In defense of John Edwards

I met John Edwards once at a Best Buy, I think it was. We were both buying a computer. Being rich, he was getting the one I had wanted. We chatted about the recent lost to President Bush and I told him that he should have gone after those lies harder about John Kerry and he told me he had wanted to, but that the advisers had ruled against it. He went on to say that he would definitely be more aggressive in the future.

Flash forward 2012. He is facing a trial for what many people believe is a political and judicial over-reach at best, for something, post Citizens United, isn't even a crime anymore. The thing that gets me is even those people that believe he really didn't do anything essentially criminal, still preface their remarks by saying "Sure, John Edwards is a despicable human being, but ..." Really? Despicable?

I'm going to say what everyone is thinking, but are too politically correct to say. Basically, the facts. John Edwards is a fairly good looking man ... a millionaire ... a politician and he was married to a woman that was not as good looking as one would think someone like him would have on his arm. There. I said it. Now I know, she gave him several kids, she was not 20 anymore and she was sick with cancer. This isn't an indictment against her ... it's just the facts.

So you are good looking. You are rich. You are a politician. You have women throwing themselves at you 24/7. You are on the road in a thousand hotel rooms on the campaign trail and, Oh yes, you have that inconsiderate penis with you at all times, telling you to do crazy crap. I know mine never shuts up! Enter the not so cute videographer gal, constantly giving you that come heather look. How many of us wouldn't say "Oh what the hell. Maybe just this onc e... OK just twice ... Oh what Hell, I'll just go for it."?

Now if you say "Not me! I'd never have tapped that! I love my wife!", I'd say "Ah yea ... me neither!", (Seinfeld eye roll)but there is an inconvenient and constant truth. Wait for it, wait for it ... MEN CHEAT! That's what we do. Women have known this for years. The naive ones still believe that we only cheat with the younger gal or the thinner gal or the prettier gal. The fact is, as Chris Rock says, "A man is only as faithful as his opportunities." They asked Woody Allen once, "What makes a woman good in bed?" His answer? "Being there!" Say it isn't so, but it's so.

Edwards made a lot of mistakes to be sure, but the one mistake he made that nobody talks about, is he made his late wife, a talk show darling. We all felt sorry for her, but even more so, after we got to know her on the TV machine as being articulate, sweet and funny. After falling in love with her, we felt her humiliation and pain even more so. And now we wants some blood. We want(s) it as a final tribute to Elizabeth. Having lost her battle, left her kids ... we find it so unfair that the cheater with the money and the good hair is still here and she is gone, so we want to take him down.

Some news organization said in a poll, that John Edwards was the most hated man in North Carolina. Are you freaking kidding me? There are some truly despicable people in this state. We got murders, rapists, child abusers and dead beat dads ... we even got people that want to change our constitution to include hateful and discriminatory language; and John Freakin Edwards is the most hated man in the state?

If he gets convicted, does a bunch of years in the slammer (when Nifong got one day), comes out and his hair isn't as pretty, his wallet isn't as fat and , Oh yea, his kids have grown up without either parent, we can all say we got the cheater with the fancy hair and the Romney walk (what's with that?) and we can all turn to our wives and say "See Honey? We'd never have done that; and you're right that woman over there should be ashamed of herself, wearing that short skirt. What decent man would even look at that?" (out the corner of our eye ... ).


If Edwards gets jail time for this, I have to ask

what bankers and investment fraudsters got any jail time for the $Billions they ripped off? The answer, of course, is I think Edward's "crime" is a matter of bad judgement and ethical failure. I'm not condoning or excusing, I just think the potential punishment far outweighs the crime. That said, Edwards deserves some sort of comeuppance for fleecing his donors when he early on KNEW he was never going to make it to the White House and lied about everything. It's also fair, even if unkind, to point out that Ms. Edwards also behaved as if John was the victim of a smear when she apparently knew differently...and also thereby helped fleece donors. Many (of us) who were Edwards supporters know people who scrimped in order to be able to donate to his campaign...because they/we believed in his message and hoped for something better than Bush. I wonder if John even cares that people skipped lunches to donate...and that he screwed them too. If so, he has never apologized.

If ethical failure and bad judgement was criminal, there likely aren't too many of us, and certainly very few members of Congress, that wouldn't be in deep yogurt at one time or another. So, like Edwards or not, we can't forget he is human. What a conflicting mess....

Stan Bozarth

I don't think he deserves jail time either

But you know what pisses me off? The fact that he used campaign money (a few dollars of which was mine) to hush-up a personal matter, when he had access to millions of non-campaign dollars in personal income that could have been used.

Had he used that personal money, as opposed to dipping in the campaign coffers, he wouldn't be on trial right now.

I agree with you.

It was part of his betrayal of himself and everything/one else.

Stan Bozarth

Great post

Thanks for writing this.

Yes, a great post

It's very hard to say stuff that you know will not be received well by the people who read this blog. I do agree with most of it.

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

This is a pretty astounding

This is a pretty astounding post. I certainly hope you don't have daughters (or sons, for that matter) who fall in love with men who cheat and come to you heartbroken. It'll only compound their pain to hear their parents diminish their hurt by saying, "Oh, well, men's their nature. Too bad." Geez...

Also? Can we stop pretending that all Edwards did wrong (ethically, not legally) was cheat on his wife (who happened to have cancer)? One day his daughter will be confronted with the reality that for the first few years of her life, her father denied her existence.

That said, I think there's a difference between being despicable (and he certainly is) and being guilty of a crime...which I'm not convinced he is.

[Why is John Edwards the most hated man in North Carolina? Because: 1. he was polled on, 2. his transgressions are well-known and 3. he has high name recognition.]

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

He who is without sin, yada, yada, yada...

You miss my point. I'm not say every man cheats. I'm saying it is in man's nature to take advantage of opportunity. The ideal is that everyone becomes and remains true to their marriage. However, we have a lot better things to do and alot better use precious judicial resources than to be wasting them going after a guy who spent money (albeit campaign money) to hide an affair. Fine him and let's move on. Politics is driving this prosecution and we risk keeping good people from running if we keep doing this crap. Governor Mike Easley was the Attorney General of North Carolina-brought down over campaign funds. Rod Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years in prison-political crimes. 14 YEARS. Speaker Jim Black one of the longest serving speakers in NC history - 5 years plus - political crimes. None of these guys were saints, but to use the heavy hand of the courts to go after them this harshly, inaccurately pretends that much worse isn't going on everyday. Remember attorneys Rachel Lea Hunter and Bestsy Wolfenden? Both female attorneys. Both ran for office in North Carolina. Both called crazy and disbarred by the NC State Bar. It seems that if your political opponents want to punish you, they use campaign finance laws or the State Bar as their weapon of choice. It's a shame.

All you puritans out there...

get over your self-righteous selves. If you can honestly say you have never sinned, get a life.

Citizens Untied makes this trial a sham and a prurient curiosity.

oh, for heaven's sakes

I don't know why anyone acts surprised when politicians get involved in scandals like this one -- clearly the kind of Alpha male that goes into politics very often also goes in for as many women as possible. The whole campaign money thing smells like an excuse to punish a man for his moral behavior. I view the whole trial as irrelevant to anyone but Edwards and his family.

But having said that -- seriously?! 1) you think men cheat because their wives aren't good looking enough? I've seen men with drop dead gorgeous wives cheat again and again, either because they're looking for something they aren't ever going to find (a sense of self worth) or they are bored with a woman who does nothing but spend time with her personal care products. Beyond that, come on: there was SO much more to Elizabeth Edwards than how she looked, or being charming and funny. So very, very much more. It is rare to find someone as beautiful inside (and outside) as she was. Why would you think her husband cheated on her based on how she looked? He knew her better than any of us and he knew her real worth.

Face it. Virtually every man on this planet makes an absolute fool of himself when he goes through mid-life. It's just that most of you get to do it out of the public eye. He didn't. And if the people of NC hate him, it's probably because his political rise was made very easy for him and he blew it, pretty much ditching NC in the process. Me? I don't hate the man. Seems like being him and knowing his children are reading everything in the papers is punishment enough.

Katy Munger,
Progress North Carolina Action

Lead, follow or get out of the way....

hunter the videographer, or is it hush money

does anyone not see the fact that rielle hunter was the videographer for the edwards campaign and not seeing the campaign books couldn't you see where they hid the money to rielle under the guise of her being a videographer in campaign reports. I am just speculating but they could hide the payments under her being the videographer for edwards campaign and this could be considered illegal contributions if she didn't do anymore videographing but still got paid. Just a thought.


Simply terrible blog. Did Rush Limbaugh write this? I don't think this man is hated simply because he cheated on his wife - or even his dying wife. Yeah, so lots of men do that which is obviously celebrated by you - but its the fact that he did that plus wrongly used campaign money to cover it up. Why must you bring up your opinion that he was more attractive than his wife (which, by the way is YOUR opinion. I think she was way more beautiful) and use a sweeping generalization that all men cheat on women. Speak for yourself mister, - not all men feel the need to show off their power or on the flipside - supplement their inferiority complex by sleeping with any and all women. You are NOT stating facts, but rather and simply your opinion on this matter.

Rush Limbaugh? You Cut Me Deeply

Never been compared to Rush, but you make my point. Your outrage seems more about Edwards' character than his purported crime. I don't celebrate his cheating. I simply say, if he is going to be publically humiliated, then let's put him in the town square, in stocks with a scarlet "C" painted on his buttocks, but let's stop pretending this prosecution is anything but vindictive political payback. You don't have to celebrate nose picking to say that at one time or another, everyone has done it. It's disgusting, but we don't haul you into court for it, pretending its for something else.

I really can't believe the rationalization going on this thread.

Edwards is an absolute creep. He has betrayed so many people on so many levels it could be a Guiness record. Legally he diverted campaign money to payoff or otherwise support his mistress. If I had contributed to his campaign I'd have a perfect right to feel betrayed just like the 1000's of other good people who gave him money so that he and his almighty ego could become president of the United States. Are you kidding me? I would hope the POTUS would have a sturdier moral compass. Or have morals at all. You compare Edward's situation to picking your nose !?!?!? WTF!!!

And I am equally sick of seeing generalities about men, middle aged men and politicians. Headlines do not allow for sweeping generalizations. Yes, power does corrupt some people, but by far the majority of elected servants do so with honor and integrity.

I thought BlueNC was where NC comes to think. 'bout time some of you started.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

On Edwards

I've received more emails on this than there have been comments posted, asking if I've lost my mind by writing such a post. Just to be clear, I didn't write it, but I did front-page it, and I do agree with the general sentiment expressed.

Should Edwards be punished if he has broken laws? Of course. Should people be cheering for him to get raped in prison? You tell me.

America's preoccupation with celebrity drama and retribution is sick.

It's a big story

I'm not particularly pleased with the points set out in the OP, but it has given people a place to let off steam one way or another.

The paper said today that Edward's Atty is trying to make

the case that Edward's aide, Andrew Young, solicited the funds and then used them to build a $1.5M house in Chapel Hill. I find this very hard to believe.

Andrew and his wife are nice people and they got sucked through the sewer during this whole affair. Andrew, in my opinion, made a mistake volunteering to fall on his sword for Edwards, and in so doing created an atmosphere where donors could continue to believe in Edwards and Edwards could continue to fleece them...knowing full well the truth would ultimately come out.

It's going to interesting to follow the story and see what is exposed under oath. I assume Andrew's immunity would not extend to perjuring himself during the trial...not that he would...but I suspect we're going to hear some surprising things.

Stan Bozarth

Diet Due Process in the Edwards Case...

You are on trial for your freedom and maybe even your very life (jail ain't pretty) and the government's star witness has been conversating (hate that word) with some of the other witnesses just days before the trial. What? THIS IS NORTH of only 7 states that still allow alienation of affection lawsuits...we admonished the witnesses, didn't we? Now sit yo cheating tail down, pretty boy....The Trial Continues................