John Edwards, giving it his all for the 2009 World’s Biggest Bastard award, courtesy of the New York Times:
In the proposal, which The New York Times examined, [former Edwards aide Andrew] Young asserts that he assisted the affair by setting up private meetings between Mr. Edwards and [his mistress] Ms. Hunter. He wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.
DMB will not be thrilled to find themselves dragged into this affair, violinist Boyd Tinsley’s 2004 support of Edwards notwithstanding.
Breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking.
Doesn’t this make you think that y’all owe those of us who ALWAYS knew he was a scumbag an apology?
Um. No. You didn’t like him; you didn’t think he’d fathered a baby with another woman. I think Glen Beck is an insufferable, unstable ass and a hypocrite of the highest order, but if he turned out to have the bodies of a dozen old women buried in his backyard, I don’t think I’d have any right to say “I told you so!”
He always creeped me out. His poor kids…
His kids aren’t poor.
Ditto the creep-out factor. I’ll say I never liked him and though I didn’t always suspect he’d fathered a baby with another woman, I did always suspect he was a two-faced phony. That would be my only “told you so” moment. I have friends (good, usually clear-headed progressive friends) who preferred him among all the candidates and I never could figure that out. His house alone disqualified him, IMO, for “champion of the poor” status.
I was never an Edwards supporter for the reasons y’all name–he seemed to me too smarmy, leading with a facade, and he had an air of potential hypocrisy. I emphasize “potential” because I didn’t see any proof that he wasn’t practicing what he preached, but I had a strong suspicion. When the news of his affair came out, I couldn’t find any surprise within myself.
“I didn’t see any proof that he wasn’t practicing what he preached”
Well, there was plenty of proof out there. Edwards was just like Ted Kennedy — championing the poor with rhetoric while living a life of extreme privilege and extravagance. They’re two peas in a pod, and the political realm’s version of wealthy TV evangelists.
As a conservative, I’d have assumed you’d feel quite the opposite. I don’t see why wealth and charity must be incompatible. (I personally find it distasteful, but that’s a different matter.) If a man makes $50M/year and lives the life of a man who makes $3M/year (giving away the rest), he can still live in opulence while being enormously charitable. I never had enough interest in Edwards to give more than a fleeting thought to his personal wealth or charitable contributions, but I see no reason why he couldn’t be known for both.
Sigh. There’s a point at which one must wonder whether you know the definition of hypocrisy. Saying that someone caring about poverty while he, himself, is wealthy is like saying that LBJ was a hypocrit for being a proponent of the Civil Rights Act even though him, himself, was white.
Waldo’s point wasn’t that his status in life automatically made him a hypocrit; the potential for hypocrisy rested in his strong suspicion that Edward’s didn’t actually believe what he was saying. Ted Kennedy wasn’t a perfect man, but he leaves behind a long record of activism and accomplishment on a wide variety of issues related to poverty, healthcare, mental illness, and education programs targeted at benefiting the least among us. There should be little question that he was fortunate in his birth, but there’s also little question that he believed in what he was saying and doing.
How the once mighty have fallen! A lot of politicians have succumbed to misdeeds this past year (more than normal). I feel bad for his wife and kids.
As someone who was supportive of Edwards, I don’t think the fact that he turned out to be PERSONALLY a creep, says in anyway that he didn’t believe what he was saying on POLICY.
In my mind the fact that he’s a horrible husband, doesn’t mean he would have been a horrible president.
I mean, Ty Cobb was a racist scumbag, but the guy could hit;-)
Weighing in on the wealthy/charity thing: I don’t really see it as hypocritical (or even incongruent) for a wealthy person to strive for charitable giving or devotion to fighting poverty.
It’s the seeming “teachable moments,” the lecturing the rest of us, and the requirement to give that most conservatives disagree with or have ill feelings toward.
I don’t fault Kennedy, Edwards, Gore, etc. for having money. I do have a problem with them telling the rest of us how we should act. Also, some of the corpulence and extravagence that I.Publius mentions doesn’t sit right either (and leans toward hypocrisy… leading a lavish lifestyle while bemoaning the wasteful, consumer-driven society we live in).
What is this a smoke break for you conservatives? Edwards has crashed and burned clear of the field, but your Gov. Sanford, Senator Ensign, and Senator Vitter remain in public office with their “family values” hanging out for all to see. I can hardly wait for the thrice married adulterer – Newt Gingrich to intone his cluck-cluck as he claws his way back to national exposure.
Personally, I hate being lectured on sexual morality and “family values” by people who can’t seem to abide by the rules they use to flog everyone else with.
Acknowledging that there can be true repentence and public forgivness on almost everything, I agree, Cecil. The people Bubby mentioned have no place to be preaching to me, and Sanford (for sure) shouldn’t be in office.
Sam, I’ll give you a typical, and very contemporary, example of this particular liberal hypocrisy: Joe Biden — millionaire advocate for the working man, whose charitable contributions average a couple hundred bucks per year.
I.Publius: I have a question (well, questions) and it’s an honest, not trying to be a jerk question. Do you think that someone in Biden’s position, assuming his advocacy is sincere, should have to choose between making money and advocating for the working man? Are the two mutually exclusive? Where’s the line between just being a capitalist and being a hypocrite? How much do you have to give away? Should he have to be as poor as the poorest person that he advocates for? And at what point does the ability to continue to serve at the level that Biden does become mutually exclusive with his monetary charitable contributions? (I don’t know about Biden’s personal finances. Maybe he’s a stingy bastard, but let’s keep going with the questions.).
Put another way, if Biden had to choose between advocating for those in need as a Senator/VP and giving away money, at what point is the responsible choice staying at a level where he can continue to be a Senator? Also, how do you weight advocacy and the results therefrom against pure monetary donations? What if Joe Biden used his millions to start a company that employed all of Scranton?* What if you’re Bill Gates, and your primary function is to make crappy computers and even crappier software, and you made millions from that? How do you figure out if he’s a hypocrite for starting theBill & Melinda Gate Foundation? Does he have to put all his money into it? Does he have to stop making money?
If Joe Biden was truly an advocate for the working people, wouldn’t he, to be a non-hypocrite, have to be a working man? Except then, wouldn’t he not really have the time to advocate at the level he is? Does advocacy pre-suppose a certain level of personal wealth/leisure time? And if so, is the problem perhaps not with individuals like Joe Biden, who, due to the privilege granted to them by the system do all they do, but with the system that establishes the privilege in the first place? Shouldn’t the goal then be instead to give the working man the opportunity to represent and help himself, not to let rich old white men pat themselves on the back about how “progressive” they are?**
* That would not be hard. I’ve been to Scranton. It sucks. I have family there, trust me on this.
** Wow, it’s like I never even went to GMU!
Wow, sorry I. Publius, somehow that ended up *way* longer than I thought it would be!!
What demonstrates that John Edwards was unfit to serve as Vice-President, much less President, is not his affair but his response to its exposure. The various lies he offered up were so preposterous as to suggest a total inability to see things from other people’s perspective. Can you imagine such a man conducting delicate diplomatic negotiations?
You are absolutely right Blueridge, it would have been just like George W. Bush all over again. Wouldn’t want to make that mistake three times.
Meri writes, “Acknowledging that there can be true repentence and public forgivness on almost everything, I agree, Cecil. The people Bubby mentioned have no place to be preaching to me, and Sanford (for sure) shouldn’t be in office.”
I think we agree on far less than you might think we do, Meri. “True repentance” or no, I don’t think any politician has any business preaching sexual morality and “family values” to me, or to anyone else. The ones who can’t follow their own so-called rules just make that impulse all the more ludicrous.
Heh. Actually, I would wager that’s not true. I was simply commenting on your comment. If you had phrased it differently, I would have done so also. I, like you, don’t think politicians should be in the business of preaching sexual morality to people (although there is something to be said for wanting strong families… granted, there’s not many politicians speaking on families the way I view the issue).
I was simply saying that someone like Gingrich, Clinton, or the like can be forgiven by the public if they have a sincere remorse (a figurative “come-to-Jesus” moment). That doesn’t mean they then have earned the right to lecture us on morality and values, but that they can be forgiven and have it not held against them in other aspects of their political life (i.e. “That damn Bill Clinton, he cheated on his wife, how can we trust him with our health care?” etc.).
I have lost all respect for John Edwards now.
Being a fan of the Dave Matthews Band was the final blow…
Being a big fan of DMB, and a member of a DMB message board, there were many posts about the article.
Stefan Lessard, bassists for the band, tweeted that “We don’t play weddings. Period. Ridiculous and wrong.”
A couple of hours later, he tweeted “Maybe I was too hasty, we don’t play weddings for sleaze balls.”
I.Publius, Joe Biden was generally know as the poorest senator and I believe had a net worth below a million when he was selected as Obama’s VP. Are you just trying to characterize him differently because you dislike his politics?
Just when DMB’s reputation was beginning to recover from the sewage incident.
I had forgotten about that.
Now I have precedent for action against the band for dumping their latest CD’s on the market.
Hey, the Dave Matthews Band organized a great concert for my fellow Hokies in their darkest hour. They didn’t have to do that, but they did, and it lifted everyone’s spirits. Those boys are the best!
Is a few romps in the hay so great to ruin your own life over….Not to mention a few others? It’s also fair to say that these comments from the former UN Ambassador are hard to substantiate.
Robert, not everyone named Andrew Young is the former UN ambassador. I somehow doubt that he became an aide on the John Edwards campaign and took the rap for fathering the child.
I know, I couldn’t help it….but the tabs would have loved that. Dems can be thankful that he didn’t get the nomination and have this come out shortly after he beat McCain.
Sorry about that, Robert. I don’t know you, and I’m amazed at what you can find people on the Internet believing.
Hey now, KC, let’s leave the Birthers out of it.
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