BROKEN: Edwards Admits Affair (With Update)

There is no joy in this.  There is only distraction.  And perhaps sadness or disappointment.  ABC reports:

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.

This is obviously up for speculation until it’s been confirmed by a paternity test such as this service for dna testing in Atlanta at least, as an example.

Welcome to Lala Land.  This is this week’s Major Distraction TM.  The responses will all be entirely predictable.  And it’s anybody’s guess how long this will last as a story.  And you thought that the Olympics would be this week’s Major Distraction TM.  How very wrong.

(Updated: 08/08/08 11:05 p ET): I would be remiss if I didn’t provide a link to the diary put up by  Elizabeth Edwards at dKos which now has over 1,000 comments.  She concludes:

I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.

Evidently, the Edwards family doesn’t enjoy what happens when public figures become this week’s Major Distraction TM. Is it voyeurism if you put up a Diary on dKos rather than going on vacation or just saying, “No comment?”  Let the games begin.


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  1. we have this story.

    I should have unplugged the computer this morning, taken an ax to the TV, cut the wires to the satellite and telephone, and run away with the local circus.  But, foolish me, I didn’t.

  2. and the guy who looked funny and has a hot wife.  Progressives chose the philanderer, even when he was always having to apologize for this and that.

    It should tell us something about progressives.

  3. so there!

    Also, speaking about watching TV, looks like Phil and Sergio could be in the mix this weekend. That’d be fun.

    I’d prefer the Edwards news if the networks would show it in historical context. Some McCain stuff, some Vitter stuff, ok, some Bill stuff, just to keep it bipartisan. Also, it would be great if they’d show some football highlights while they talk about Edwards…anything to break up the monotony of the few clips they’re re-running over and over.

  4. …Olympian levels of distraction!  Lalalalala!

  5. …that at least some of TPTB got scared that Obama might be leaning toward Edwards for VEEP?

  6. but on this one, I’d go with what Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    • banger on August 9, 2008 at 02:17

    which was a hotbed of pro-Edwards types. The self-righteous moral indignation by personages like Meteor Blades is stunning to behold.

    First of all, Edwards never had a chance to win so this “what if” business doesn’t cut it. It was always a Obama/Clinton race–the others were just trying to either get their place in the sun or make a point. I think Edwards was trying to make a point and he did. Now we know that most Democrats don’t care much for poor or working class people–I mean we’re all rich now right? Lots of money on my credit card that’s just waiting to be spent.

    I don’t like making a big deal out of people’s sexual relationships–I personally find America’s obsession with it to be sick. It’s only sex! It’s not a big deal, honestly! Hey, maybe his wife thought it was cool–maybe not but that’s their business not ours. Some people are capable of having interesting and complex relationships. There is life after “happily ever after”. I’m much more bummed about Obama’s love affair with the Wall Street elite–it’s maybe just a bit more important, no, well, I stand corrected.

    I hope this matter blows over fast–I hope people leave him alone–I’m sure he’s suffered enough.

    • feline on August 9, 2008 at 07:21

    and reading more posts, here’s my perspective on some of this:

    1.  As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the 107th Congress, Edwards could have made better decisions at that time.

    2.  As a husband, father, and public servant (or candidate) Edwards could have had more personal integrity.

    3.  Edwards has been candid and remorseful about his mistakes, which demonstrates (to me) a strength of character that is severely lacking in D.C. right now.

    4.  Edwards has much to offer in the future, with his pluralist and progressive ideas.

    5.  For me, this news (though sad) will not be a distraction.

    I wish for healing within his family and within the progressive community, because we have a lot of important work to do.

  7. just got home maybe 15 minutes ago or less and came straight here.  Wow, the stuff ya miss when yer cut off from all media!

    Seriously, though, I think it’s a shame that John cheated on Elizabeth but it doesn’t change my opinion of him: he’s basically a decent man who had a lapse.

    Extramarital affairs may be wrong, but having them is a very human failing.  It says more about U.S. culture that acknowledgment of same creates such a fluster–what are we, Afghanistan under the Taliban?

    Jeezuz…in the civilized world, nobody outside the relationship really gives a damn.

    Just my 2 cents.

  8. extra-marital affairs.

    One of the first things Rove did in the Siegelman case was to have him “spied” on to see if he had any extra-marital affair going on.

    In the case of Mark Spitzer, the governor of New York, who, on his own time and money engaged in extra-marital activity, the GOP spent time to find out his behavior in order to bring him down.  They did this because Spitzer was hot on the trail of what caused the sub-prime mortgage disaster — they wanted to stop him dead in his tracks and they did!

    This stuff is “fodder” for the GOP — they love it, as we all know.  They are very adept at finding a way to completely ruin a person’s life.

    While I’m sorry to learn this of Edwards, I am sorrier that it came out in public at all.

    I would rather not ever hear of these things, as I view them personal and private and a matter that each such family has to sort out and deal with themselves and for them, it is surely a painful process.

    The only thing we should be concerned about is the public and political efforts of an individual — that is the only area in which we have a right to any kind of assessment or judgment.  Is that person doing a good job, etc.  

    • Viet71 on August 10, 2008 at 00:54

    Edwards wanted to be president.

    With a dark secret that would open him up to blackmail, manipulation.

    I don’t give a fuck about a private citizen’s indiscretions.

    But Edwards was seeking not to be a private citizen but rather to be the highest government official.

    He gave up his dark secret only because someone forced his hand.

    Jay is right.

    Fuck Edwards, as a politician.  As a politician (and as a human being who seeks support from other human beings), he’s a scumbag.

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