Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 12, 2008

EDWARDS' FUTURE.... I mentioned briefly yesterday John Edwards is slowly re-entering public life, prompting CNN to ask whether the former senator could make a "comeback." I suggested that this is unlikely.

Later, an emailer posed a reasonable question: Why couldn't Edwards come back?

As the reader noted, Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and Gary Hart all maintain respected positions, at least in their own party, despite very well publicized extra-marital affairs during their political careers. Indeed, Newt Gingrich's personal life and well documented adultery hasn't done much to undermine his status as a conservative hero, with Bob Novak even touting him as a presidential aspirant in 2012.

If those other guys can recover and see their reputations thrive, why is John Edwards banished from respected company permanently?

The truth is, I don't have a great response to this. I was tempted to respond, "It just seems different with Edwards," but I realize that's not an especially coherent argument.

After thinking this over a bit, I've come up with two general arguments why I think Edwards' "comeback," if he's even trying to have one, may not work out.

First, he doesn't have as much to fall back on when it comes to credentials. Bill Clinton was a successful two-term president with political enemies who were easy to hate. Hart was a foreign policy expert and arguably a visionary thinker in the party. Giuliani got a 9/11 halo. Gingrich helped orchestrate the Republicans' 1994 takeover and became Speaker. Edwards was an underwhelming V.P. nominee, but if he's going to live down this affair, I don't think that's enough.

Second, everyone loves Elizabeth Edwards, and Elizabeth Edwards has cancer.

But maybe I'm misreading the landscape. For all I know, in a few years, John Edwards will be a leading progressive voice. I just don't think it's likely.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Posted by: SJRSM on November 12, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Which is too bad: Edwards ran on the most progressive platform of all the candidates, and if he can no longer be an effective voice it's one less counterbalance to the business as usual crowd that always infests "centrist" administrations.

Posted by: Michael on November 12, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think Steve is right. I know many liberal women who will never forgive him. The fact that there is a baby involved also makes it harder to forget than the other cases you mentioned. I certainly liked having a candidate out there focusing on poverty, but its going to have to be someone else from now on.

Posted by: tgb1000 on November 12, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, it's the "Elizabeth Edwards has cancer" for sure. It's no "my wife was in a horrible car accident when I was in Vietnam," but it'll do...

Posted by: rusrus on November 12, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

You write: "Second, everyone loves Elizabeth Edwards, and Elizabeth Edwards has cancer."

What about John McCain? His first wife was horribly injured in an automobile accident. Many operations. Permanent damage. No problem for John: he cheated on her, dumped her, quickly married Cindy. The sainted Reagans never forgave him, apparently.

And the Republicans, in the party of family values, still nominated him.

Hey, maybe Edwards could become a Republican.

Posted by: CMcC on November 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think that part of it is that Edwards ran most of his presidential race with this huge lie going on at the same time: he was willing to put Democratic chances at serious risk for the "bang" of his private affair.

All the same, I would love to see Obama give Edwards a chance to redeem himself.

Posted by: sjw on November 12, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's because Edwards campaigned as a good, honest, pious family man. He talked about family and his relationships within his family a lot (in case you hadn't heard, he's the son of a millworker). When Elizabeth's cancer came back, they did the press conference together to talk about why and how they made the decision they felt was best for the family. They brought out the cherub-faced Jack and Emma Claire on the trail. He published that Home book that talks about home and family.

There's also the distasteful situation where it somewhat appears he lied to Elizabeth twice and there's some question about whether he fathered a child with his mistress. Even Guiliani did have a possible baby in the wings.

And I say this as someone who supported Edwards, gave money to his campaigns, because he was addressing poverty issues that are otherwise ignored. I think the party is better because he pushed those issues to the forefront. But I think a lot of people really believed the whole family thing and aren't inclined to listen or believe in him again. It's too bad.

Posted by: tess on November 12, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about a comeback for John (my first choice for Prez this year) but I sure would like to see Elizabeth Edwards' input on any healthcare reform plan.
I suppose it's hard for me to visualize a comeback for him because he disappointed me so much. It was my own fault for holding him in such high esteem...afterall, he is a politian!

Posted by: whichwitch on November 12, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'd rather see Elliot Spitzer make a comeback as US Attorney. Edwards is more of a politician with a progressive message, but a centrist voting record. He has few successes and limited trust. I don't see his assets outweighing his liabilities.

Posted by: Danp on November 12, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's common knowlege that when Republicans cheat on their spouses, it proves that they're manly men who can protect us from our enemies. John Edwards on the other hand got an expensive haircut.

Posted by: Paul Dirks on November 12, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

he's a "politician" too....

Posted by: whichwitch on November 12, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

If those other guys can recover and see their reputations thrive, why is John Edwards banished from respected company permanently? —Steve Benen

Who cares if Giuliani and Gingrich came back? Look what they came back to?

Gary Hart? What's he do these days? Run a think tank whose biggest success is separating people from their money for funding?

And Clinton? I have absolutely no respect for him and his massive ego. He is one of the prime reasons I shuddered at Hillary being the Democratic nominee. If she'd won, it would be a disastrous twofer in the WH - president and assistant president.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 12, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

If we disqualify every politician who has had an affair or committed adultery, there won't be many left to hold office. This is true of religious leaders just as much as political leaders. It's the human condition. Some day our species may accept the fact that their gonads are not under their control. Given that, forgiveness is the correct response.

Posted by: frank logan on November 12, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

John Edwards was a Senator from North Carolina before he was a candidate for national office. He'd be unlikely to get that seat back, because the liability of his personal life loom larger in the politics of that state -- and also, frankly, because Edwards was never more than a part-time Senator. You can get people to elect you to public office so you'll have a place to run for another public office once. It'd be harder for Edwards to do it again.

He could always work in an Obama administration, but that would be up to Obama, and I'd be surprised if Obama were interested. Edwards was attractive and articulate as a candidate; he told his personal story well. That's gold on the campaign trail, but for government work what Edwards brings to the table Obama doesn't really need.

Posted by: Zathras on November 12, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Come back to what? "Come back" to a short senatorial career and time on two failed Presidential campaigns? Sure, I guess he could return to his previous highs of success.

Cheating on his wife is one thing. Cheating on his wife suffering from cancer is another. Cheating on a wife suffering from cancer while he was running for President is still another.

His best chance of "coming back" is as a doorstop in his next life.

Posted by: Ben on November 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Its very difficult to resurrect a career when you have so many enemies standing on your grave. If John Edwards wasn't such a narcissist determined to take the presidency no matter what he was hiding in his closet, you might have a Hillary Clinton, a Joe Biden, or even a Chris Dodd as president-elect today. Do you imagine they will forget that ugly detail? Thats why he will remain buried.

Posted by: Jim Montague on November 12, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, here's another thing: it's way too early. All of those other guys were offered a way back into the game, but only after a spell off-camera.

Clinton, of course, didn't have that "luxury", but he also had to "reverend up" and go through a long public humiliation -- plus he had truly loathsome enemies.

If Edwards keeps his head down, Elizabeth beats cancer, he works hard at his poverty-fighting agenda for a couple of years AND he then embarks on a public apology tour, he'll probably be able to get back in the public eye without much condemnation.

Posted by: Jay B. on November 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Expecting politicians--who are mostly powerful, rich, famous men, the type of men who have hot women propositioning them constantly--to be faithful to their spouses is no more realistic than expecting teenagers to practice abstinence.

Posted by: Lee on November 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's less a matter that "..Edwards campaigned as a good, honest, pious family man", than it is the fact that John McCain would today be president-elect if the dumb-ass had won the democratic nomination. Think about that. I contributed cash to his campaign, and I'll never forgive him for his selfish idiocy.

Posted by: JL on November 12, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I have nothing against Edwards what-so-ever and neither does anyone I know. I thought it was a shame to silence such a powerful voice against poverty in this country because of a National Enquirer scandal report. The corporation spokes people couldn't be happier if Edwards' voice were kept out of the national microphones. Edwards is a great man who also happens to be human. Ten times better dem than Lieberman that's for sure.

Posted by: joey on November 12, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Third: He had his affair as he campaigned for president, putting the whole Democratic ticket at risk if he had won the nomination.

Posted by: Diana on November 12, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards had been my first choice of a Dem candidate, before he dropped out of the race, because of his stance on poverty and Elizabeth's work on healthcare. Which is exactly why I'm one of those liberal women that tgb100 talks about, @14:26. Can't forgive the SOB for endangering *all of us*, because of lack of self-discipline. What if he had gotten the nomination and the story only came out *then*? It'd have been McCain/Palin win for sure.

Perhaps it's unfair, but that's how the cookie crumbles here in the US; Repubs may only pay lip service to morals when it comes to themselves but they're sure to demand squeaky-clean from Dems.

Posted by: exlibra on November 12, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

btw...Kucinich is way more progressive than Edwards, but does has a demeanor problem. I do agree that in this country a blow job will condemn you faster than mass murder...unless you're a republican, then God forgives you, so, so should everyone else. Perhaps hypocrisy will not be an accepted party principle someday...naagh.

Posted by: joey on November 12, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

The corporation spokes people couldn't be happier if Edwards' voice were kept out of the national microphones

Actually, I suspect they'd be happy to have him front and center as the face of progressivism, so they can point to his disgraceful lying sleazy egotistical behavior.

I voted for him in the SC primary. Now, when I hear his name, I just want to spit.

Posted by: kc on November 12, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Third: He had his affair as he campaigned for president, putting the whole Democratic ticket at risk if he had won the nomination.

Yep. The asshole. Thank FSM he didn't win.

Posted by: kc on November 12, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

My knock against Edwards is that he was willing to put himself forward as a candidate for President, even though he had this skeleton in his closet.

Had he become the nominee there is no way it would not have come out and it would likely have ruined Demcratic chances at winning back the White House. That speaks very poorly of his judgement and his commitment to the people he claimed to speak for and serve.

I'm of the opinion that Democrats need to hold themselves to higher standards than Republicans. Not, because I care about people's private behavior, but because the GOP will beat us up with it if we don't. That and what Steve Benen said.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

just to amplify a comment made earlier, gary hart never recovered the public prominence he once held. guaranteed if he were ever considered for appointed office or mentioned as a candidate for public office, you'd still find monkey business no lower than the third graf of any news account. would it matter in an election now, probably not. could edwards find a similar role say on domestic issues, sure. probably in time, the impact the affair has had and will have will fade as well, but it's difficult imagining what office edwards would run for.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on November 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

In view of the slightness of his accomplishments, it didn't take much to overcome a positive image. If he wants a "comeback," he has to actually do something, as opposed to giving speeches or whatever he's planning. If he were a senator again, or somehow talked Obama into an important cabinet position, and he worked seriously on that job and succeeded, instead of running for something else, he could look serious again. But I don't see how he will get such a position.

Posted by: Steve on November 12, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

The irony, given the Republicans' constant posturing on the subject, is that Democrats simply have more of a commitment to morality. The Reps believe that if you simply confess and cry like so many of their preachers or just bluster your way through like McCain, Gingrich and Bennett, it all goes away. Dems are more likely to associate lying with lack of trustworthiness. Go figure.

Edwards probably suffered the most with his own supporters, who, as shown here, had a real emotional bond with him and his issues. Personally, I wish Obama was more like Edwards, on the issues, that is. Ol' John simply made a fool of himself, and who he did it with (the Bright Lights, Big City coke whore of all people -- doesn't this guy read? No, I didn't read it either, but I read about it) just makes it worse. So, as I said yesterday, he probably can come back, but as a doer of good works, not in elected office. Too bad, because his fall is a real blow to the cause of Progressive Populism, of which we could use a lot more in this country. You're not in real good shape when your fallback candidate is Jim Hightower.

But Eliot Spitzer come back? Never. His sin was gross, disgusting and pretty funny, a lethal combination. Great AG, textbook bad governor.

Posted by: ericfree on November 12, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

"...I voted for him in the SC primary. Now, when I hear his name, I just want to spit...."

You may be right about the corporations but it would fade as corporations are much more sinister but geez kc...is this like a woman scorned. Will you ever be able to just let it go being that it was a personal ordeal with public collateral damage being unintentional( thank God he wasn't the nominee...but now??). Was his public effect any worse than Lieberman's. Isn't he still way above a Palin? I do hope he doesn't give up being of service to the anti-poverty movement.

Posted by: joey on November 12, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Two reasons stand out to me:
1. Higher standards for Democrats. See Gov. Spitzer vs. Sen. Vitter.
2. Part of Edwards' appeal was that his passion on healthcare came from a personal connection---that his wife, who he loved so much, was going through a system that was broken.

Posted by: JoshA on November 12, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Third, to come back and become an influential figure in his party again, Edwards is going to have to actually get elected to something first (unlike Clinton, Guiliani and Hart, who already had jobs). That seems very unlikely to ever happen again right now.

Posted by: Shalimar on November 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I could care less that Edwards had an affair, but he risked getting McCain and Palin elected. He needs to shut up and think about that for a few years.

Posted by: Racer X on November 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think the adultery thing will actually mask Edwards' true fatal flaw, that he is an empty suit whose shelf life has expired.

Posted by: Drew on November 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

2. Part of Edwards' appeal was that his passion on healthcare came from a personal connection---that his wife, who he loved so much, was going through a system that was broken.

Edwards doesn't love his wife?

Posted by: jeebus on November 12, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards was never an effective voice for a progressive platform. He was too busy consulting with a hedge fund to bother with the coming financial crisis in 2006, despite being a member of the Senate when LTCM had to be bailed out. At least Edwards does not have to rely on donations to a nonprofit org to pay his new child's child support. Edwards' image can be rehabilitated through good works, but not as a candidate for national office.

Posted by: Brojo on November 12, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

There is no way Edwards will EVER make a comeback in my eyes. He came >

I will never, ever forgive him for that. Never. Ever.

Edwards is dead in my eyes.

Posted by: MsJoanne on November 12, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Let's try that again...he came ( ) close to becoming this Dem presidental nominee and had this come out then, we would have McCain/Palin as POTUS right now.

And for that I will never, ever forgive him.

Posted by: MsJoanne on November 12, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nthing the shocking selfishness and lack of judgment it took for Edwards to have this affair while campaigning for the presidency. If he'd won the nomination, John McCain would be the president-elect right now and Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world. I don't want somebody with that level of self-control getting near elected office.

Posted by: EarBucket on November 12, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's because, although liberals believe sex should be free, they also believe deceit in a relationship is wrong, and that's what they hold against someone like Edwards, who is married and fucks around. It's not the fucking around; it's the married part.

Conservatives believe that deceit is justified if it is necessary to accomplish a task, so if you're gonna fuck around anyway, the lying part just comes with it, and the fucking around part? That just comes naturally to men, so a little lying to get it done is no big thing.

That's why liberals lose more than conservatives when they are caught fucking around.

Posted by: anandine on November 12, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I was a BIG John Edwards fan. And part of the reason was because he talked about character and responsibility, as well as the poor, in much the same way as Obama does now. But what John did was the opposite of what he stood for, and for whatever reason, with John, it is personal. I think he is a sad footnote, because he could have been...

Posted by: cyrki on November 12, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone were to make a comeback, I'd much prefer it be Eliot Spitzer, who seemed to show great promise as a future national Democratic leader. But Spitzer seems to have the dignity to be genuinely embarrassed by his scandal and shows no sign of interest in returning to public life. That's a much greater loss than anything that happens to Edwards.

Posted by: JRD on November 12, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats politicians can forgive Lieberman, they really should be giving Edwards an award.

As for myself, I can never forgive Edwards for running a presidential campaign while he was conducting a tawdry affair. That shows a higher than acceptable level of recklessness and thoughtlessness.

Posted by: anon on November 12, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason not to like Edwards is that he ran his 2008 Primary Campaign -- soliciting the time, effort, and money of countless supporters -- all the while knowing he had an affair in the background that was a time bomb waiting to blow up and destroy his candidacy.

He wasted a lot of people's time and money. He's scum.

Posted by: sally on November 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

The question is, what would he want to "come back" as? He could be a lefty yackker (guessing those will be in more demand going forward), or Obama might appoint him to something. (I'm thinking something like heading a commission or something. Not as a WH official.)

He's done in presidential (or even statewide) politics. No one in their right mind would volunteer for him given he's shown the willingness to throw away the efforts of a campaign for something fleeting like a sexual affair.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 12, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not so sure that if Edwards' affair had come out (if he were the nominee) that McCain would have won. Most people realized in 1992 that Clinton had affairs, and he won anyway. If it's true that Edwards would have lost the election, that says a lot more about American attitudes towards sex than it does about Edwards.

Posted by: Lee on November 12, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I loved Edwards. I cried the day when he announced that he's suspending his campaign. And I gasped in disbelief at this whole affair thing.

MsJoanne and sally are right: If he had become the nominee and if this whole thing had blown up during the election season, we'd have McCain/ Palin now. I think Edwards really lost his integrity by potentially putting the country in such danger. Who's going to trust him now?

Posted by: charlotte on November 12, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

First, credit where it's due: with his "Two Americas" speech and his detailed progressive policy proposals in the 2008 campaign, John Edwards played a key role in raising the profile of the poverty issue and moving the Democratic party back towards the center-left after a decade of DLC center-right Republican-lite policies.

But his recklessness in continuing his run for the WH while conducting an affair - and Elizabeth Edwards' recklessness in keeping the secret - is just about unforgivable. They could have lost us this election.

So then the question is, what is John Edwards good for now ? His contribution was a) to push a progressive agenda, b) to make good speeches, and c) to be good ticket-balancing Southern candidate.
But Obama's setting the agenda now - whether you like it or not, that's how it's going to be for four and probably eight years. And Obama trumps Edwards (and all other current politicians) by a mile on the speechmaking. And it turned out we didn't need a Southerner on the ticket - and with the demographic trends and the bluing of the Southwest, we probably won't for the foreseeable future.

So there isn't really demand for what Edwards has to offer right now.

Posted by: Richard Cownie on November 12, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

You're joking about Hart, right ?

Posted by: rbe1 on November 12, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Buchanan hit the nail on the head: "He doesn't wear well."

Posted by: Luther on November 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

If John Edwards wants to do something about poverty, he should go work in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Clean toilets, hand out meals, and keep his mouth shut while he's doing it. After ten years or so of doing this every single fucking day, I'll gladly listen to anything he has to say again.

Posted by: Jack Harkness on November 12, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

You analysis is way off. Gary who ?? I doubt I would even recognize the guy. Clinton ?? Please, his wife was in the primaries and he was standing in pickup truck beds talking to 20-30 people at a crack. Newt, seriously, he is only news because he is getting graded on a curve. Right now the republicans have to take what they have, Newt was silent 4 years ago. Rudy's name would not be uttered had Bush done some due diligence in in July & August of 2001.

And last but not least, people for some reason really hate it when good looking famous people cheat.

Posted by: ScottW on November 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to the idea of letting a decent interval go by before attempting a comeback from disgrace? John, how can we miss you if you won't go away?

I blame Dick Morris for this kind of behavior. Back when he got caught with his toe-sucking episode, people expected him to disappear and make his living in the background. Up 'til then, most public figures caught in embarrassing sex scandals made themselves scarce. But no- Dick Morris came back in about eight minutes and has plagued us ever since on cable TV.

I think he liberated all subsequent sleazebags into shameless press hoggery. The only line that people seem to draw is, say, O.J. Simpson, who has remained unwelcome.

Posted by: Karen on November 12, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'd want to hear from Elizabeth.

Posted by: pbg on November 12, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think he would be great as head of HHS or consumer affairs. He has too much heart for the progressive agenda and poor and disadvantaged people to let that go to waste because he screwed up. His high profile career options are off the table, but he has a lot to contribute yet. Let his private life be his private life. If his wife can forgive him, who are we to hold a grudge?

Posted by: Always Hopeful on November 12, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

An Edward's comeback? From where?

Posted by: jim weaver on November 12, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

An Edward's comeback? From where?

Posted by: jim weaver on November 12, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

This survey of opinions seems to indicate that if Edwards is to 'return' he needs to wander in the desert a while and do some penance by working for the poor.

Is there a position in the government which would allow him to do just that or does he need to work outside of government?

It also seems to me that if he wants to be a high-level politician he needs to build his resume. The question is whether that's in government or not and if it's in government then what exactly would he need to do. Should he, for example, be involved with foreign aid. Maybe he should work through the U.N. aid programs.

He needs to decide what he wants and if that involves working through government, then it would be up to Obama to decide whether to help.

Posted by: MarkH on November 12, 2008 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

From the sequence of events it seems to me that the Edwards/Hunter affair started between the initial episode and the recurrence of her illness. The affair was confessed last August, and it is not clear when the affair ended, but it seems to have started in November '06. Elizabeth's recurrence was announced the following April.

Does this excuse Edwards' behavior? No, of course not. But his behavior is not in the same league as Newt who allegedly negotiated his divorce with his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. He is a true piece of work and seems rehabilitated to me. So, Steve, I think you are way off base in your assessment.

If Elizabeth has forgiven him who are we to judge either of them? This sort of thing is part of life, so get a grip.

All politicians campaign on their integrity, even the Rudy Giulianis of the world. My expectations are that our political class is as human as the rest of us and I judge them accordingly.

I admire what Edwards did in advocating a more liberal position on the issues. He did this country a favor despite his screw up. The guy has talent and this country could use him. I hope he remains a public figure.

As for Elizabeth, I think she is one of the most compelling political figures this country has seen in a long time. She was a very large part of my support for her husband. Let's hope this country has the benefit of her energies for a very long time.

Posted by: Nat on November 12, 2008 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with AK Liberal up above.

It's bad enough that the guy cheated on his wife who had announced that she had incurable cancer. That classifies you as scum in my book from the get go.

But even if you take the line that what happens in the bedroom shouldn't have a bearing on one's ability to govern, he was either completely and utterly dense in thinking that this would remain buried for the entire Presidential campaign had he won the nomination, or he knew it could possibly come out and decided to roll the dice anyways.

Either situation is an automatic disqualifier for ever getting another look from me. Edwards couldn't keep his dick in his pants and put the election on the line anyways. Good riddance.

Posted by: Quinn on November 12, 2008 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Nat. Y'all are off on the timeline.

And he didn't come anywhere near the nomination (he dropped out just before Super Tuesday), and I don't think he intended to. I live in Tennessee, a Super Tuesday state where he had a lot of support, but he had absolutely no organization here last winter.

I think he got in to get into the argument, like Kucinich does. And he was effective, because Obama and Hillary tilted their health care stances as the debates went on.

I just can't hate on the guy, because I have no idea how I'd handle his situation.

Posted by: hamletta on November 12, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards is also relatively young, and young looking. He's built his story as a family man, one that overcame hardship with the death of his son.

I think it's almost expected from smarmy older guys to finagle their way into an affair. It's different for Edwards because hasn't established himself in that above a certain age threshold perception to cross that affair line. Plus it goes against everything he built himself up as.

Clinton always had that I want to get caught because I'm a bad boy type of attitude. It was almost expected. With Edwards it's an appalling shock.

Posted by: Mick on November 13, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

I dislike John Edwards.
I never trusted him and we now have one reason why.

I really don't care that he had an affair and I have substantial confidence he CAN woo voters to back him again.

He is a very smooth talker and he should be able to get 51% again someday.

Just an observation, not a compliment.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 13, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK



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