Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why didn’t Edwards “get in front” of his scandal?

Smart politicians know when a scandal begins to break involving them, they “get out in front” and spin whatever it is the public’s about to learn.

“I’d just come in to the house. I still had my gloves on and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. My wife hollered from upstairs: ‘Quick! Put the pistachio ice cream in the freezer before it melts.’ It never occurred to me someone for whatever reason might’ve left a stack of $100s on our kitchen table.”

Former Sen. John (“I want people to know who I really am”) Edwards is a smart politician.

So how come he didn’t “get out in front” of the National Enquirer’s July 22 report about his Beverly Hilton Hotel tryst with Rielle Hunter while a friend watched their "love child" in another room in the same hotel?

People will begin asking that question in the next few days when it becomes obvious Edwards and the MSM have lost control of the story.

Nine days after the story broke, McClatchy’s Washington bureau’s put a story on its wire reporting Hunter’s baby’s birth certificate lists no father.

Other news services and networks will now be forced to report on the growing scandal.

I’ll be reporting and commenting on some of that tomorrow.

In the meantime, we can ask ourselves why Edwards went 10 days trying to pretend the Beverly Hilton tryst never happened.

Did he think he could get by with silence?

Sure, he was right to think almost all of MSM would do back-flips to avoid reporting the scandal.

But didn’t he learn anything in 2004 when Sen. John Kerry failed to get by with claims he’d released all his Navy records, never smeared our military who’d served in Vietnam, and spent that Christmas in Cambodia?

Almost all of MSM went along with Kerry, while they chased after anything in President Bush’s military background that might damage him.

But when a lot of the “new media” refused to go along with most of MSM, Kerry got exposed and so did the phony Dan Rather/CBS TANG story.

What could Edwards have been thinking?


Anonymous said...

The fact is he was not thinking - and that is what too often happens when people get involved in such activities. Coupled with the non-thinking is the belief among the powerful is that the law does not apply to them - that because of who they are and what they do and how "important" the message is that they carry that the rules which govern us mere mortals does not apply to them. I guess the word hypocrite is only in their dictionary to be used to apply to other people, not to themselves.
Perhaps Edwards was so busy "channeling" the msm who he believed (and with some cause) loved him, his wife, and children that he forgot that there is a whole other media today that becomes more powerful with each passing day - the internet and the blogosphere. Within this new media there is a high hypocrite meter. Edwards behavior in the LA hotel and his subsequent actions only reinforced the belief that he had something to hide. What is amazing, all these years after Watergate,is that our elected officials cannot understand that telling the truth is ultimately always so much easier. Yet, evasiveness, the parsing of terms, and outright lies seem to be the only recourse.
There is a part of me (a very small part) that really and truly feels for John Edwards. He has disappointed those who love him. Even if, (and at this point it seems to be a big if) there is nothing at all to the story that Riele's child is Edwards, the fact of his actions that evening have to be an embarassment to his family and to him. If he cares at all about his supporters, he would have to feel as well that his actions and subsequent no comments have disappointed them as well. Additionally, he has reneged on a scholarship that he initiated - which, I am sure, will be frustrating to those who saw in that promise of aid the opportunity to better their lives.
So what happens next? Soon we will be treated to a press conference - with Elizabeth Edwards gamely at his side - in which Edwards will admit to certain lapses in good judgment. He will talk (however briefly) of the need for privacy for his family - there might even be an appeal to consider the young age of his children - the need to protect them. He will take no questions and then he will wisk off to some retreat where he will be insulated from reporters questions and the story will eventually fade away - much as the Spitzer story has. Perhaps Two America Johnny will rise again from the ashes (ala Ted Kennedy) but I am not so sure - while there may be a great many Americans who will tolerate stepping out on a healthy spouse, there is little sympathy or forgiveness for someone who cheats on a spouse with cancer.

BillyB said...

Reasons He Didn't get "out front"

1. He was getting his hair done.

2. He was concerned about his wife, and was at her side.

3. He was helping the poor.

4. He was at Barbie's house in Malibu. (No wait, He's no Ken doll)

5. He was lost somewhere between the two worlds.

6. He was waiting for his hairdresser to be flown in from LA.

7. He was at his babymamma's house.

8. He was helping Obamma form critical campaign strategy in which he could blame republicans for artificially inseminating his babymamma and blaming it on him. (Clearing the way for his VEEP announcement)

9. He was out back, you know, doin it.

10. He was watching Oprah.

Anonymous said...

John Edwards was thinking that the Blogosphere doesn't amount to a row of pins compared to Brian (wonder chin) Williams, Cutie Couric and an assortment of second raters on CNN. Sadly, he may be right.

Anonymous said...

cks - Very good comments

Anonymous said...

What's with the "love child" label? The truth is that it is a bastard child conceived out of a sneaky, adulturous, illicit relationship. Edwards is obviously incapable of accepting responsiblity for parenting this child so where, exactly, is the love?

Anonymous said...

Darn good questions, 12:50. You see the media is very hypocritical about these little lapses of judgment. If you are a politician or part of the Hollywood crowd, the term is love child. For everyone else it's illegitimate. If Edwards were so interested in helping people he would never have ended the scholarship program in eastern N.C. He's finished politically and that fact we can all celebrate.

Anonymous said...

I have read Rielle Hunter's entire website ( and it is mind boggling. This is one vapid woman. I am not excusing any of this but, John Edwards is in way over his head. I would be willing to surmise that he has been in damage control mode for months and months. I am trying to figure out why Rielle left NC and had the baby in CA. That is ominous for J.E. Something went wrong. (besides the obvious fact that it was just PLAIN wrong) Perhaps she was tired of the whole cover up. He may be embroiled in his own version of Fatal Attraction. I also watched all of the available webisodes (on LAist, I think) and boy, are they revealing after the fact. And horribly uncomfortable to watch,after all this information in the blogosphere. Well, that's my two cents. The whole thing is just plain stupid...

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57:

"He may be embroiled in his own version of Fatal Attraction."

I think you're right on. I suspect his nightmare is just beginning.