Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards talked a campaign aide into claiming he fathered a child born to Edwards’ onetime mistress, sources familiar with the issue said Monday.
Andrew Young, former aide to Sen. John Edwards, claims Edwards knew all along his mistress was carrying his child.
Edwards admitted to his affair with Rielle Hunter in August 2008 after months of denials, but said he could not have been the father of Hunter’s daughter, who was born the previous February. Former Edwards staffer Andrew Young has said he was the girl’s father — but has recanted and says he made it because he believed in Edwards, lawyers and others familiar with the matter told CNN.
Young was married with children when he claimed to have fathered Hunter’s child. He never signed any affidavits or legal papers, however, and reversed his claim after Edwards, as one of the sources put it, dropped Young “like a hot potato.”
What married man would admit to an affair and a child to cover someone else’s ass? This is crazy. At least I can say I thought Edwards was a phony and a fraud from day one.
I’ve been wondering why Elizabeth is still married to the jackass.
Agreed. While the progressives swooned over Edwards, I always thought he was too slick by half. Too rehearsed, too scripted. It always came off as oily and insincere to me.
Can you even imagine where we would be today if he had won the election. Good God.
I liked him and was really upset when he dropped out. I think this just reinforces the lessons of my dating and marital history: I have terrible judgment when it comes to men.
Not only a phony and a fraud but an idiot. How could any experienced politician believe that this could keep hidden during a presidential run and (if successful) a presidential term today. What a catastrophe for the Democratic party that would have been.
Things have changed since the Grover Cleveland administration.
Lee from NC
Wow, just…wow. Sadly, I was planning on voting for him in the primaries. Thankfully he had dropped out by the time we voted in May in NC. If he had made it to the Presidency, I shudder to think how badly the Democrats would have suffered in the 2010 elections.
At least Vitter didn’t make someone else claim that they were the ones wearing diapers, not him. ;)
Yep. He talked a good game about poverty during the most recent campaign. But Edwards was always first and foremost about Edwards, which was obvious to me after examining his record, especially the craven Authorization to Use Military Force vote in his single senate term. To paraphrase Wonkette, now go away, Edwards, and trouble us with millworker stories no more…
This is not snark, but you got to wonder if for no other reason health care insurance and the kids.
Yawn. I knew all about this long ago, because I read the National Enquirer. Also, were you aware that George Bush has two heads and comes from the (former) planet Pluto?
It would be great if Obama were overheard calling him a jackass too. What a self absorbed turd.
I’m pretty sure her 50% of his $50 million would cover the insurance.
@Napoleon: Won’t anyone think of the child? (I can’t believe I used that sentence in a non-ironical way.) She deserves to have her father unambiguously identified, and to be properly supported financially, emotionally, and socially. For Edwards to still be playing games with this, long after Elizabeth should have known everything, is quite inexcusable.
I’m confused. Why is this news now? I mean, it broke a while ago.
As for Edwards, he is too smarmy by half, but I thought he was an OK candidate. I never intended to vote for him, but I had nothing against him.
I feel sorry for the people who swooned for Edwards, but the reality is that the ‘$400 haircut’ story dealt him a fatal blow because it made a true point about him. Politics ain’t beanbag, and we’re better off because of it.
Bill E Pilgrim
It’s funny that my image of him was that he was such a boy scout. Finding out instead that he was busy acting out the plot of “Bright Lights, Big City” with one of the characters has made me rethink my stereotyping about boyish grinning clean-scrubbed Southerners entirely.
You know who I feel the most sorry for in this scenario? Not Elizabeth; she was rather complicit in the deception. Certainly not this Edwards staffer Andrew Young, who appears to be little more than a political stalker-freakazoid. I feel a little bit sorry for the baby, but not that much; she’ll be one of the heiresses to Edwards’ fortune, which is rather substantial.
I feel most sorry for the Dave Matthews Band, because they didn’t ask for this, and they’re probably mortified.
And I’ll repeat: John Edwards is a pig.
It’s not like this announcement is much of a surprise. Still, it says something rather ugly about Edwards’ character that he would let someone else take responsibility for the child, even after his political career nosedived into the hillside.
Leelee for Obama
Disappointed in him, and I hope he finally goes away so he’s not a distraction. I like him and I loved Spitzer, so last year or so has sucked. Time to clean house.
I feel bad for Patterson, but I think he needs to see NYS with Giuliani in Albany, and do the right thing.
They have buckets of $ so I rule out the health insurance idea. Maybe the main reason is the kids. The stress of a divorce on the kids plus dealing with health issues might be too much to think about.
imo, it would be a lot more stressful living with a guy who, if the story is true, has made wedding plans as soon as he became a widower.
@Bill E Pilgrim: It really does make you wonder what Rielle (or whatever her real name is) had that made men like Jay McInerney and John Edwards succumb to her charms. Because I’m not seein’ it.
Isn’t the main character of “Story Of My Life” based on her, as well? Never did make it through that one.
Leelee, At least Spitzer owned up to employing a hooker, resigned and left the stage. (And you know, I’d gladly welcome him back in some sort of federal rulemaking role over the financial industry.) Edwards doesn’t seem to be able to figure out that it’s over for him.
“What married man would admit to an affair and a child to cover someone else’s ass?”
Indeed. A sick case of ambition?
I hope to fuckin god that Young’s wife and family knew the real truth, otherwise that’s 2 marriages f’ed.
Even still….how much faux embarrasement and pariah-ness did she have to endure just for this ruse?
@Napoleon: Imagine if the Enquirer had waited until September to publish the photos.
OMG! a politician who is full of crap? In the USA??? This is unheard of!
Color me in the ‘who the hell cares’ catagory.
Man, I really regret ever supporting this asshole.
I think it’s possible for a political figure to both do good things in public and have a messy private life (see MLK or Teddy, or even the Clenus). I don’t think there’s any shame in supporting the Edwards we saw during the campaign.
His political career is now a smoking ruin. He came close to the pinnacle of power, but now he’s just a small man with no prospects and a damaged marriage. That’s pretty heavy punishment for someone so ambitious.
I agree with those expressing horror at what could have happened if Edwards had been more successful in 2008. But he wasn’t, so let’s heave a sigh and let him fade to well-deserved obscurity.
I’m guessing Edwards will be the last major southern pol the Dems will see for a while, if ever, in national politics. He’s a relic of the time when the strategy was to try to hold some southern electoral votes by putting southerners on the ticket. Obama demonstrated that dems can get to the White House without depending on southern electoral votes, and I think that’ll be the new template for others to follow.
Bill E Pilgrim
@JenJen: Well if you mean appearance, looks aren’t everything of course, there are a lot of other things one can be attracted to. On the other hand:
There’s no question that Edwards is sleazy, but I have to be honest: I’m not really comfortable buying into Andrew Young’s version of this story, either.
I agree, I was speaking soley of Elizabeth’s motivation.
Perhaps this story ought to make us reflect on (a) why a man would be so desperate to have sex with someone other than his wife that he would risk everything, including his presidential ambition, to do it; and (b) to what lengths a desperately ill woman would go to preserve her relationships with her husband and his children. IOW I can’t go along with those who blame Elizabeth Edwards, who, after all, has terminal cancer and was undergoing debilitating treatment for it at the time. Have a little heart, people. None needed for Edwards, though, who is just another man who can’t keep it in his pants.
I kinda gave up on him when he threw Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan to the wolves.
It is interesting that he’d convince his aide to claim paternity and then toss him aside, too — looks like using his underlings as human shields is part of his pattern of behavior.
Imagine how he would’ve governed — probably wouldn’t be that much different than Georgie.
Right there with ya. I freaking hated that smarmy fucker from day one. He had to actually go and ruin lives, which keeps me from even enjoying the I-told-you-sos. I can’t imagine how an intelligent and charming woman like Elizabeth manages to put up with a creep like that.
I really couldn’t care less about a politician’s sex life extramarital or otherwise. I have never understood the correlation between a man cheating on his wife, and his inability to understand and make good decisions about health care, taxes, foreign policy, etc. I mean, JFK banged everything in sight and still made good decisions about The Cuban Missile Crisis. It seems that no other country in the world places the amount of emphasis on a politician’s private life like we do. And what has that got us? Harry Reid (an ineffectual leader), Eric Cantor and Mike Pence to name just a few. All these men lead “family values” oriented lives, but Cantor and Pence do not understand basic governmental policies like the health care and taxation, and Reid is an ineffectual leader who couldn’t bring a thirsty horse to water. But hey! none of them cheated on their spouses. We filled Congress with so many “family values” politicians that we forgot to throw in some that actually understand how government works.
The only thing I take away from this episode is that Edwards is a very flawed man who disappointed is family and friends. I think he is an unmitigated shit for cheating on his wife. But I’m not part of his life and Elizabeth doesn’t ask my opinion. However, I still would seek out Edwards advice about poverty in North Carolina.
I’d like to think that Obama and his campaign team would have figured out a way to beat Edwards too if he’d been among the front runners coming down to the wire. Between Edwards and McCain/Palin, though, I don’t even want to think about what could have resulted from last year’s election.
a phony and a fraud from day one.
Here too. His makeover in 2008 scared me. He suddenly didn’t seem like such an airhead and I feared people may vote for him as a result.
Yep. In ’04 I was pretty skeptical of the guy, but figured, “He’s fine for VP.” By 2007, I wasn’t buyin’ anything that guy was selling.
As for Elizabeth, I thought she was terminal and chalked her staying married up to that. Now I don’t think that’s the case—is she “not curable, but treatable?” If she’s not going anywhere soon, I have no idea why she’s going anywhere with him.
I should add that I don’t blame Elizabeth for putting up with it. I’m just saying, she’s got fucking patience of Job here.
The Grand Panjandrum
How provincial. No wonder the French laugh at us for our phony fucking morals. Why wouldn’t a gentleman lie publicly about having an affair or having fathered a child with someone other than his wife.
When this happens to any politician I look for hypocrisy. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall Edwards moralizing about some steaming pile of shit Christianist Family Values agenda. By my way of thinking that is the only valid criticism. Other than that, it really is no one elses business but John and Elizabeth Edwards how they deal with this sad chapter in their personal life.
Sounds to me like Young was complicit in the scheme until it didn’t work out so well for him. That I do question. Edwards should never have asked a subordinate to fall on his sword for something like this. It doesn’t matter if Young volunteered or was asked. It was wrong and both should be ashamed of themselves.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Matt: Oh I really could care less about “adultery” and I think we’re all a bunch of hypocrites in the US, and no, it’s rarely found to such a degree elsewhere.
On the other hand, knowing that this is what the country is like, that you can pretty much guarantee a shit storm of the most dense magnitude on the scale by being caught having extramarital sex, and running for the Democratic nomination anyway, while having all this ready to be dug up– inexcusable.
Politicians weren’t scrutinized for that in JFK’s time, so him running for the nomination while having affairs didn’t put the election at risk like Edwards would have in 2004.
@Matt: Given that it IS important in American politics, if nothing else it shows lack of discipline, and piles o’ hubris, neither of which are desirable qualities. Now, it’s possible, for a given person, that their other stunning qualities outweigh the weaknesses, but I don’t see that here.
Bill E Pilgrim
er, 2004 = 2008
He’s history’s greatest monster!
But in all seriousness, you could tell he was bad news just by looking at how much the kos crowd loved him.
@Napoleon: and because she’s dying. I hope that doesn’t come across as too crass. If I were in her predicament I would stay with him too. I would not break up the stability of my home during the time when stability is arguably what is needed the most. Further, I really do believe that they love each other. (*ducks*)
But, can anyone really argue that she would be happier or better off if she left? Would her children be better off to go through a nasty public divorce, and on top of that deal with her cancer and very likely death?
Fixed? When I think about what you need to put yourself and your family through to run for national office and the flexible attitude toward truth you need to get compromise-challenged voters to vote for you, psychopathy almost seems to be a job requirement. Though I’d like to think Edwards was worse than necessary. I’d like to believe that Obama is a near-optimal blend of alpha male with idealist who takes pleasure in accomplishing worthy goals rather than merely acquiring power. I hope I’m not wrong.
By all accounts, Young’s wife was in on it as well. They got money. But it’s disgraceful for their kids.
Just gonna say:
The fact that Edwards is a terrible husband and, clearly, a general douche-bag does NOT mean he would have been a bad President.
Who among us would not have swapped out 8 years of sober, loyal, funny, puts-everyone-at-ease, good-guy George W. Bush for another 8 of cheatin’, lyin’, whorin’, Big Mac eatin’ Bill Clinton — and at the drop of a hat at that?
Or how about Jack Kennedy? I hear he wasn’t much of a husband either.
I will, however, say this: In this day and age, any politician with the hubris to fuck around on his wife and think that that HE (unlike all the stupid people, natch) will get away with it — is doing a disservice to his party, his cause, and his country, because in this day and age, he won’t get away with it, and the fucking around will become the issue. And in this specific case, the three ring circus of McCain/Palin going after Edwards’s morals while the Democratic Party tried to save the post-Bush country would have been just heartbreaking, and might have cost the White House.
Which it shouldn’t. Because you can be a terrible, terrible husband, and still be a good President. And that’s all that should matter to us. WE are the problem in this national story. Because WE are the ones who think that the fact that people are apparently incapable of perfect monogamy is reason enough to drum them out of public life — because WE are hypocritical idiots.
There. I just said.
@Matt: Good points, Matt. I’ll put it this way. If you know you’re running for President—knowing how the country handles this stuff—and you can’t keep it in your pants for the duration of the campaign, you’ve got problems. Had he come clean, he’d at least be a viable policy person. He’s made himself a pariah by his own arrogance and stupidity.
I agree it’s a stupid bargain that’s been struck with the electorate regarding fidelity, but everyone knows the rules. At that level, you need your shit together.
Spitzer was the only guy I got really bent about, and Sanford to a lesser degree. Spitzer built a career on putting people over a legal barrel on shit like prostitution, and he was breaking the law for the same thing. And Sanford neglected his duties to have his affair. Edwards wasn’t even in office yet, but by the time this thing played out, he had lied so many times, he had no credibility left.
I’m just glad it came out before he made it any further in the prez campaign. His incredibly stupid & self centered actions showed how unfit he was to run. He couldn’t even handle the pressure of the campaign without flipping out into self destructive behavior.
oth, R’s can do similar stuff, say hell no, I won’t go & their base forgives them & keep on voting for them.
Renard Zee Fox
The Edwards affair and cover-up are bad enough, but it’s actually pretty staggering the number of people who were complicit in this fraud.
Take Jerome Armstrong for instance. Has anyone ever really asked why he was the outlet of choice in 2007 for Hunter to issue her denial and for Young to claim he was the father? No widely distributed press releases – just a handy “scoop” sent exclusively to Armstrong. Why him?
Then, you’ve got Texas trial lawyer money sending the hush money to Hunter.
And of course, there’s Edwards’ PAC paying her in the first place. Did the affair start before or after she was hired to amateurishly “film” him?
No one cares about an affair but add six figures worth of money and some influence peddling and you’ve got an old-fashioned political scandal. Lots of unanswered questions, but since it involves the former darling of the Kos Kids and implicates one of their clique, I doubt we’ll see too much introspection.
I don’t think anyone sane blames Elizabeth for the affair, and the decision whether to stay with her husband or to divorce him is none of anyone’s business. My issue with Elizabeth is in her capacity as one of her husband’s top political advisors. She was the only member of the inner circle who knew of this explosive issue yet urged him to push ahead with his campaign. She’s entitled to her personal reaction, but in her role as a political advisor, she failed the Democratic Party and the country.
Why is this news now? I mean, it broke a while ago.
There’ve suddenly been a rash of news dribbles along the lines of “sources close to Edwards say he may acknowledge his paternity.” As though it’s something with a complex answer he has to study up on. (Was it just a hope that Elizabeth would die before it came out, so he wouldn’t get in trouble with her?)
At least Spitzer owned up to employing a hooker, resigned and left the stage.
I think that’s why Edwards’ infidelity keeps creeping back out into the spotlight–there’s always a few more details he lied about in the previous total confession. The man has the learning curve of moss.
I hope to fuckin god that Young’s wife and family knew the real truth, otherwise that’s 2 marriages f’ed.
I’m almost certain she did, based on reports a while back that the rich guy who paid to move everyone (Young, Mrs Young, Hunter, all 4 kids) out to CA put them all up in the same house.
Renard Zee Fox
Who can say what kind of President Edwards would’ve been? Edwards 04 was a moralizing hawk running as the DLC’s poster boy. Edwards 08 was a progressive panderer who’d say anything.
@Deborah: Oh yes, I forgot that he is considering admitting paternity. OK. Whatever. I’m moving on now.
Elizabeth Edwards may be uninsurable, except on her previous policy?
This makes him different from other pols…how, exactly?
@ironranger: She doesn’t want to lose her health insurance.
this is truly one of the most revolting and disgraceful betrayals by a politician — ever.
i really cannot believe that sob risked EVERYFUCKINGTHING to campaign for president. can you even imagine had he a chance in hell of prevailing.
and what he’s done to elizabeth — hell, i feel like cutting his nuts off.
I don’t give a rat’s ass if a candidate is faithful to his/her spouse. But I’ve got a problem when a guy is willing to throw everybody around him under the bus to maintain the illusion that he can keep his dick in his trousers.
At the national race level, politicians need to know the ground rules when the seek office. Once in office, and incumbent may be able to overcome a certain level of misbehavior if they are doing a good enough job—Clinton might well have defeated Dole anyway if the Lewinsky affair had come out in the first term and he came clean and it blew over quickly…
@Matt: Great comments. The only thing that I disagree with is consulting Edward’s about policy matters dealing with poverty.
Edward’s had a choice to admit to the affair and paternity early on but rather he decided to allow a drip, drip, drip of gossip.
In my humble opinion, he didn’t have a chance and Elizabeth, Hillary and Obama knew it.
That was a vanity campaign after Iowa. I don’t think anyone, ever, should be forced out, and Edwards served a purpose, because he pushed Obama and Clinton left, (ostensibly, in his populist posturing) but that was MY personal take.
That’s what’ s missing from the analysis. Edwards was not even close to “in the running”, in any real way.
I went to my state party convention in 2007 and there was no county Party leader support for Edwards, none, and I live in Ohio. We did an (admittedly unscientific) straw poll of our county central committee, and my county is probably 98% white. Obama beat Edwards handily, and Hillary smoked everyone.
It was all Clinton v Obama. They didn’t out him because they didn’t have to, and it would have been a huge black eye for Democrats, and, as Obama might say, “a distraction:”
@Mr Furious: You think there’s any doubt Clinton would have slaughtered Dole even with Lewinsky being public? His approval ratings went up with impeachment. He left office with higher approval than Reagan. He was pretty much universally loved, except for extreme right wing fringe nut jobs. When your opposition is reduced to the Montana Militia and Focus on the Family you’re doing something right.
Only that Edwards appeal was his supposed boyish charm and innocence (ie: untainted by D.C., etc). As opposed to Romney or another candidate that presents more as a corporate CEO-type where a certain level of swarm is expected.
And let’s not forget, while not at a Spitzer or Bible-thumper level, Edwards displayed quite a bit of hypocrisy on the marriage front. His relationship with Elizabeth was carefully packaged and presented—everybody remember the anniversaries at Wendy’s, etc? How they were regarded as a political couple “truly in love,” etc? Much like the First Couple, now.
In both cases, that illusion of perfect marriage makes the fall that much harder. It might have formed because of society’s projection, but they basked in it and built off it.
Well said. I’m furious that Bill Clinton couldn’t tell himself: “I’m President of the United States. This is the Oval Office. This is not a good idea.” In this sense, he is to blame for eight years of George W. Bush.
And yes, the voters need to grow up about infidelity, but I can’t say “I don’t care”. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it matters.
What I find most amazing is that an extra-marital affair is expected to end the career of a Democrat, but not so much a Republican.
How many Republicans who were caught with mistresses or prostitutes have resigned from office? NONE.
David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Rick Enzi…I can’t even keep track of them all, and every one of those motherfuckers are still in office, unrepentant and still embraced by their ‘family values’ bases.
How the fuck does THAT work?
I think he would have won, but I wasn’t following politics too closely back then, and it’s a pretty big hypothetical. If it came out early enough, Dole might not have been his sacrificial lamb opponent.
Also, I’m viewing this as someone who would have voted for him anyway—none of us are really representative of the typical voter.
Two additional sentences should be in blockquote. Grrr. Am I supposed to see an Edit button? Win XP / Firefox 3.5.3 here.
See, Democrats think it’s OK. Republicans know they’ve sinned, but Jebus has forgiven them. Also, they’re keeping us safe and protecting Grandma from death panels and cutting our taxes.
There’s a big difference between an incumbent Congressperson or Governor and a person seeking an office at a high level. the incumbent only has to answer to a much smaller pool of constituents, many of whom might think he’s doing a bang-up job, regardless. Plus, it might be a deep red state, where the challenger is in an insurmountable hole to start with.
While it’s true, there’s a double-standard—comparing Edwards to any of your examples isn’t valid. An affair like Edwards’ would likely torpedo any Republican in his position as well.
Stupid blockquotes…that should have been boxed as well…
@ellaesther: I agree with you that the affair and the baby, per se, is no indication that Edwards would have been an awful President.
It was his (and his wife’s) willful deception, duplicity, and the arrogance that makes all of that possible which indicate he would have been a horrible President. Edwards had no regard for his staff, his supporters, and his party. As late as early summer 2008, he was still angling for a high-level Cabinet position. He was never going to come clean. Even when he was caught red-handed by the National Enquirer, he continued the deceit.
I think John Edwards has demonstrated pretty clearly that he was never Presidential material. I’m just glad we didn’t nominate him.
The Moar You Know
You know what the worst thing about all this is?
The Dave Matthews Band.
Jesus Christ, what an absolute lack of taste. How trite. How…shallow.
I could go on, but won’t. To think I once thought Edwards was an OK guy…breaks my heart. The Dave Matthews Band. Jesus Christ on a stick. How sad.
I actually blame all of this on the Dave Matthews Band. And A-Rod. A lot of this is A-Rod’s fault.
damn good mr. jam
I still wish Gore had picked him over Lieberman.
spot check billy
Does Elizabeth have to worry about health insurance? First, couldn’t someone that rich self-insure? Second, doesn’t Edwards keep his Senatorial health insurance for life, and wouldn’t that extend to his wife?
American politicians seem to have much messier and stupider affairs than European ones. In Europe, most of the male politicians cheat with what appears to be the knowledge and complicity of their wives (is “cheat” even the right word in such circumstances?). They have a mistress who is of sufficient maturity and discretion that she doesn’t tell her office-mates (a la Lewinsky).
In the U.S., we have Clinton screwing teenage interns in the Oval Office; Spitzer trying to get prostitutes to let him screw them without condoms; Vitter’s diapers; Sanford’s meltdown; Edwards’s apparently also having an issue with using protection (otherwise, how’d he end up with a baby?). Their affairs are pathetic and truly indicative, as many others have said, of a lack of self-discipline.
spot check billy
Gaming out the ’96 election with the Lewinsky affair in the open is tricky. One of the reasons Clinton’s ratings went up during the scandal was that the GOP played it so badly. If they’d had the issue to use in an election instead of trying to use a blowjob to justify impeachment, they may have managed to avoid the backlash that wound up helping Clinton so much. Also, as mentioned above, if it had come out early enough the GOP could have nominated a better candidate than Dole. He was always pretty much taking one for the team, as McCain was last year.
@JenJen: Yes, this makes very good sense (and I agree with the notion that Elizabeth Edwards, while a victim, was also part of the problem) and I certainly see your point (and am also very, very glad that we didn’t nominate him) — but it could be argued that Bill Clinton did a lot of exactly the same thing, only he mostly got away with it, until he didn’t anymore.
One could then argue that once Clinton stopped getting away with it, the country suffered — and one would be right. Politicians who don’t take into account the culture of the people they are trying to serve — and think that they are somehow magically above that culture — do a disservice to their people.
I think my larger issue is with the fact that we tend to equate cheating-on-wife with can’t-serve-the-public and that’s not true, or rather, it’s only true because we the people make it so. If we were to lose some of our moralism and hypocrisy, our politicians would likely be freer to do a better job.
stooopid, stoopid. All he had to do to get himself out of all this mess was change his party to Republican. Then IOKIYAR.
Ambulances were dispatched to Byrd’s house, according to breaking news that I just saw on Politico.
@spot check billy: She’s uninsurable, and for all that they have boatloads of money it runs out very fast when you have terminal cancer. (She probably also wants to keep as much as she can for the kids.)
I thought spouses usually lost their health insurance on divorce, but I’m not sure how the Senate health insurance works– it may be a COBRA-like thing where she’d have to buy it. It’s probably easier for her mentally to just stay in the house, not fight about the kids, etc., too. (But her pushing forward with the campaign I’m not so accepting of.)
Spot Check Billy–
Edwards is an utter ass. It still would have been better for our country to have had him as vice-president than Dick Cheney. So no, I don’t give JC any kudos for having voted against Edwards in 2004.
One of the ideas floating around is that this is a big deal because that’s how politics works today. I would that the reason that this is a big deal in presidential politics is because reporters and journalist work overtime ignoring the nitty-gritty details of presidential policies. Why would I read about health care when I can speculate endlessly about what Edward’s affair might mean politically? Or why discuss the complexities of the economy when I could write about how McCain doesn’t remember how many houses he has, or that Rev. Wright is going to cause a problem with white voters.
JenJen writes: “It was his (and his wife’s) willful deception, duplicity, and the arrogance that makes all of that possible which indicate he would have been a horrible President.”
I still have an enormous problem with statements like these. If it follows that one has to “keep in his pants” because presidential politics commands it, then we also need to stipulate that deception, duplicity, and arrogance is a part of the presidential selection process. No president tells the entire truth about how much their tax plan will cost, they all lie about the benefits of the economic and foreign policies. Every president is enormously arrogant, you have to be. No one can run for the job “Leader of the Free World” without being enormously arrogant. And every president in the general election throws their base under the bus so that they can win independent voters. If deception, duplicity, and arrogance preclude one from running for office we would have no members of the executive, legislative, or judicial branches.
RE: Byrd (and, no, I’m not going to try and blockquote it all)…
a Byrd spokesman said the senator suffered a fall in his home.
An officer at the McLean Fire Department said that a unit was dispatched at 9:10 to the address where Byrd lives, but he declined to comment on the substance of the response.
Byrd – the longest-serving senator in the nation’s history – has been absent from the Senate for much of the
year and has been in and out of the hospital battling various ailments.
“Byrd apparently stood up too fast this morning in his home and fell down,” said Jesse Jacobs, a spokesman for the senator. “To err on the side of caution his caregiver called an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital where he is currently being checked out. At this point in time there is no indication that he will be admitted.”
I am sooooo disappointed in Edwards. Yes, call me naive, but I really liked the guy. This is just low.
Particularly when his wife is suffering from breast cancer that was probably caused by the fertility treatments she was on so they could have their 2 younger children after their son died.
@ellaesther: Clinton did some of the same thing. Not to get into classic Clintonian parsing here, but he did avoid intercourse, for all the reasons John Edwards should have.
It’s hard to compare the two situations, though. Clinton was already President, and into his 2nd term. He’d already proven to the American people that he was a strong leader; John Edwards was still asking for a chance to prove that. Uncovering Clinton’s affair was the result of GOP witchhunting and an over-zealous special prosecutor, which, as awful as the affair was, made people sympathetic to the President. Edwards was never going to get that kind of shake.
When push came to shove, Clinton finally admitted to the affair, and it was enough to save his Presidency. As recently as their rather nauseating appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show, the Edwards were still hedging about the paternity of that child.
I think Edwards’ biggest mistake here is dragging this damned thing out for something like a year and a half now. If he would have simply confessed when he was caught red-handed, he would have caught a bit of a break; the American people are a rather forgiving lot. Sure, his Presidential hopes were dashed, but at least he’d be back on the road to credibility, like we’re seeing now with Client #9.
I really don’t know what Edwards has been thinking, all this time. I feel kind of awful for him, even though he brought all of this upon himself. But I really do think the Democrats dodged a bullet with this guy, and for that much, I’m grateful.
I am so glad that this item ranks as an afterthought instead as the leading story day after day, as it would be if Edwards were either president or v.p.
As my mom said about Edwards, somehow, the whole always added up to less than the sum of the parts.
I really wish he and his wife would both realize that at this point, no one really cares about them or this tawdry matter, and it would be better for their family if they lived their lives in private.
Yeah, well, when it came to a married man, perhaps Hunter should have kept her legs crossed. Takes two to tango, but somehow the woman always comes across as blameless. He’s a pig for sleeping around on his wife, but she’s every bit the scumbag he is for screwing a married man. She’s not a victim in this scenario, but somehow I doubt a lot of people here would agree.
@Matt: I realize my opinion about this might not be shared by many. But the man and his wife were harboring a rather deep, dark secret, and going forward as though this a) did not happen and b) nobody would ever find out.
I’m sorry, but that’s not the same as being less-than-truthful about policy. Having a secret is not the same as hemming and hawing over tax cuts or foreign affairs. Being arrogant about that secret ever being uncovered is not the same as being arrogant about one’s abilities as a leader or politician.
There are levels of deception and duplicity, and they matter. If John Edwards felt that having a child out of wedlock should not preclude his Presidential chances, then he should’ve been forthright from the beginning about that so that his supporters and staff could have made an informed decision about whether to support his candidacy. He did not give anyone that opportunity, and that’s the kind of arrogance this country does not need.
DEmon, that’s not accounting for the enormous pressure a powerful person could bring upon someone in that situation… though, on a base level, I agree. Especially since the cancer situation was known by then, right?
@Screamin’ Demon: (sorry couldn’t edit prior post; Firefox!) Rielle Hunter is a pig, too. I certainly didn’t intend to imply she was somehow innocent in all of this.
Someone may have already said this, but my impression is that Edwards wasn’t a serial philanderer like Clinton was. Edwards did many, many stupid things in this affair that no one who did this regularly would ever have done.
I’m not sure how you can make this point with a straight face after a month with so much Kennedy and Clinton in the news. I guess it just shows how blind partisanship trumps brains every time.
Again, JenJen… Exactly. They conitued the charade well beyond necessity. They essentially reached a point of Gary Hart-like foolishness, all but dating the media to prove them wrong.
Which, of course, they did.
Here’s how I look at it: If I’m going to run for President, I do the following:
1. Don’t father any children with anyone besides my wife.
2. Make sure my taxes are square.
3. Make sure everyone working for me is legal.
4. Don’t drive drunk.
5. Basically, be as well-behaved as possible, knowing—not just because my every move will be scrutinized—that it’s expected of me and the right thing to do.
Of course, I’ll never be President…but I certainly think that’s not too tough a checklist.
@Fwiffo: “I freaking hated that smarmy fucker from day one.”
He had an affair and fathered a child while his wife was being treated for terminal cancer. And he was running for president at the time, and had he won the nomination, I’m convinced we’d have President McCain right now. The man is dead to me.
I try not to judge people by their private actions and their private lives, but this one is beyond the pale.
If this were true, Newt Gingrich and John McCain would have long since gone away.
Recent history shows that yes, Republicans are in fact let off the hook for transgressions that sink Democrats. Not that the Dems who fuck up shouldn’t sink, but there is definitely a double standard. I think it all ties in with the mindset of ideology on the right — yes, they sinned, but we forgive them, because they’re on our side in the struggle against liberals and other evils. Whereas we non-RW-true-believers look at someone who cheats on a seriously ill wife and throws colleagues under the bus and say “fuck you, asshole.”
@Demo Woman: Oh dear. I know he’s quite elderly, but he’s so timeless that it would still be a shock if something were to happen to him.
Ok, I’ll come clean. I supported Edwards in the beginning. But hey, I should’ve known better, given my selection of a (now) ex-husband. They both share quite a few traits and I, once again, did not hear the warning bells going off. But it hasn’t affected the ex’s career. Yet.
EXTREMELY stupid comment.
@Screamin’ Demon: I’ve never understood this attitude. The person having the affair is the one who betrays their family and their spouse. While the other party is foolish for getting mired in the mess this creates, they didn’t break any promises.
It has nothing to do with her being a woman and thereby getting a pass. She did something stupid. He did something profoundly wrong.
Politically this was just nuts. For the millionth time, when you get caught red handed you confess and apologize. After a brief time you get to accuse your critics of an inability to forgive and move on. The public starts to look at your critic as shrill and boring. Even sex scandals lose their oomph if there are no more details. The media doesn’t cover boring. Viola.
Given Elizabeths ability to go along, he could have blamed it on the stress of her illness making him lose his head, subtly play the mistress as a temptress, play the doting dad to the new baby and imply his critics wanted to encourage abortion. He wouldn’t be president but he’d have a chance for some future role. The mess he made of all this proves he isn’t Presidential material .
Man, I was completely fooled by Edwards. I mean, I knew he was a politician, and therefore I knew there was an automatic cap on his basic sense of decency, but WOW … I just had no idea he was this craven.
@moe99: You were married to Mitt Romney?
@JenJen: Ah, see, Clinton was sleeping around on his wife for years before he got really caught — remember Gennifer Flowers? Remember the election cycle interview on 60 Minutes in which he and Hillary talked about their marriage and how he had essentially misbehaved in the past but was all better now? I think that while we will never really know the extent of his marital perfidy — and I stress that neither do I think it’s actually our business — it remains true that he “got away with” an awful lot that would have buried him, had it come to light before the election.
All of which just comes back to the point where I think you and I in full agreement: A politician has to be cognizant of the culture in which he lives in order to do a good job serving the public. Even if I’m right that a bad husband can be a good President, that doesn’t mean that being a bad husband doesn’t have any real life impact on one’s ability to serve, given the reality in which we currently live. Edwards tried to spin that reality, and the extent to which he tried just indicates the extent to which he wasn’t paying attention to what American culture really expects.
For the love of gOD, is it too much to ask for our lyin’ cheatin’ politicians to use birth control? If you can’t leave it in your pants, at least leave it in a jimmy-hat.
In early 2004, on paper, Edwards looked like the next Clinton: Southern, moderate, electable. But I never warmed to him, and never bought his sudden self-promoting zeal about poverty after Kerry lost.
I remember Spitzer trying to ride out the scandal but the constant media coverage and threat of impeachment drove him out.
You remind me of this guy who defended Danmell Ndonye of the Hofstra hoax for retracting her rape story when she was told there was a video showing her rape story to be bogus.
I gotta hold off judgment ’til I’m sure this kid ain’t the new Baby Jesus.
yay! Mr. Cole has brought my gossipy link from the other night into prime time.
I do have this to add, for the “I don’t give a shit who he fucks, he can still be a good president” POV: IF what’s being reported is true, the fucking around is not the issue: it’s that he affirmatively solicited people to lie for him and cover his ass, and supposedly even wanted to falsify DNA paternity evidence. That is purely unethical and bottom-grade sleaze behavior, fucking or no fucking, and I wouldn’t want that in a president.
Similar for Spitzer. HIS fucking broke the law and evidenced rank hypocrisy and “I’m above the law” arrogance. I don’t want that in a public official, either.
EXTREMELY poor excuse for an argument. Do better. Or just don’t post if you can’t think of anything to type.
A lot of people didn’t buy his conversion to populism, or they would have voted for him in the primary. They didn’t.
Brick Oven Bill
This is an interesting Socrates bit, as it contains Arithmetic, Geometry, and sex. It can be used to predict if John Edward’s child is of divine birth. The math is beyond me. I kind of doubt that any child born to John Edwards would be divine, but for its case, we should hope. Anyway, the Arithmetic and Geometry of divine birth:
Now that which is of divine birth has a period which is contained in a perfect number, but the period of human birth is comprehended in a number in which first increments by involution and evolution (or squared and cubed) obtaining three intervals and four terms of like and unlike, waxing and waning numbers, make all the terms commensurable and agreeable to one another. The base of these (3) with a third added (4) when combined with five (20) and raised to the third power furnishes two harmonies; the first a square which is a hundred times as great (400 = 4 X 100), and the other a figure having one side equal to the former, but oblong, consisting of a hundred numbers squared upon rational diameters of a square (i. e. omitting fractions), the side of which is five (7 X 7 = 49 X 100 = 4900), each of them being less by one (than the perfect square which includes the fractions, sc. 50) or less by two perfect squares of irrational diameters (of a square the side of which is five = 50 + 50 = 100); and a hundred cubes of three (27 X 100 = 2700 + 4900 + 400 = 8000). Now this number represents a geometrical figure which has control over the good and evil of births.
@Matt: Actually, I didn’t say those things. I said, essentially, that harboring a secret is not the same as changing one’s mind about policy down the line, especially in the light of political realities. You’re building a straw man, and we’re talking past each other.
The discussion you’re trying to have is an interesting one, and maybe, one day, in an idealized, perfected world, things like out-of-wedlock children won’t matter much in the political realm. That wasn’t the case when John Edwards pursued the Presidency, though. There really isn’t any way around that.
@ellaesther: I was never a Bill Clinton fan, but I did think he was a very, very good President. It was his popularity and strength in leadership that allowed him to overcome his personal flaws and remain in office despite the GOP gunning for him throughout his Presidency. To me it still remains one of the most impressive political feats in American history, and I applaud Clinton for it!
That’s what everyone says. Somehow it’s *never* about the sex. Except when it always is.
“He’s a relic of the time when the strategy was to try to hold some southern electoral votes by putting southerners on the ticket. Obama demonstrated that dems can get to the White House without depending on southern electoral votes, and I think that’ll be the new template for others to follow.”
The irony of course being that Obama managed to win more Southern states than any Dem since Clinton in 96.
I used to live in Raleigh. While I never knew John Edwards, I had a coworker, Rob, who did. When asked about Edwards, Rob would say, “He’s the kind of man who would lie about where he ate lunch.”
Wrong. You’re missing my point. Those are not the same situations as Edwards.
McCain’s well-known affair happened so long ago, it’s practically JFK-era, and he was seeking back-bench position in the House. The other stuff is just rumor and is easily sloughed off as “he’s an old flirt.” Plus, and this is key: He’s already in office and has been for years. He successfully challenged for the POTUS because his issues were either decades old or unsubstantiated.
Gingrich, also, was already entrenched in office from a decidedly Republican district, and wasn’t seeking higher, national office. He eventually resigned after becoming too polarizing, and bogged down by almost 100 ethics violations…
I absolutely maintain that if the Republican most directly comparable to Edwards—Mike Huckabee—was exposed as a guy actively cheating on his wife and fathering children out of wedlock, and repeatedly and unconvincingly lying about it, he’d be toast, just like Edwards.
Why? You obviously don’t try.
Do better. Make an arguement that’s connected to the original statement.
@steve s: Mayhap your coworker was a Republican? Hmmm?
I’d agree with that. Believe I read earlier Hunter had stalked Edwards with the goal of getting into his pants. Yeah, she’s a pig too, but it seems there were a lot feeding at that trough including Young. Edwards fucking around while his wife is fighting terminal cancer is total slime.
From what it seems Young has in his tell-all book, he was also a piglet at that trough. One thing if he told his wife he was going to take the fall for Edwards, but that it was complete bullshit then ask her to keep quiet. But with it being public, it gets amped up to a whole other level with your kids involved. Maybe Young thinks this book will somehow make him out to be a hero or at least get some vindication. Nope, all I see is a spineless willing buttboy trying to gain Edwards’ favor and ride his coattails at the expense of his family.
I do think both Edwards share some blame for deceiving their supporters, because they ran on that marriage.
The Clintons never actually did that.
Elizabeth Edwards is uninsurable though, and she’d be dropped from Edwards plan the moment she isn’t a family member. Maybe that’s the calculation. For that, I don’t blame her. Seems essential, actually.
How could this have happened to the son of a mill worker?
I missed something…
I absolutely maintain that if the Republican most directly comparable to Edwards—Mike Huckabee—was exposed as a guy actively cheating on his TERMINALLY-ILL wife and fathering children out of wedlock, and repeatedly and unconvincingly lying about it, he’d be toast, just like Edwards.
For my part, I’d skip all the media appearances, and that goes for Elizabeth too. It think they’re both called to sacrifice for those kids, and neither one of them is doing that. Sometimes you have to just take a hit for the Greater Good. It’s not fair, but there it is.
But, then, I thought Sanford and his wife were full of it, too, regarding their much-repeated concern for their children.
All of these kids look sort of wizened and wise to me, beyond their years. Maybe that’s because their parents are behaving like 7th graders.
Exactly. This is why I’m so pissed at him now. Edwards is a hometown boy (Robbins is right up the road from me and my Dad’s from there) and I supported him, with some misgivings, early on. His “Two Americas” speech was right on; I see the Two Americas every goddamn day.
But if he’d have gotten elected and THEN this had broken, it would have been Clinton all over again. It would have set us back another ten years and probably would have given us another Bush.
@Mr Furious: maintain it all you like, rocks must fall upwards on your planet.
Oh, so it’s impossible to be disturbed by Edwards’ behavior without it being “about the sex”? And what basis do you have for claiming that my reaction is really “about the sex”?
Presumptious, to say the least.
@Corner Stone: You know, I really don’t think you had to be a Republican to listen to John Edwards and think, “Wow, that guy is smarmy.” I fully supported his 2004 candidacy, and I had plenty of Democratic friends who didn’t trust Edwards from the get-go.
For me, by the time 2008 rolled around, the bloom was fully off that rose. To this day I can’t put my finger on why I never considered supporting Edwards again… it may have just been that Obama seemed so clearly to me to be the superior candidate in the field. But I wouldn’t immediately write off those who didn’t like Edwards before the affair as Republicans.
@Mr Furious: I for one have enjoyed our echo-chamber today. :-)
(CNN) – Jenny Sanford, the estranged wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, is writing a book.
Sanford has sold the rights to her “inspirational memoir” to Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, the publisher told CNN Tuesday. The memoir is slated for release in May 2010.
They’re all about The Children. Can’t you tell?
@Ash Can: I will agree that if Sanford were a Democrat, he’d be gone. A Republican legislature would never let up on him like they did Sanford. He’d be impeached and booted. You’ve heard some pressure on Sanford from Republicans simply because SC is so filled with Republicans—but mostly those noises are coming from his direct rivals, and they stand to benefit from his fall.
@scav: What direction do they fall on your planet?
You give me a comparable example, and I’ll concede the point. But I know it’s not forthcoming.
You have to remember that this happened before he was the nominee. If he was the nominee, Democrats would probably have circled the wagons just like you imply the Republicans would.
But if Huckabee was exposed for the same shit as Edwards, and there were still other options for the nomination, he be tossed for the guy with less baggage. Period.
I agree completely and have posted here many times I was done with Edwards after he thew his internet outreach team overboard cuz Donaghue(sp) told him to.
Not my point there. ISTM that what Coworker Rob said was more specific vitriol and not the generic “don’t trust him” rhetoric.
It’s the kind of thing I hear all the time from my nutter friends regarding basically any D candidate, even if they have no first hand knowledge. Just seemed too familiar for me not to ask what perspective Coworker Rob brought to the table.
It’s called retroactive foresight.
Are you forgetting a big reason we have Barack Obama on the national stage? It was the sex-related tumble of the much-stronger opponent Jack Ryan and his replacement Alan Keyes that cleared Obama’s path.
They do eat their own on occasion.
And from his hair to his teeth, he was way too shiny.
@eemom: I’m just sceptical when someone starts their disclaimer with “it’s not about the sex”. I can’t tell you how many times I challenged nutter friends during the Clenis era and heard them start every tirade with, “The sex is one thing…” and then go on to say how ugly the rest of what he did was “really” the key issue. But without the sex to kick it off, what did they have?
Edward’s disgrace started with sex, everything else came from that. The fucking around had to play *some* part in his disastrous decisions following the act.
So in our society, it’s always about the titallation, or sex angle, first and the deets always come later.
@JK: That’s thinkin’ with your dipstick Jimmy!
@Mr Furious: I don’t that Ryan was a stronger candidate than Obama, but he was certainly a stronger opponent than Keyes and was defending a Republican seat.
Re Dems punished for infidelity, the only one to go down recently was Spitzer. And while the sex made the story interesting, if he’d been schtupping an aide or an Argentine tv producer he would have weathered it just fine. It was breaking all those laws which he enthusiastically enforced and strengthened that did him in. The hypocrisy is fatal. Of all the things people don’t like about Patenson, his various marital infidelities aren’t on any top 10 lists. No Republicans call for his head based on them. Granted if he were wildly popular some might give it a shot.
And Spitzer did what Edwards should have done–let all the garbage come out and move on. Edwards’s fatal error here is leaving the damage to constantly trickle out as his latest round of fabrications doesn’t hold together. If he (and Elizabeth in her role as advisor in on the affair) would have dropped out of the race, then let this come out with a full deck-clearing, the person up-thread is right, as re-dedicated spouse and doting visiting dad who regrets launching the child with such a scandal hanging over her life, he could be primed to return to some sort of high appointed position. Much like Spitzer.
He reminds me a lot of Sanford, who seemed to feel the best way to ensure no one learned of his affair(s?) was to duck out on his security whenever he wanted to get it on. Virtually all his political enemies seem to have been able to decode “regularly evades security detail for private time” and wait for an appropriate opening.
Jenny Sanford’s memoir might be inspirational if she’d dumped him; the number of Christian Republicans who want to read about her stoic Christian forgiveness might be a market but I don’t think it’s a big one.
Yeah, Edwards is a jerk in his personal life. And he was an idiot to think he could have an affair and not have it come out if he’d gotten the nomination.
But you know what? He was making all the right arguments in public about the issues, and doing his best to raise the visibility of questions about inequality and lack of a decent safety net in America. In 2003-04, he was talking about “Two Americas,” when no other Dem candidate this side of Kucinich was working that beat. And in 2007, he was the guy taking the right stances on universal health care and climate change, and forcing Obama and Hillary to follow his lead.
You think we’d still be debating a public option right now if Edwards hadn’t run? Hardly. Obama would have only had to run to the left of Hillary on health care, and before Edwards staked out a progressive position, all she would commit to was getting around to it before she left office.
Yeah, he’s a slimeball. But while we should be thankful that that slimeball never really had a chance to win the nomination in 2008, we should thank our lucky stars that that slimeball ran the campaign he ran.
Why hasn’t anyone else noted that the worst thing about this whole matter is the awfulness of Rielle? It’s one thing to have an affair. It’s much worse to have one with an absolute creep who is just one step away from hagdom, to judge by that photo of her in a silk blouse and pearls, and looks a bit crazed.
You know who I feel sorry for? Andrew Young. Not the lying Edwards staffer, but the former civil rights activist, Mayor of Atlanta, Congressman, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who half the country probably now thinks banged Rielle Hunter. These stories really should say, “Andrew Young (no, not that Andrew Young, a different one) …”, or use his middle name too, like they do for assassins and serial killers.
What the Hell kind of a response is that?
Should marital infidelity be an issue? No
However, the MSM has rewritten the rules concerning the sex lives of presidential candidates.
John Edwards had to know he’d never get away with this. He had to know that the MSM would eventually break this story. Edwards deserves to feel as much as pain and misery as humanly possible for being such as an arrogant and irresponsible asshole.
Who among us would not have swapped out 8 years of sober, loyal, funny, puts-everyone-at-ease, good-guy George W. Bush
I’ll give you 8 to 1 he was sleeping with Condi.
And the man *never* put me at ease. Unless you mean, made me run screaming for the shower to get the smarm off just from seeing him on the teevee. “heh heh heh.” BRRrrrrrrrrr. Blech.
It’s from a commercial. Castrol EDGE oil has a Scots spokesman who pops up outta nowhere and whips unsuspecting folks with a metal dipstick. He then exclaims, “That’s thinkin’ with your dipstick Jimmy!”
I found it humorous to tie in “dipstick” and Edwards’ dipstick.
I’m sorry that you harbor such animosity at this point. Just a funny commercial tagline. Nothing castigating The Beatles or anything.
@ Corner Stone #142
Rats, have to clean coffee off my keyboard again. Too funny. And it’s as good an explanation for Edwards abominable behavior as any.
The lying and covering are most politicians first default position. No surprise there. Also, no excuse, but still to be expected from most.
The media doesn’t cover boring. Viola.
What’s all this about violins on television?
@ironranger: If they divorce, she’ll be dropped from his Congressional Health Insurance.
I quite liked him as a candidate. He wasn’t my first choice but if he had prevailed in the primaries/caucuses/delegate counts, I would have been fine with supporting him. And under other, optimum, circumstances, I think Elizabeth Edwards would have made one of the most impressive First Spouses in our history.
Even today, I genuinely have little interest in his “private” life. But what completely infuriates me is his arrogant flouting of today’s political realities. What he does with other women (or men) shouldn’t influence voters or the media or political rivals — but it’s idiotic to deny that in fact it does, and it’s Edwards’ massive disdain for his party and country and, dare I say, principles, that I cannot forgive.
As for the former staffer, I have nothing but contempt for his willingness to lie for his boss this way. The fact that Edwards subsequently “dropped him like a hot potato”? Karma, my friends, karma right here, right now.
I agree. Edwards might have been an interesting choice for attorney general. And I think he might have been effective.
That said, his foolishly reckless behavior doomed him.
This kind of loyalty is not unheard of. Didn’t one of coach Rich Pitino’s flunkies marry the woman that the coach had a restaurant “affair” with? You gotta wonder how much of the relationship was real, and how much a weird cover for an unsavory affair.
It’s more than a little curious, isn’t it? What grown man would agree to this? And his wife?? What were they promised in return?
This reminds of a high school situation where the coach has found a bottle of hooch in a backpack. The QB asks his best buddy the backup wide receiver to take responsibility, and he does so the QB can go on to an Ivy League school or something.
It just sounds so Dawson’s Creek-esque.
@Emily Litella: LMFAO!
It’s been a long, bad fucking stretch for me and my nerves are frayed. I misinterpreted your line. I’m not familiar with the commercial you referenced. I thought you were directing a sarcastic insult in my direction. Thanks for your clarification and explanation.
I know it’s just me but I could never get past that stupid, fucking first name “Rielle” and she’s not even remotely close to drop dead gorgeous.
European affairs can be so messy and stupid that they make Edwards and even Clinton look like naughty little schoolboys.
It’s just that Europeans don’t look at sexual indiscretion as the greatest sin that a politician might commit.
Look at the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. He cavorts with prostitutes, appoints hot babes (some with real credentials) to ministerial posts, has parties that would make Hugh Hefner blush, and still keeps on going.
And Europeans are more honest about marrying for status and power, which inevitably leads to a certain degree of self-serving hypocrisy.
@JK: We all hit bad patches.
It’s a mistake to think regional commercials (or other funny items) are easily pan-recognized as such with no context.
I’m guilty of dropping random quotes all over BJ from movies, songs, TV, etc. that I love and just expecting others to go along.
Completely OT – a friend of mine is living with a girl many years his younger. I ask him, “What the hell do you talk about with her? How do you reference the important cultural milestones, etc?”
And he says, “Hell, no woman our age knows what the hell we’re talking about either, so I’ve got to teach them one way or the other.”
FSM protect him and keep him safe in Her noodly appendages.
Three words. Camilla Parker Bowles.
What people want in mates or lovers is not just looks.
By the way, a recent biography about Britain’s Queen Mother suggests that she was annoyed with Princess Diana for not understanding that Charles taking a mistress was “normal” for the high born.
By contrast, Americans of all political persuasions still want to insist on the “family values standard” where politicians pretend that their personal lives are like some 1950s Ozzie and Harriet sitcom.
Man, Cole, for someone with your history of support for insane right winger causes and the very successful Iraq War, who now claims to be generally on the Dem/progressive side of things, you have a lot of nerve calling ANYONE a fraud and a phony.
Your appalling lack of self awareness continues to display itself.
This is true, and it matters. The question was whether it was genuine, whether you believed his claim to be the advocate of the downtrodden, the tribune of the people. Part of the problem is that people conflate two different people: John Edwards from 1997-2003, and John Edwards from 2004-2008.
The 2004 Primaries John Edwards, he of the “Two Americas” speech, was a fairly standard DLC democrat. Yes, he did invoke some populist themes about how hard it was for Joe Sixpack to get ahead or even to keep afloat, and sure enough, Edwards stressed his humble origins – but so does every American pol who’s got remotely humble origins; even George Dubya Bush spewed crap about the great travails of going to a public high school for a year, roughnecking it for a few weeks on the oil wells, etcetera. Edwards was more genuine than that, of course, and his father’s former union was important to him – but his father was also a mill manager for much of his career, no lunchpail-toting stereotypical mill worker.
Then there was an interlude as Kerry’s veep nod in which Edwards became even less distinguishable from everyone else than he had been as a fairly unexciting primary candidate.
And then, after Kerry lost, John Edwards, DLC posterboy, sauntered into a phonebooth, the music swelled, and out flew John! Edwards! Savior! Of! The! Poor! The man who was everyplace injustice was to be found, the man who cared about the homeless eleventy times more than Jimmy Carter ever did. As you may be able to tell, I never thought it was sincere; YMMV. One telling point was that the foundation Edwards created allegedly to do good works was somehow instead always busy promoting Edwards’s profile rather than accomplishing anything much, and especially rather than doing so quietly, and stopped doing even its limited good works once Edwards’s 2008 primary hopes dissolved. It’s almost like Edwards looked at the 2004 primaries and realized that an entire army of Deaniacs were now leaderless and looking for a progressive standard-bearer, and Edwards realized that the corporate-friendly technocrat image of his 2004 run had lacked for just that sort of dedicated followers.
I admire Kucinich greatly, though I don’t agree with him about some things, because he is dedicated, consistent, and always working for his issues however little attention or mainstream popularity he gets. Edwards’s sudden and transformative flashy self-promoting appropriation of the poverty issue left me quite cold. But then maybe if I’d been alive in ’68 I wouldn’t have bought into the new RFK, either – certainly, my Grandfather never forgave RFK for HUAC, even most of forty years later.
I didn’t support Edwards in 2004, but thought Kerry made a smart political choice in choosing him.
Then I saw him eaten alive by Cheney in the VP debate, and had my qualms.
I guess Kerry had some rude awakenings along the way as well:
I see your point. I’ll pay closer attention to your future posts to see if I can identify them.
When I want to drop random quotes, it’s almost always from movies very rarely songs.
Some of my favorite movie lines
Go home and get your fucking shinebox – Goodfellas
Coffee’s for closers – Glenngarry Glen Ross
I’d wish you luck but you wouldn’t know what to do it with if you got it – Glenngarry Glen Ross
Leave the gun, take the canoli – The Godfather
Only steers and queers come from Texas – Full Metal Jacket
I’m going to Lemkin – Glenngarry Glen Ross
Only good line from a song I can think of right now
Whatever gets you through the night
Berlusconi is endlessly entertaining to me, mainly because I don’t live in Italy, have no friends there, and so don’t have to worry about massive corruption, misuse of state power, one man personally controlling all of a nation’s television output, etcetera. Now, if I believed “Italy” was a real place whose people mattered, Berlusconi’s antics would be a lot less amusing.
For a RELATIONSHIP which could potentially lead to marriage, physical attractiveness is never the be all and end all.
For an EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR that could destroy my candidacy for President of the United States and destroy my political and professional career, you better believe physical attractivness is the be all and end all. If I’m facing the death of my career should my affair become public, this woman better be one the sexiest, most beautiful women alive.
They wave that evangelical magic Jeebus over the family values base and all is made good again.
IOW, the same way the Elmer Gantrys of this country have always done it when they’ve been found out.
Oh, I agree. It makes everything so much easier to understand that the waps, wogs, Canadians, etc…are all just etcetera.
Just not true. An affair can be a relationship, sometimes stronger than a marriage. Especially when the couple appear to choose each other more for political show than for anything real (and yeah, I’m talking about you, Elliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford, and your spouses).
And it’s 2009. Do people still not understand that there is no necessary correlation between beauty and sexiness?
It’s possible that Edwards simply forgot. Of course, if it were really such a secretive, super-special memory that he’d never told anyone else, it’s doubtful that he’d forget that he told it to someone. Good point.
Edwards was supposed to be the Progressive Lost Cause in the 2008 Primaries – basically the “liberal” to Hillary Clinton’s centrism. He was supposed to speak well and lose quickly, and then Clinton would probably reconcile with him by giving him some position in the Administration (before his scandal, I always figured he’d probably make a decent attorney general). Then Obama came along, stole all the progressive spotlight (wiping out Clinton in the process), and suddenly Edwards was the Third Wheel, the “Other Guy” with nothing really special about him.
As is, it seems like he was busy destroying himself long before his second run at the Presidency, so he got what he deserved, in my opinion.
Free At Last
Agreed! Plus LOL – made me start wondering how a klein-bottle-shaped condom would work.
I was absolutely po’d when his screwing around was revealed. I freaking voted for this fucker even after he had dropped out but his name was still on the ballot. I personally started to like the guy at the tail end of the 04 campaign. He seemed to have matured. I even sent a little money to the fucker during the last primary. And yes,I agree with the others – Just Go Away John. And you too Elizabeth.
As far the health insurance, Elizabeth is a lawyer. I am sure she knows as well as anybody that the insurance can be written into the divorce agreement. I have a friend whose ex was a state worker with really good insurance benefits. She had it written into her divorce agreement that she had access to his insurance.
Damn fine summation of Edwards’ primary run.
I couldn’t quite understand why some Edwards supporters were so hot for him. I didn’t have anything against him, didn’t find him to be extra smarmy as some are now claiming. It’s just that he didn’t register. Despite having been the VP candidate, he seemed insubstantial, like a Dan Quayle.
You’re right that he seemed to be there to help pace Clinton’s primary run. I also now seem to recall one of the debates in which Edwards took a jab at Obama that seemed to be a blatant attempt to help Clinton.
I think Senators get the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, with a few optional add-ons. Which means his COBRA ran out 18 months after he left office. If he ever had it.
I’m not sure how you get from “more honest about marrying for status and power” to “self-serving hypocrisy”. If these people marry with traditional vows, they’re breaking the bits that have to do with not screwing around, but that’s not quite the same the thing as hypocrisy. If Mrs. Scrutinizer and I both agree going into our marriage that we’re doing it for material reasons, but that we are free to have outside romantic relationships, and we don’t pretend that our marriage is primarily a partnership based on furthering common goals (status, wealth, power, progeny) then where’s the hypocrisy, and what’s the problem?
There was money involved, presumably. I would hope that Young discussed this with his wife, first – “Honey, the boss is saying he’ll pay me off if we pretend that his love child with Rhielle Hunter is my kid. Wanna do it?”
Get back to me when a politician says, “Vote for me. I’m a sexual degenerate and my wife is an amoral social-climbing whore.”
Politicians and their spouses are often honest with each other about their motivations, but the honesty is kept behind closed doors. And while Europeans are often more sophisticated about these matters, politicians and aristocrats will often discard or even destroy their lower-class playthings in order to maintain their pretensions to moral superiority.
@ low tech cyclist
Geez. I heard this so often among Edwards supports after Iowa, and after the affair was leaked. So before “Two Americas” you Edwards peeps had never heard populist progressivism before?
Edwards hadn’t the record of a progressive. But many Edwards supporters accused ClintObama supporters of being parts of cults of personality or being seduced by mere promises.
If progressive bloggers hadn’t (for some still-unknown reason other than his being a more commonly-known figure) made him the standard-bearer for “Progressivism”, he probably wouldn’t have been considered a serious candidate in the long run. You all might have spent some of your energy giving credibility and exposure to, say, Kucinich. Who is still a Democrat. Who was/is still quite keen on being an agitator within the party system without resorting to the bullshit (and utterly useless) holier-than-thou pronunciations of Nader and various Chomskyites. Who ran on the only single-payer platform among the Dems. (In all honesty, it’s like in this madness about HC reform, many of the big mouthed lefty bloggers have suddenly forgotten what a big deal they made about mandates and how little they actually spoke about any kind of single payer option.)
The hagiography of John Edwards during the election was accomplished by much of the blogosphere, so his spectacular failure in the public eye belongs to them as a symbol of how they, as of right now, know little about how to fight for the causes they espouse.
So now, I find this handwringing about Obama ridiculous coming from certain quarters and downright hypocritical in others. Because as much as I hate what Obama does in the name of hewing the the middle of the road and being tangled up in conflicting interests, the so-called Netroots has done very little to change the rhetorical and economic landscape in which he has to work. And they have done very little because they believe in the Strongman Hero Progressive who has all the correct ideas and will change everything with a wave of his hand. And they, of course, take no responsibility in the process (except when they believe they “win”, like the yet-to-be-confirmed by actual member of Congress assertion that it was their phone calls that solidified the progressive bloc into standing up for the public option). They don’t believe they have a responsibility to speak to regular folks, and to organize them into a bloc in support of concrete, coherent goals. It’s much easier to believe in the Manichean order of things than to engage in the dirty process of negotiating with the rest of the general public to change their ideas and framing and to drop some historical knowledge, and perhaps dealing with failure and changing their process. That way, they are always abstractly Right, and can assign the blame to some other figure of authority.