Son of a [mill-worker]

Not only women want John Edwards's head on a platter. I counted at least seven reporter/columnists in the Sunday N&O and NYTimes gleefully dissing him, saying they never liked the former senator in the first place. Aha! Pants on fire! For some reason, the same dedicated campaign hangers-on always found it necessary to quote the poor slob verbatim, as did his girlfriend who had all sorts of editing power: "I have come to the personal conclusion that I actually want the country to see who I really am." What a revelation! This is Edwards-speak at its finest, and it started with his hotel ballroom acceptance of the NC senatorial election: "All I just really wanna say, candidly, is this is the best day of my life." Oh, please. Now we get this junk about narcissism and how he's been stripped bare. Stepping out while his wife's cancer was in remission as opposed to deathly (oops) does not forgive a single minute of the pleasure he took in that so-called mistake.

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Total votes: 180

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The worse thing for me about this ugly mess is that it rachets up my cynicism for politics and politicians a couple of more notches (and I'm nearly out of notches). Is there any way to save our system from the discarding of principles that seems to now routinely accompany the money and power that is associated with our higher public offices?

it is beyond absurd to see the moralizing and hand-wringing about Edwards when we have witnessed the hijacking of our government that has resulted in mass murder of Iraqis & Afghanis, war profiteering, torture, corporate larceny, Constitutional betrayal, etc.

 The worst thing Edwards did was stand on the sidelines in self-imposed impotence  with the rest of the miserable Democrats while these crimes were being committed. Yet we only hear the howls of outrage for his recent bad behavior.

I was certainly glad to see Edwards beat Lauch Faircloth for the U.S. Senate seat in 1998, but I felt betrayed when he dumped us after just one term in the Senate to pursue his presidential ambitions in 2004. (Note that Kerry, Clinton, Obama and others managed to run for president without leaving the Senate.)

I was hesitant at first, but got quite sucked-in to Edwards' 2008 campaign.  Brian R and I were both impressed with his authenticity (ha ha), smart use of social media, and moderately progressive message. We were sad to see his campaign didn't do better. 

It was when he stepped out of the race without supporting another candidate that I realized he was just in it for himself. He saved his public endorsement until it was long past the time when his support would have made a difference, apparently so that he could work both sides. This was not courageous leadership.

He has now ensured that even that wheeling and dealing will be for naught. And worse: I think these actions will serve to dim Elizabeth's star. For example she is joining him in sitting out the convention (since he is no longer going to be speaking there).That's the real loss to the public here.

Finally, I want to say that I try not to judge people based on how they manage their own personal relationships, but that presidential candidates cannot have big secrets!  Imagine if he was in the Whitehouse and Ms. Hunter or an associate decided to blackmail him. It's not so much that it's morally wrong as it is just plain stupid.

Ruby's last point -- about potential blackmail and conflicts of interest -- is the only reason that Bill Clinton's philandering every particularly bothered me.  Impeachable?  Nope.  Dangerous and stupid?  Yup.

Ruby has summed up most of my feelings. I too am upset that some are "moralizing and hand-wringing about Edwards". Supporting the deaths of thousands due to war is a much more grave moral failing IMHO.

I will do my best not to become jaded and mistrust politicians. I want to continue to believe that honest real people can be elected to serve. When those folks stand up and run I'll help them like the optimist that I am. Dishonest politicians can not destroy my faith in good government. But don't think just because I'm a liberal I'll only vote for Democrats...

"Note that Kerry, Clinton, Obama and others managed to run for president without leaving the Senate."

 None of those were in Edwards' situation: having a Senate term ending the same year as the presidential election. 

The only ways for Edwards to run "without leaving the Senate" would have been to (a) run for re-election in 2004 and not run for the White House until 2008 or (b) try to run for President and Senate in 2004.  Certainly once he had the VP nomination in '04 there was no realistic way to run for Senate re-election on the same ballot.

Is it asking so much for him to run for a second term to keep that hard-won seat for Democrats?  In retrospect, I think he would have done well to establish himself with more than 6 years of elected experience before launching a presidential campaign.
He would have been better off just waiting a few more years. But maybe he just didn't like being a Senator. 

To say there is "no realistic way" to run for both VP and re-election to the Senate ignores the fact that Joe Lieberman did just that in 2000.

Of course, that was Connecticut.  Joe won twice on the same ballot, but in North Carolina, John Edwards would have likely lost twice.

Hopefully the next time such an obviously power-hungry and unapoligetic populist comes to town, people might recognize the relationship between the two.

It's little consolation to me that I never really liked him all that much in the first place. Like Ruby, I was disappointed he gave up his Senate seat. However, I never really bought his populist change of heart. 

For those who haven't heard, it seems Edwards is also closing up shop on some of his anti-poverty work:

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/08/hbc-90003382

This article from Harper's quotes a June NY Times article about how Edwards used his anti-poverty foundation to support his run for the presidency. As in, it didn't so much anti-poverty work.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/22/us/politics/22edwards.html

Harper's also quotes an N&O article you all may have seen, about how Edwards is ending a pilot "College for Everyone" program.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/22/us/politics/22edwards.html

All very sad. 

The Chapel Hill News had an editorial about Edwards yesterday saying "Without D.C. beckoning, chances are he's going to remain our neighbor for a good long while. If Elizabeth doesn't kick him out of their Old Greensboro Road mansion, that is."

Do you think maybe we can finally get either of them engaged in local issues now?

Well, the door is open.  But they're awfully isolated in that Old Greensboro Road mansion.  There's not much neighborhood out there.  The Edwards kids attend public school, right?  This might be the best/quickest/only avenue to community involvement for Elizabeth. 
The H-S article this monring indicated that Jack was being home schooled.  It didn't say anything about his sister.

I'm not really sure that John Edwards is enough of a public figure at this point to even merit the kind of scrutiny he is getting.  He is clearly not a candidate for Vice-president anymore and I really think it is better to leave off the guy for now.  He has done something really, really stupid and he needs to focus on his wife and family.  I am inclined to give him the space to do that.

There are two sides to this.  On one side it is ridiculous that people care so much about things unrelated directly to policy.  On the other side is the fact that, considering people do care so much about things undirectly related to policy, politicians are encouraged to try to milk it for all they can.  The reason Edwards caught so much grief recently isn't because he cheated on his wife but rather because he came off as such a hypocrite after trying to project himself as such a family guy.

 When you stop to think about it, the publc opinoin trend on Edwards has been to like him a lot at the start and then to slowly trend to dislike.  In NC he ran for the Senate when he was a new name and he won but when it was time to run for re-election the polls said he might not win even with the advantage of being an incumbent.  And when he ran for President he did well early in the 2004 primaries and then faded, doing no good for John Kerry by the time of the general election in 2004 and then getting nowhere in the 2008 campaign.

 I hate to diss on Elizabeth because she has been struck with cancer but assuming that what John has said publicly recently is true (and trusting anyting he says to be true is a stretch at this point), Elizabeth knew John had been having an affair and yet she agreed to go along with his presidential run.  If he hadn't run for President then none of this would have become public.  I feel bad for her that she was so careless as to make such a foolish decision while knowing their lives would be under intense scrutiny.  And now she is asking for privacy.  That is pretty much the defintion of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

 I don't know the details of what can and can't be done around town according to the law but just taking a common sense approach to things I can't believe that there are many things worse for the town, or at least for the environment, than one family buying 100 acres close to town and putting up one house on it.  One-third of UNC's 11,000 employees have a commute of 10 miles or more and yet we have ths giant chunk of land just a few miles from campus on which one family lives, none of which commute to UNC.  If you're going to have 100 acres of unused land that close to campus and force a bunch of other people to commute as a result then at least make the land public land that citizens can explore and enjoy too.

 

Jose,

One of the great things about this country is that, in spite of everything that George W and his cronies have done, we still have individual rights. If someone wants to buy 100 acres of land and put a single house on it they can do it. We use to call those farms or ranches when they were being used agriculturally or, if you only put a few cows on it, we called the owner a 'gentleman farmer'. Nonetheless, an individual has that right and we should respect rights of land ownership.

Regarding your statement:

"One-third of UNC's 11,000 employees have a commute of 10 miles or more and yet we have ths giant chunk of land just a few miles from campus on which one family lives, none of which commute to UNC. If you're going to have 100 acres of unused land that close to campus and force a bunch of other people to commute as a result then at least make the land public land that citizens can explore and enjoy too."

We already have ~1000 (not 100, mind you) acres of publicly-owned (UNC-CH/State of NC) land a mile or so from the UNC campus. Perhaps you might want to talk to the University about what they might do to help provide closer-in housing for their faculty and staff before we start thinking about limiting the rights of landowners, particularly when they live outside the city limits of either Chapel Hill or Carrboro.

I agree.  About ten years ago UNC re-modeled Finley Golf Course.  Wasn't there a way where they could somehow have turned all that land into housing for UNC employees that would have profitlable to UNC and then used that money to build three golf courses 5-10 miles out of town in each direction? 

And in addition to that there is another golf course next to UNC.  Perhaps I'm an anti-golfist because I don't golf but I'm not crazy about all these golf courses right next to the workplace of a bunch of people that live far away from work.

The people felt free to dissect Hillary Clinton's marriage a few years ago when she "stood by her man."  For a while during the primaries, I thought she'd stand a better chance of winning if she filed for divorce.  Now we're starting to criticize Elizabeth Edwards's allegiance to her philandering husband.  What choice did she have?  His organization was mobilized to cover for him and push him to the top.  She was outnumbered AND practically canonized as one of America's most admired women at the same time! 

I don't hear people objecting so much to Elizabeth's decision to stay with her husband (not that I hear much at all about this from Egypt, but I have been reading a lot about it).

The concerns I have heard, rather, focus on her role in the cover-up. Rather than being the victim, the critique goes, she was part of the lies, all for the sake of ambition.  

NC Policy Watch has an excellent commentary on John Edwards today: "If society discounted the words and insights of every person that has engaged in some form of personal or professional treachery in their lives, we would have precious little to go on.....As important, however, as honesty is in the personal life of public figures, it's critical that we not make the mistake of trashing the truths that Edwards did speak during his time on the stage. Despite his all-too-human personal behaviors, Edwards spoke the truth about the obscenity of modern American poverty and economic inequality. He spoke the truth when he shined a light on the fact that a tiny and shrinking percentage of Americans controls nearly half the nation's wealth. Indeed, the fact that he was a member of that elite group and still spoke out probably inures to his credit."

No, no, no.  Saying anything positive about John Edwards at this point does nothing other than harm whatever causes he (pretended to) espouse.

 In a sense it is silly that Americans focus so much on things that are separate from policy issues, such as private issues, and I can understand trying to change that.  But given that it exists, you can't take the good but not the bad.  Edwards milked his wife's medical situation for all it was worth and that is why he got slammed so hard recently.  He wasn't slammed for his cheatng on his wife but rather for his hypocrisy.

 Also I think people should consider Edwards political history.  He ran for Senator from NC and won.  He was popular at first.  By the end of his term when the people of NC had seen a lot of him, it was very questionable whether he would even win re-election.  People in NC tired of him.

It was irrelevant because he didn't run for the Senate again and instead ran for President.  At the start of that (early in the 2004 primaries) he did well.  After that his popularity faded.  He didn't do well in the later primaries, he didn't help Kerry in the general election and he didn't do well in 2008 primaries.  People in the US tired of him.

 The common theme is that the more people the see of this guy the less they like him.  And that doesn't even count these recent developments.

The people that are chagrined that Edwards was highlighting issues they were interested in and then was de-railed should consider for a minute that having such a person highlighting their issues was a disadvantage from the start.  Even if Edwards was elected President what makes you think he would have pursued any of the issues he said he'd pursue anyway?  The fact that he pretended he would've doesn't mean he would've.

 

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