With today’s news that John Edwards is going public on Nightline to admit he’s been lying for a couple of years about an affair he had with a woman who was on his campaign’s payroll, many Democrats are in a state of shock and anger. Aside from sympathy for Edwards’ family (especially his brave wife, Elizabeth) and astonishment at Edwards’ chutzpah at running a presidential campaign knowing the National Enquirer was onto this story, the main reaction has been relief that Edwards didn’t win the Democratic presidential nomination and wasn’t under serious consideration for a second Veep bid. Can you imagine if the presumptive Democratic nominee for president was the object of this story? Talk about a brokered convention!
Jane Hamsher probably spoke for most Democrats today:
I don’t really care what people do in their private lives and nobody can know what the relationship is between two people, so unless their personal lives are at odds with their voting records — demanding that people do one thing while they do another (like being, you know, not gay or something) — I figure that’s their business.
But Edwards did play the family card quite heavily during his campaign, and if he’d gotten the nomination, the Democrats would be sunk right now and we’d be looking at four years of John McCain. So on that count, I’m profoundly grateful that he didn’t get it. He was risking a lot for all of us by doing this stuff and running at the same time. It was incredibly stupid.
And it’s all incredibly sad.