With the revelation of his affair with Rielle Hunter, it's becoming obvious that I was right to think of Edwards as a sanctimonious creep. It's not so much the affair itself. That's kind of understandable. Top-level married politicians are exposed to a lot of temptation. They travel constantly, spend a great deal of time in hotel rooms, and meet lots of single women who are smart, attractive, and think guys like them are the most interesting people in the world. I know that the affairs of politicians cause tremendous pain for their families, but there's a way in which I don't particularly blame Edwards and other political figures for taking advantage of romantic opportunity, giving into temptation, or whatever it is that gets them into bed with women they're not married to.
What bothers me about Edwards though is that his confession statement about his affair is full of the righteousness that makes him such a questionable character to begin with.
I translate this statement as "if you want to beat me up feel free, but I'm going to be just as smug a jerk tomorrow as I was before my tawdry affair blew up in my face."
In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake, and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness . . .
In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help."
Thanks John, but I'm rather hoping that you'll just disappear now.