I'm extremely disappointed in John Edwards after he admitted today (August 8, 2008 statement) that he'd had an affair with Reille Hunter.
"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. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public."
The reaction from the right is rather predictable, so in this post at least I'll ignore that end of the political spectrum and look instead at moderate and liberal reaction to today's events. As the story unfolds I'll quote and link to reaction from and for progressives and liberals commenting on the subject.
My first thought goes out to his wife and children. Scandals like this can tear a family apart, and I hope they have the strength and courage, and support of their relatives and friends and community, to help them get through this intact as a family unit. Some space and privacy would help, but the media is going to be all over this for weeks if not months, and the family is going to be under a microscope.
Second, if I recall correctly, Elizabeth Edwards chose to campaign at her husband's side despite her illness. It's tragic that she now must deal with the unspeakable betrayal she's suffered, and the trauma of a family-wrenching scandal going forward, on top of her illness. It's a good thing she's a strong woman - she is certainly being tested now.
Note: Edwards claims his affair was over before his wife's cancer recurred in March of last year, but I'm not sure that I believe him. On to the reaction --
- Jack Cafferty on CNN's Situation Room. I don't know Cafferty's politics well enough to know his political party of choice, but I think his sentiment is echoed by moderates and progressives everywhere, it certainly expresses my initial reaction (no link):
The thing that occurs to me is that he made the decision to run for President with this stuff lying in the background, and lied about it during the time that he was soliciting our support for the biggest office in the country.
People hitch their wagons to these people. Edwards is a very charismatic guy -- smooth... persuasive... charming... glib. People quit their jobs to go and volunteer and work on these campaigns because they inspire some kind of hope inside them that they can change the world and make it a better place.
And all the time he's packing this suitcase of garbage around with him -- and at some point it's going to come out.[...]
...he's got this thing dragging around behind him, and I think it's unconscionable.
Updates to follow.
More: Wizbang Blue archives on this story
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