And why adultery matters.
Marriage, among other things, is a legal contract between two people. A contract that can be terminated by either party at any time. Adultery is a breach of that contract. It matters politically since it is (again, among other things) a breach of contract, arguably the most important contract anyone ever into into. Marriage is, by design, not a private matter.
If someone breaks a contract with someone he or she knows quite well, and at least at one point cared deeply about, shouldn’t that factor into one’s decision on who to elect president? Especially in our current age when presidents have enormous discretionary power and can make people disappear unilaterally?
The analogy I use in these situations is: suppose someone defaults on a car loan, does that affect the likelihood that they will default on a mortgage?
And yes, McCain’s adultery was equally horrible, and an equal sign of low character and trustworthiness.
It reminds me of the adage “he came to do good and wound up doing very well indeed.”
From this NYT article
John Edwards ended 2004 with a problem: how to keep alive his public profile without the benefit of a presidential campaign that could finance his travels and pay for his political staff.
Mr. Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and — unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students — the main beneficiary of the center’s fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.
The money paid Mr. Edwards’s expenses while he walked picket lines and met with Wall Street executives. He gave speeches, hired consultants, attacked the Bush administration and developed an online following. He led minimum-wage initiatives in five states, went frequently to Iowa, and appeared on television programs. He traveled to China, India, Brussels, Uganda and Russia, and met with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and his likely successor, Gordon Brown, at 10 Downing Street.
I suppose helping the poor isn’t worth spending one’s own money. Happily the Democrats seem to be preferring the more honest hacks of Clinton and Obama.
Everyone should check out this Bob Schrum piece in Time Magazine (h.t. TDAXP).
Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he’d never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he’d do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade’s ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else.
It’s always sad when people are actually worse than you think they are. Then again, the Edwards’ (sp) have run for president twice while they have young children, which should disqualify them in the first place.