiful scarves, and this is certainly a beautiful scarf, but more wonderful is the story of the scarf. Christine had taken it with her on tour, and she had asked women in her audiences to work on it, to make a little knot tie or knit a little. John and I had seen her sing at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro once, and as I read her letter, I imagined that scarf making its way through an audience like that Carrboro audience. This scarf was everything I believed in. It was a gesture - not a difficult gesture, but a thoughtful one. It was the counterpart to including the bag boy in the conversation. It was remembering to say hello to the child, not just the adult. It was thanking the referee after the game. It was pulling people in because you believe in the grace a community gives each of us. Anyone who thought to do it, to reach out to others and bring them into this gesture, could have done it, but too few know the blessings a simple gesture actually brings. This scarf is Christine's gift at the same time that it is the gift of all those women whose names I'll never know. And it is, also at the same time, something in which I can literally wrap myself and something in which I can figuratively wrap myself, this huge community of people - spread out among the towns she toured - people who were pulling for me and who believed in the strength of that tiny knot they tied."

"It has been easier to do all these things not simply because of my splendid family, not simply because of the Hargraves and Glenns and Sallys in my life, but because everywhere I go, people smile back at me. I am stronger because John Moylan and Ed Smith give me a hug when they see me, but I am also stronger because Edward the mailman smiles, and Sam the bagger at the grocery store smiles. So what this book is, after all, is a shout from up on the tightrope: thank you all. Like the letter my father received forty years later from the crewman aboard the Mercator he flew safely home over the Sea of Japan. I've had a good life, and I just want to thank you for it."

"The note I wrote to Wade that I placed in his casket said only You know. And it is the note I send to each of you who helped me and touched me and laughed with me or cried, who climbed or fell with me. You know."

-- Elizabeth Edwards, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers


May you rest in peace, Elizabeth Edwards.

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