I really like John Edwards. He talks a good talk, is easy on the eyes, and seems to truly care about addressing some of the income inequalities in this country. His wife is articulate, supporting, and a fighter. And he has photogenic family.
When rumors started to surface last fall about a mistress, I would just hope that it was gossip or maybe fodder to counter Ann Coulter’s remark that Edwards was a “faggot.” Once again, Coulter was wrong. But now that the story has broke and Edwards has acknowledged his affair with Rielle Hunter, I think that other politicians, especially Latinos aiming to climb the political ranks, should take note of this mess and try not to make similar mistakes. Just last summer, we were lamenting Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s affair with Mirthala Salinas, which weakened his credibility and ended his marriage.
All of this drama with mistresses and girlfriends seems like it could be avoided if these men went to places where prostitution was legalized. Both Canada and Mexico have legalized prostitution with certain restrictions, and both places are relatively close for a politician of means to hop on a plane, get serviced professionally, and return home without facing the wrath of the media, the Christian conservatives, and their angry supporters. Of course, I would hope that couples work through their personal problems before resorting to this sort of thing, but if that isn’t possible, why not take this approach? I believe that contemplating the costs and time away to make a short trip to Canada or Mexico might dissuade some politicos from even considering cheating on their partners.
Another thing that has bothered me about this affair and the aftermath has to do with the doom and gloom coming from so many Democrats. Yes, John Edwards royally screwed himself, but John McCain’s whole career has been built as a result of his own affair in which he hooked up with Cindy Hensley. As Cenk Uygur at the Huffington Post points out, “Why are McCain’s actions any more excusable than Edwards?”
James Carville, former Clinton aide and strategist, offered this on Friday, “Certainly, his political career is in shambles. It’s not going to come back. I humanly feel sorry for Mrs. Edwards. I feel sorry for the Edwards children. But I’m not shocked.” This sort of statement is completely uncalled for, as Carville watched President Bill Clinton lie under oath regarding his own sexual relations with a certain intern, get impeached, and then go on to finish his presidential term. I’m beginning to think that James Carville likes to shoot his mouth off for shock value, kind of like he did in calling Bill Richardson “Judas.”
As with other affairs, I think that time will erase some of the hurt and damage that John Edwards had done, and I hope that he can re-group and continue dedicating himself to eradicating poverty in America. Yes, he was reckless, and his calculated risk imploded when he was being mentioned as a possible candidate for a cabinet position in an Obama administration. And I can’t believe that he decided to run for president, jeopardizing the Democratic Party’s chances for a win in November, but it’s done. Time to move on, and most importantly learn from his mistake.