When John Edwards was running for president, I wrote a blog saying why I didn't like him. I didn't like him any less after his clay feet were revealed. It didn't surprise me, nor did I personally care that he had an affair. I have never felt that a politician's private sexual choices were the business of the voter-- unless they break the law. The aspect of hiding something that likely would have doomed Edwards' candidacy, if he had gotten the nomination, was a character flaw; but since I hadn't trusted his character, it also was no surprise.
His wife was another story. I didn't know what to think about Elizabeth Edwards. There was this public persona of the almost saintly woman and yet what was this about knowing he had the affair but still pretending they had a perfect marriage? Wasn't that attempting to foist a fraud onto voters for the sake of her husband's ambitions? Or was it her ambitions? Was she an enabler? At the time, I didn't think too much about it and more or less justified her actions by thinking she loves him, she has terminal cancer, she has suffered great losses, she believed in his abilities.
[Kathleen Parker wrote a piece that pretty well says what I am now thinking: Elizabeth the Hypocrite.]
Does writing about something, as Edwards has with her newest book help her, help others? If she was going to write it, might it have been better to wait until she was no longer angry-- which is clearly not yet? Maybe she doesn't have that time.
Striking out at the other woman also strikes out at the child who most likely is John Edwards' offspring. That child is a her, not an it. Does it help Elizabeth's pain to publicly publish her feelings about it all? It didn't take genius to imagine her anger and disappointment without this book.
Do people who buy such books tacitly encourage such revelations to vicariously gloat or suffer-- or is it about the juicy details they hope to find in the pages. Soap opera made political.
I won't be reading her book but the details are out there through her promotional tour starting with Oprah-- which I also didn't see but who could miss the details as they were in all the papers.
Evidently Elizabeth, as so many scorned women have, blames the other woman for something her husband did. Sorry, but there are always other people. This is about her husband's promise, not with whichever woman he had the affair.
To me what she has done with writing this book and then promoting it through all these high end interviews is worse than if she had flared out at the time the infidelity came out. Her thinking still is not clear of the anger and to use this huge venue to pillory him (or is this to pillory that 'other' woman and redeem his political career as some have suggested?) doesn't seem like wise judgment. The book may not be primarily about his infidelity and her reaction to it but it sounds like the interviews have been.
Elizabeth wouldn't answer in one interview whether she still loves him (I would take that as a no to at least to being in love) but in another she said she does love him still. Has she been reading the unflattering comments about her reasons for staying? I didn't have a problem that she stayed. That was her business and decision.
The thing is she and her husband are adults and he deserves whatever he gets in the way of bad publicity but what about the children? This book and those interviews (which often end up on YouTube) leave something not only for three children but all their friends someday. What did it gain? Obviously she is not concerned right now about the fact that her kids might have a half-sister, but didn't her own have enough to bear with a narcissistic father and a mother with terminal cancer? Guess not.
I hope Americans don't buy the book and it disappears quickly from the lists. Haven't we rewarded this kind of thing enough in the past? Elizabeth is obviously a still angry woman who is lashing out supposedly in a book intended to help others (guessing) while trying to get past her own pain. She wants to make herself look good in what was at best a questionably ethical time. We might understand her. What would be our excuse for buying the book?