Obama, others react to Elizabeth Edwards' death
December 7th, 2010
06:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama, others react to Elizabeth Edwards' death

President Barack Obama: "Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. This afternoon I spoke to Cate Edwards and John Edwards, and offered our family's condolences. I came to know and admire Elizabeth over the course of the presidential campaign. She was a tenacious advocate for fixing our health care system and fighting poverty, and our country has benefited from the voice she gave to the cause of building a society that lifts up all those left behind.

In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."

Vice President Joe Biden
: "Elizabeth Edwards fought a brave battle against a terrible, ravaging disease that takes too many lives every day. She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and to those who felt they knew her. Jill and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Edwards family as they grieve during this difficult and painful time."

Former President Bill Clinton: "With the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, America has lost a symbol of strength, hope, and humanity, a tireless advocate for health care for all Americans, and determined crusader for cancer cures. Her children have lost a loving mother, her friends a wise counselor. My prayers are with them. She was a remarkable woman who dealt with the challenges her life dealt her with courage and grace."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. America has lost a passionate advocate for building a more humane and just society, for reforming our health care system, and for finding a cure for cancer once and for all. But the Edwards family and her legion of friends have lost so much more - a loving mother, constant guardian, and wise counselor. Our thoughts are with the Edwards family at this time, and with all those people across the country who met Elizabeth over the years and found an instant friend–someone who shared their experiences and offered empathy, understanding and hope. She made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten."

Democratic Massachusetts Senator John Kerry: "This is very sad news, and the fact that it isn't a surprise makes it no easier to hear. Elizabeth Edwards was an incredibly loving, giving, and devoted mother, and Teresa and our entire family are grateful for the time we shared getting to know her in 2004. We have many wonderful memories of those days traveling the country and seeing firsthand Elizabeth's great affection for Cate, Jack, and Emma Claire. Today all those moments are rushing back.

"The same day our campaign ended at Faneuil Hall, we saw Elizabeth head off to Mass General to confront this terrible disease. America came to know her in a different and even more personal way, as she fought back with enormous grace and dignity. She became an inspiration to so many. Teresa and I, along with our family, send our prayers and deepest sympathies to Elizabeth's family and the children she loved so much."

First lady of California Maria Shriver: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Elizabeth Edwards. My heart goes out to her loving family. Elizabeth was a mighty warrior, and I've long admired her courage, her compassion and her personal quest for truth. She was a public servant, a dedicated mother, a tireless advocate and a loyal friend. She showed up to speak at The Women's Conference every time I asked, and our audience was always moved by the open and honest way she would share the struggles she faced along her journey. I hope her children know their mother was an inspiration to women everywhere - a truly great woman."

2008 Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: "I was very sorry about what she's been through. And I think she showed this country and the world, an extraordinary level of courage, and not just on the physical challenges but the others that she's faced with honor and dignity."

"And regardless of anybody's politics you have to feel great sorrow for her children and family for the extraordinary battle she gave. She taught a lot of people when you're able to die with the grace and serenity with which she did, she was also teaching us how to live."

Daughter of 2008 GOP Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, Megan McCain in a Tweet: "Thoughts and prayers to Cate, Jack and Emma Claire Edwards. Elizabeth Edwards was an amazing inspiration for so many women."

2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, in a Tweet: "Very sorry for Elizabeth Edward's family. May God comfort her kids, especially, through this tough time. God bless her family & loved ones."

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue: “I was saddened to learn of the death of Elizabeth Edwards. North Carolina has lost one of our smartest and most resilient women. My heart goes out to her family.”

Democratic North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan: "I am very saddened to hear about Elizabeth Edwards' death. She was a dedicated mother and a passionate advocate for cancer research and health care causes. During her remarkable life, Elizabeth always carried herself with dignity. She used her battle with breast cancer to raise cancer awareness and create change. She faced her battle in the public eye, and I very much admired her strength and courage. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this extremely difficult time."

Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr: “Brooke and I were saddened to learn this afternoon of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. She was a passionate advocate for issues she believed in and a caring and loving mother. Her legacy should serve as an inspiration to all of us. Her life was not without tragedy and adversity, yet through it all she fought for her family and faced every challenge with courage, poise, and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with her entire family, but particularly her children, Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack.”

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tim Kaine: “Elizabeth Edwards' death at much too young an age will be mourned and she will be fondly remembered in the hearts of women and men from all across our nation. Elizabeth was a woman of firm convictions and strong principles, and she was an inspiration not only to members of the Democratic Party but to countless Americans of all backgrounds. I offer my sincere condolences to her family and friends, and my thoughts go out to all those who will miss her. Elizabeth will not soon be forgotten, and her spirit will live on in all those who loved and admired her.

President and CEO of the Center for American Progress John Podesta: "The Center for American Progress had the great privilege to call Elizabeth Edwards one of our own. It is with great sadness that we say good bye to her today.

Elizabeth was a doer. After the 2008 primaries she joined CAP to continue her fight as a champion for all Americans to have access to healthcare as she did. If you've had the good fortune to read her writing or see her speak or hear her infectious laugh, you would know that Elizabeth had a special knack for making complicated topics less so, for being clear on her views without fuss.

This is why so many here in Washington and around the country were drawn to her, and why she had such an impact in the debate over the most transformative public policy issue of her generation.

Elizabeth also set an example for us all—about never giving up. She was a woman with a keen sense of purpose and drive, who always had an opinion, yet strived to find the common ground even with the most difficult issues. That's an essential quality if you work in public life.

We will dearly miss our friend Elizabeth. But her legacy is the passion, resolve and optimism that she brought to her work and will give us the sense of renewed purpose to keep fighting for fairness."

Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Ambassador Nancy Brinker: “Elizabeth Edwards was an inspiration to countless women, through her willingness to publicly share her battle with breast cancer, and in her service to end disparities and fight for quality health care for all. “Her strength and perseverance were an inspiration to us all. While she will be missed, her spirit lives on in the fight to find the cures for cancer.

“The thoughts of the entire Susan G. Komen for the Cure family of survivors and advocates are with her family as they mourn her passing.”

Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    The world will be minus one bright and shinning star. However, due to her grace, dignity,
    beauty, class and intellect, she will always be remembered. She had a great deal of success
    and that success will live on in her many accomplishments. While I am sad, as are most people, we should celebrate her life and what she meant to so many people..... May she rest in peace and
    blessings to her family.

    December 7, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. dot

    This was a lady that would have made a great "First Lady" in the white house. She showed so much dignity and grace in her time here. She will be an inspiration to us all and for us to maybe try and be more like her in many ways. She fought the battle that sometimes we can not win but she was admired for her strength.

    December 7, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. BillinSC

    May God rest her soul. Mrs Edwards was an outstanding lady and will be missed by many people.
    May God bless her three children, other family members and friends.

    December 7, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. monica thill

    my thoughts and prayers are with the edwards family at this time of sorrow. i know first hand what cancer can do to a person. all four of my grandparents had cancer and 3 of them passed from it. the other one my beloved grandma was a cancer survivor. but passed away this may from alzheimers. i hope yo u will find comfort in the legacy that she left you and know that all was right when she passed. again my deepest sympathies.

    December 7, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    Fly away HOME.... Elizabeth!!

    Don't Grieve for Her – She is Free
    She's following the path God Laid for thee
    She could not stay another day
    She found that peace at the Close of Day.............(unknown author)

    RIP Elizabeth!!! My prayers are with your family!

    December 7, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. edward

    So sad to hear. May she find peace at last.

    December 7, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. t21

    Again biggest prayers of concern for Cate the daughter who will now raise Jack (10) and Emma Claire (12)...Be w/Jesus Elizabeth Edwards!

    December 7, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. n610c

    My most heartfelt condolences go out to Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack Edwards in the loss of their mother Elizabeth Edwards. So young, so sad.

    December 7, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Mary

    Our heart goes out to Elizabeth and her children. God has another angel.

    December 7, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Randall

    A extraordinary human being, with a great heart full of love and compassion. A truly hero on these dark moments we are living.

    December 7, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. Ked10

    May God bless her spirit! Our thoughts and prayers to her children, her family, her friends and to John Edwards who must be devastated and in as much pain as anyone else in Elizabeths life!

    December 7, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Curtis Elkins

    It Is A Big Shock To Me. I Seen Her During The Campaign In 2008. Its Hard To Believe That Ms. Edwards Is Gone Already After Her Doctors Gave Her Weeks To Live. I Lost My Mom When I Was Only 12 So I Know How Her Kids Feel.she Is Now In Heaven With The Lord. God Bless Her Family.

    December 7, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    May her memory be eternal. May her work to help others who are sick and need medical care continue to bear fruit. Compassion made her into a gracious leader and dedicated mother. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." May she rest in peace.

    December 7, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Trina

    A beautiful, courageous and brave woman that many looked up to. RIP, Elizabeth Edwards, may God shine His love upon you.

    December 7, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |