When the handsome, smooth talking John Edwards, a charming North Carolina senator, first appeared on my political radar about 6 years ago, I remember telling my husband that he reminded me of John Kennedy. I have always loved all things Kennedy, so from me this is a supreme compliment. You might recall the blubbering mess I was for the entire summer of 1999, grief-riddled in mourning for the loss of my darling John Jr.
As I logged onto msn yesterday, my jaw gaped open as I read the headline, "John Edwards admits affair, denies fathering child."
What? Are there two John Edwards?
The first thought running through my mind as I clicked on the article's link was that this affair had to be ancient history. Although stumbling onto the headline and then opening the full article only took a matter of a few seconds, I had already convinced myself that this was going to be the unearthing of some ancient love affair, a slip in John's distant past.
Boy, was I wrong about that! The lurid facts of John's not-so-ancient liaison flooded my brain. So, in 2006, as John was kicking up the volume to his presidential campaign, which was relatively successful in spite of his early withdrawal from the race, he was also puttin' it to a woman not his wife.
As I absorbed all sordid details of John's romance with Rielle Hunter, I realized that John Edwards was more like John Kennedy than I realized when I made that comparison a few years ago. Rowdy and I watched watched a documentary on The History Channel last week about the American Mafia's business in Cuba during the 1950s. One of the gangsters, now wrinkled and withered grandfather almost unfathomable as a former black-hearted crime boss, recounted a threesome he and another underworld figured orchestrated for the future president John Kennedy. Reading this unbelievable article about the secret life of John Edwards, I shook my head and thought of that.
And then, of course, I thought of John's wife Elizabeth. She's already fighting an uphill battle against stage 4 breast cancer, holding tightly to her life and reconciling to her young children, Cate, 26, Emma Claire, 10, and Jack, 8, that she very likely will be absent for the bulk of their lives. As soon as I noticed John, I noticed Elizabeth. I've admired the class and frank honesty she's displayed while raising a family in and around hectic and often brutal national politics, speaking candidly about her disease and the stern reality that it will likely end her life prematurely and, of course, the never-ending pain of losing a child. In 1996, she and John's oldest son Wade was killed in a car accident. He was 16.
My admiration for Elizbeth Edwards sparked to full-blown, unfettering love when she phoned that nasty, distasteful Ann Coulter, while Ann was on Harball with Chris Matthews to ask that tacky harpy to leave her deceased child out of her insane political rants. If you don't recall, Ann not only claimed that John is "a faggot," which is totally unacceptable hate talk, she also said she wishes he would've been killed by terrorist and, most disgusting of all, suggested that John Edwards has a bumper sticker on his car asking the public to ask about his dead son, thus accusing him of using his son's tragic death for political gain.

I'm calling you … in the South when someone does something that displeases us, we wanna ask them politely to stop doing it. Uh - I'd like to ask Ann Coulter -- if she wants to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- but uh it's quite another matter for these personal attacks that the things she has said over the years not just about John but about other candidates. It lowers our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. So I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely stop the personal attacks.....
You wrote a column a couple years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean's death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said ask me about my dead son. This is not legitimate political dialogue.

So, as I've come to know and love Elizabeth over the past few years, I was mortified for her yesterday. No one likes to look like a fool, especially in front of the entire country. And, I'm in no way suggesting that Elizabeth looks foolish. She doesn't, John does. But, when you've been cheated on, that is one of your many emotions.
As I continued to process all this yesterday, I had some of the same feelings as one of my favorite bloggers, PunditMom. She wrote:
Whether it's our business or not, when you get caught (and people always get caught), it will pretty much be the end of your career, unless you are an uber-politician like Bill Clinton.

John, how could you not know that? The only way I would be more ticked off right now, is if you HAD become the Democratic nominee and this news was coming out 2 1/2 weeks before the convention. In any event, the GOP is still going to find a way to make hay with this. I know they are working on the ad even as I am typing this post.


If we held John Edwards to his campaign rhetoric, he knew as much or more than anyone how important this election is. We have no idea not only how to end this war, but are also dangerously close to expanding it in other Middle Eastern countries. The world's overall opinion of our country has never been worse. In order to keep these Bush tax cuts, the first tax cuts we've ever had during wartime during the history of this country, we borrow in the ball park of $3 billion each month from China, India and various other nations. Few things are more dangerous to a country's vitality than mounting war debt. Just ask the Romans or the English Empire or the Russians circa 1992. Each month's home foreclosure numbers breaks the last month's record for the worst month in history. We cheer when Wall Street reports flat retail numbers instead of declining ones, which has been the norm since last summer. Salaries have remained stagnant while the cost of fuel, food and health care have skyrocketed. John repeatedly sited these things and many others on the campaign trail.
So, why would he jeopardize this important election by screwing up like this? Screwing, by the way, is the operative word in the sentence.
I still get pissed off when I think of the ridicules Monica Lewinksy witch hunt this nation went through in the late 1990s. That bottom-feeding, media whore Ken Starr wasted billions of tax payers' dollars investigating a blowjob as though it were a high-profile murder. Can you imagine how many unsolved crimes would have been, well, solved if we devoted to them even half the resources he did toward defining whether oral sex is or is not, in fact, sex? And Congress and Newt Gingrich, who coincidentally was screwing his intern at the time, seriously shut down the government to flex their powerful muscles during this nonsense.
Now, I could see pre-Lewinsky where politician could feel brazen enough to dip their wick outside the marriage ink pool. Almost every important leader in this country from Thomas Jefferson to Richard Nixon did the very same. This post would go on literally forever it I typed out the illicit presidential nookie that I personally have read about. Of course, we took a little break from it during the Reagan-Bush I years, but that's only because The Gipper was 200 years old and Viagra hadn't been invented yet. Trust me, 'Ole Ronnie had many successful years of whore mongering out in Hollywood.
So, I don't care who a president is sleeping with. Some of our best leaders have been the biggest tom cats in the bunch. However, I apparently stand nearly alone in this and John knows that. I am not pissed off that he cheated on Elizabeth, though I do have great sympathy for her in that. Either way, it's in between them. I am pissed off that, with his great knowledge of what the Clinton-Lewinksy circus did to our nation and our party, that he would still seek the presidency knowing this would feed our need for sex scandals. Until the last decades, the sex lives of our presidents were largely considered off limits to the press and, yet, we still know that Jefferson fathered a child with his slave and that FDR died with his mistress and that, among Kennedy's numerous extra martial trysts, that he had a freakin' threesome in Cuba 60 damn years ago! Now we report president's and presidential candidate's sex lives more passionately than we do their positions. Get your head of the gutter. I mean positions like tax policy and health care reform not missionary and doggie style. If you tuned into a nightly news broadcast now for the first time, you would honestly think it was the latter, though.
So, seriously John, even after this was rumored in The National Enquirer last year, you went to visit this woman in a hotel room this last week? Did you think that since you weren't the nominee you wouldn't be followed? Every nice word Barack Obama has ever said about you most assuredly will be dug up and played next to clips of Jeremiah Wright. I really wanted to see what kind of president you would've been, but I am now so thankful you weren't our nominee. Whatever reason you went to visit Ms. Hunter, you were breaking some rule in doing so.
John Edwards released a statement last night and it contained several sentences that made me want to shake my head in disbelief, as though he truly learned nothing from the Clinton ordeal. Not so appalling was that he claimed to have already told his family of his slip and I truly hope that is true. I can imagine no way is worse than the way Hillary found out about Bill's infidelity. John needed to apologize publicly and there are certainly parts of the statement that no one could debate, like this one,
In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.

However, I fear that other portions of it will come back to bite him in his pretty ass just like Bill Clinton's, "Define what 'is' is."
When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough.

99 percent? Are you fucking for real, John?
With allegations already stemming all over the internet that he gave Rielle Hunter hush money, you can bet that investigations into donor fraud will ensue. He swears Rielle's six-month-old daughter Francis Quinn Hunter isn't his child and, if the affair truly ended when he says it did, that should be true. Maury Show, here we come! But, the problem is that John's denied this story before, so no one believes him now. You know Maury does the lie detector tests, too.
With Eliot Spitzer's young prostitute girlfriend Ashley Dupree now taking million dollar reality TV deals, you can bet that Rielle Hunter will be the dirty story of the year. As soon as the Olympics is over, I'm sure she'll have mascara running down her shivering face as she confides to Barbara Walters and all of America the plight of love-torn, adulterous heart. And if this seems to do any damage to Barack Obama's campaign, you can bet that some group pulling for him will air ads about John McCain's colorful sex life. Just so you know, while I am an Obama Momma, I neither care nor want to know about who John McCain has or has not screwed. I don't think it has anything to do with presidenting, as George Bush calls it. If anything, being a practicing horn dog only seems to make presidents more efficient. I sure wish George would go out for some strange, you know what I mean?
By November, this election is going to make The Jerry Springer Show look like a Tony Award winning play. You know how much I love, love, love those "Who's Your Daddy?" Maury shows. I just think Washington is incestuous and dysfunctional enough without sensational paternity tests.
Way to go, John!

2 comments:

Jen Witherby said...

Us democrats.....we love us some sexual mishaps. What can I say? Like I said about Clinton...BAD husband, great president.

Shonda Little said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm not mad at John for cheating on Elizabeth. That's between them. I am mad at John for jeopardizing the election for his own ambition. He knew this was out there and he knows most people sadly don't feel the way you and I do.

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