Here's the worst case scenario for a married man who happens to be a public figure. You go to Los Angeles to meet a woman with whom you have had an affair. You meet her in her room at a fancy hotel in order to try to talk her into maintaining her silence. As you are leaving in the wee hours of the morning you note, much to your considerable horror, that you have been followed by reporters from that proud bastion of journalism the National Enquirer. So you do what anyone else would do under the circumstances.
You run down the hall to the men's room and lock the door. And from that ignoble space you call the front desk to get security to throw the reporters off the property.
And in the privacy of a public latrine at the Beverly Hilton your head hums. Whither human dignity? You think, " I could have been President. And look at me now."
Well? What did they expect? I say "they" because the widely admired Elizabeth Edwards says that John confessed to her in 2006. These people are not stupid. And still they pressed on with the campaign as if they thought that this story would never see the light of day.
Perhaps they would have reconsidered if they had known that the filmmaker he knew as Rielle Hunter had previously been known in New York as Lisa Druck. She dated the author Jay McInerney who said that she was the model for the character Allison Poole in his novel "The Story of My Life" who he describes as: "a budding actress already fatally well-versed in hopping the clubs, shopping Chanel, falling in and out of lust, and abusing other people's credit cards."
It is never good when a merely unstable person becomes an inconvenient one as well. Again, what on God's green Earth made them think they could pull this off in the first place?
I had an interesting conversation about this with a friend the other night. She took keen interest in Edwards referring to himself as "a narcissist." She noted that no man that refers to himself thusly really believes it. This observation was confirmed by the all-seeing and all-knowing Dr. GG who told me on the cell phone that " Narcissists never blame themselves. They have no insight. It's always somebody else's fault."
As for me, I don't know whether Edwards is a narcissist or not. We all, each and everyone of us, want to be the star in our own movie. And I have to think that the urge to run for higher elective office has an element of narcissism to it. Indeed, given the rigors of the average Presidential race, one could rightly wonder whether any person that wanted the job was actually sane enough to vote for.
I do know that, at the end of the day, he is just another man who made a mistake. And all of us have made mistakes with our money and with our private parts. Each and every one. Most of us haven't been in the glare of the public eye though.
As I say at times like these, it's not like he killed anybody. Is he a hypocrite.? Sure he is. But there have been worse. He will pay dearly for this foolish affair. I cannot imagine that he is anything else but utterly doomed politically. He will be remembered for Rielle Hunter just as Bill Clinton will always be remembered for Monica Lewinsky. He will have to repair the damage he has caused his family. And there may be a financial payout as well in the form of child support if it is determined that he is the father of the child Hunter had at all times consistent with this time frame.
But still. He didn't kill anybody. If his family can live with it, that is good enough for me. I wish him luck.
He will need it.