August 10, 2008
It was a shock to learn that the rantings on Fox News and The National Enquirer about John Edwards were more than that; that it was actually true that John Edwards had succumbed to the siren song of sex while married to an admirable and attractive woman. Not that he didn't seem the type, not that he should have been wiser or more careful -- just, well, damn it, I just expected more of him.
My friends warned me, he's superficial, he pays $400 just to get his hair cut, he smiles too much, he's too good-looking. But I was so impressed with his programs of help for the poor--never a vote-getting platform--his southern ease, his earnestness. I had high hopes for him, and now I can't help but think his career is over. I liked his wife, I liked his family, I felt I knew him, and I thought there was more there than met the eye.
Why would it matter to me about this brief dalliance? It would appear that it was an irresistible urge, the kind that it is human to give into and assume it's what one deserves. As Edward VII said when he abdicated for Wallis Simpson, "What's the good of being king if I can't have what I want?" The press is calling Miss Hunter his mistress, but that really doesn't seem the right term for it. It could have been a love affair, but it wasn't much of one. And it couldn't have been worth losing what he'd spent his lifetime working toward.
I usually don't judge people about such matters. These things happen. Elizabeth may have been furious, as he reports, but it was clearly up to her to forgive or not, and she did. I'm disappointed in the man all the same, and I regret that such a public humiliation had to come in such a tawdry way with this particular woman, that there was a payoff and a baby involved. I'm sorry, but there will always be a cloud over him. It was more than a momentary lack of judgment. It was a deal breaker.