Like many an American couch potato, the Nose had his world rocked by an Edwards last week. Hardcore Democrats all but sacrificed a virgin she-goat in honor of the senator from North Carolina. But Lord Schnozbury found himself smitten by another member of the clan.

Elizabeth. Would that you were mine. All of you.

OK, Portlanders--put down your fair-trade latte and admit it. When you watched Elizabeth Edwards rumble across the stage Wednesday night, you, like the Nose, were besieged by an unbidden thought: My God. She's fat.

We're not talking a little Jenna Bush beer-bong plumpitude here. No, sir. Elizabeth Edwards is Bradley-fighting-vehicle stout.

And the Nose, for one, loves her for it.

Yes, Double E did herself proud at the mic, a sane counterpoint to Teresa Heinz Kerry's multilingual telecast from the rings of Saturn. ("Ve zent ze Gal-il-ley-oh!" Dude, I'll have what she's having.) But more important for a party perpetually suspected of macrobiotic homosexual Hollywood yoga-Communist tendencies, Elizabeth Edwards came across as real. And the Nose submits size had something to do with it.

Forget what she said about her husband's toughness and optimism. (BTW, did that donkey get flogged hard enough? The Democrats: tough, optimistic, tough. Got it.) Let's look at the subtext crucial to a race where both sides are fighting for the Wal-Mart vote.

Elizabeth is no Teresa, who oozes noblesse oblige. She's no power-seeking Hil-zilla and cuts a different profile than Laura Bush, who the Nose suspects is secretly rooting against her husband so she can check her brain out of storage come January.

Elizabeth--packing extra pounds, tough enough to have a kid at 50 after losing her firstborn son--seems to live on a planet eerily like our own. A mom too busy with a couple of young kids and a campaign to hit the gym. A woman who stands by her man, who, in turn, stands by her. A gal who celebrates her wedding anniversaries at Wendy's--with or without Secret Service protection.

Up until now, neither the Dems nor the mainstream media, so eager to talk about the Johns' hairlines, have been willing to take on the topic of Elizabeth's waistline (though she seems quite comfortable talking about it), leaving the webloggers and Don Imuses of the world to fill the void--at her expense.

Well, the Nose has got some advice for the fat-bashers. Take a look around a big-box parking lot, and you'll see that Elizabeth Edwards is part of a large (no pun intended) demographic. And maybe, just maybe, for all of those lovely ladies and the rest of us whose physiques are way past prime time, her winning convention appearance means hope really is on the way.