Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Does John Edwards' Alleged Affair Matter?
It's hard to miss allegations on the internet that the married with children Democratic presidential hopeful, John Edwards, had an affair with Rielle Hunter. Hunter worked with Edwards producing videos for his campaign. And now she's very pregnant.
The National Enquirer has been pounding away at this story. You can bet that they believe their source is reliable and have had them polygraphed. They know who they're dealing with: Edwards is the son of a mill worker who got rich working as a litigator. The National Enquirer may have lost their nerve at one point, as the story was dropped from their website. But it was not long before they had slapped it right back up again.
The National Enquirer photographed Hunter coming out of the office of her ob/gyn wearing a black sweater with a white heart on the front -- sorry Reille, Edwards' heart is with the woman he recently told the media he's loved for "30 years plus". His wife may have gotten fat and gotten cancer but he still sees her as his one and only, which made me respect him ...while I still believed him.
The Edwards camp has claimed -- it took them awhile to get around to it -- that the father of Hunter's unborn child is Andrew Young, a close aid to Edwards. Hunter also claimed in a written statement that Young was the father. But the National Enquirer claims that Hunter told a source that Andrew Young, his wife and young children, had come over to her home for dinner. The National Enquirer, being as sharp as the Downtown Eastside Enquirer, asked the question: Does a guy bring his wife and kids over to the home of the mistress he's knocked up?
Andrew Young is not a man who can be entirely relied upon for the truth, even when it comes to his own name. When the naughty National Enquirer showed up at his home, he denied he was Andrew Young. He responded to questions by yelling that they didn't even know who they were talking to. When his wife suddenly called him "Andrew", he shot her a dirty look.
Even Reille Hunter is a shaky source when it comes to her own name. She has previously been known as Lisa Druck. But when she answered her door when the National Enquirer came knocking, she told them she was neither.
Neither Hunter or Young have accepted the National Enquirer's offer to take a polygraph. One of the first things they ask on those tests is your name.
The mainstream media is finding this story impossible to ignore. On the CBS evening news recently, Katie Couric began poking around. Edwards responded, "I think that, as you point out, there have been American presidents that at least according to the … stories we’ve all heard, that were not faithful, that were in fact good presidents. So I don't think it controls the issue."
There is no shortage of people who agree with Edwards. A friend of mine in Canada's left wing New Democratic Party says he believes it matters not a whit whether a politician has affairs behind his wife's back. A conservative friend believes it generally doesn't matter, but adds that when a politician's wife and mother of his small children has cancer, it does matter.
I believe affairs matter, especially if a politician is playing the family values card. They speak to character. They tell us that this politician is a person who says one thing and does another.
If Edwards did have an affair, his name would be added to a long list that includes many more names than Bill Clinton. I recall Hillary Clinton being grilled about Bill's affairs during an election campaign and diverting attention to his rival, George Bush: Do you think George Bush has never had an affair? And I remember Gary Hart getting caught frolicking with Donna soon-to-be-a-Guess-jeans model, on his yacht. Hart was actually a model of classiness compared to married Senator Larry Craig from Idaho who recently stuck his hand under the wall of an airport bathroom stall, attempting to grab some sex on the go. His wife stood beside him when he later resigned.
Just as Elizabeth Edwards stands beside John on the campaign trail as the accusations of infidelity fly. Not the sort of stress a woman should be under when her breast cancer has returned and spread to her ribs.
When reporters on the campaign trail asked Edwards about the National Enquirer article, he said, "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous."
If there proves to be any truth to the story of an affair and pregnancy behind the back of Edwards' cancer-stricken wife, voters may be tempted to dismiss him: See you later, litigator.