Cancer Survivor White House Tony Snow’s Special Perspective (UPDATED)

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Newsweeks’ The Gaggle notes that it was a particularly tough — and revealing — week for White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

Beset by various controversies, Snow was steadfast in his defense of the Bush administration….but there was a different in tone. And at one point he was moved to tears — and not by reporters tough questions:

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has been more than a little dire this week when discussing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ future in the administration. Asked on Monday if Gonzales had offered his resignation to President Bush amid fallout over firing of eight federal prosecutors, Snow answered in the negative, but offered some blunt commentary. “None of us knows what is going to happen to us over the next 21 months, and that’s why it’s an impossible question to answer: will somebody stay throughout?” Snow said. “Nobody is prophetic enough to know what the next 21 months hold.” On Tuesday, Snow tried to dial back those comments with even bleaker talk. “When I answered yesterday, do you know who’s going to be [attorney general] at the end of the term–as a cancer survivor, I don’t know if I’m going to be alive at the end of this term,” Snow said. “So when you try to put together a question about what’s going to happen for the two years, you don’t know.” Turns out there was a reason he was so serious.

A reason, indeed: Snow is a cancer survivor and on Monday he will undergo surgery to remove a small growth in his abdomen.

It’s fitting to post this on a Sunday — a day of religious reflection. Because even in the rough and tumble political world — and in the brutal 21st century political world with its barrage of shoutfest talk shows and perpetually outraged weblogs — there is a time to take a pause. And Snow reminded everyone that no one is guaranteed he or she will be here beyond this very instant.

Snow was even more pointed, and poignant, when the subject of John and Elizabeth Edwards and Elizabeth Edward’s renewed breast cancer came up:

Snow, who became emotional when responding to questions about Edwards’ cancer fight on Thursday, offered up praise for her courage on Friday. “The reason I got choked up with Elizabeth Edwards yesterday is she is doing a wonderful thing,” Snow said. “The biggest problem you have a lot of times with cancer is just flat-out fear. And when you’re seeing Elizabeth Edwards saying, I’m going to embrace life and I’m going to move forward, that is a wonderful thing, because once you decide that you’re going to embrace life, you become a much better patient. And once you decide that you proceed with a sense of hope and optimism, people are going to rally to your side, and they do- What she is going to do is going to provide a lot of encouragement and example that I think is going to help a lot of people, and that is a truly wonderful thing, and I congratulate her for it.”

Snow provided a STARK contrast in humanity to conservative talk show Rush Limbaugh who didn’t wait a second before going after the Edwardses politically and trying to turn the announcement of her illness into yet ANOTHER chance to whip up Republican listeners’ suspicions and hatreds against Democrats. Read THIS and THIS.

Whether you like Snow’s answers on political issues or not, Tony Snow got it right twice this week. Humanity does count. And Limbaugh? As in the case of Michael J. Fox, Limbaugh seemingly enjoys going after high-profile people who are ill and questioning their motives (even if he later partially backs off on it due to an outcry later) if they do an appearance with high media impact in public.

Why? Because they belong to the “wrong” party.

But, Rush, on this Sunday perhaps it’s worth remembering:

The mili-second after each of us leaves this earthly scene, we’ll no longer be Republicans or Democrats or independents. Just souls.

And it’s unlikely God will say: “Ditto.”

UPDATE:
Be sure to read Richard Blair’s take:The Politics of Humanity.
–Read skippy. And also here.