John Edwards on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

A few days ago I discussed a post by Mickey Klaus on reasons to cover the Edwards scandal. While there was validity to his charges of hypocrisy, I found this to be one of the weaker reasons for the media to cover the story. The argument for hypocrisy now looks greater after seeing this quotation from Edwards on the Monica Lewinsky scandal from February 12, 1999:

I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.

Another quotation gives some insight into what was probably going on in Edwards’ mind when caught:

We have a man who has just been confronted with this problem, who is political by nature. And do we really believe that the first thing he thought about is, “I’m going to go protect myself legally'”? I suspect the first thing he thought about is “I’m going to protect myself politically.” He was worried about his family finding out. He was worried about the rest of the staff finding out. He was worried about the press finding out.

Bill Clinton and John Edwards are not the only ones involved in presidential politics to be caught having had an affair. John McCain is a senior member of that club. Like Edwards, McCain even cheated on a wife who was suffering from medical problems, having left his wife after she was severely injured in an automobile accident. Interesting that the right wing bloggers are understandably piling on Edwards for his affair but ignoring McCain’s past conduct.

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16 Comments

  1. 1
    fahirsch says:

    Never understood the preoccupation with sex in politics that people in the US have. Must be the only country in the world. The only big scandal that I remember of another country was the Profumo affair in England. And it was really about lying to Parliament, not about sex.

  2. 2
    Raffi says:

    Lying to a Grand Jury was what the Monica Lewinsky thing was about too, not sex.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    It started with sex. It is the sex which the average person remembers the most about the scandal, not the perjury.

  4. 4
    Virginia Harris says:

    Sex and the Suffragettes

    I admire Elizabeth Edwards and Hillary Clinton for standing by their men.

    Thanks to the suffragettes, women have choices in their lives. They didn’t have to stay – they wanted to stay.

    Politicians will be politicians, and I think political wives know that their husbands will face a plethora of ‘opportunity’ to cheat.

    Betcha don’t know which president had a love child while running for office, and how that helped women win the vote.

    Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won.

    Now finding out the sexy, shocking truth is as easy as opening your e-mail.

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    Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes — Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    There is a ton of heartache, and a LOT of hot affairs on the rocky road to the ballot box.

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  5. 5
    Ruthie says:

    Why let John Edwards define himself as a narcissist? How is he different from any other cheating husband? Seems to me that he’s just a grade A (and stupid) Adulterer.
    If John Edwards is a narcissist, then lets compare this to the DSM psychiatric criteria for his personality disorder:
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-R), the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”
    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following[1]:
    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (John Edward wants to be president)
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love (Admits self-love and seems to loving to preen)
    3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique (obviously)
    4. requires excessive admiration (obviously)
    5. has a sense of entitlement (ran again after losing with Kerry, believes he DESERVES to be VP)
    6. is interpersonally exploitative (used his wife’s cancer and love to gain sympathy while destroying her love with adultery)
    7. lacks empathy (doesn’t care that he has forever defined his children’s lives with his adultery)
    8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her (everybody want to be me!)
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes (claimed he was 99% honest if Enquirer was 99% wrong!)
    So, let John Edwards call himself a narcissist. Obviously, someone has told him this in the past. So, if you voted for Edwards, then you have to ask yourself why you would put the United States in the hands of such a person?
    Of course, if John Edwards was smart, he’d have claimed that Rielle was simply a surrogate holding his baby (from artificial insemination). Elizabeth had full knowledge and expected the child to be turned over, but John was meeting with Rielle after she reconsidered. This explanation even covers the money payments. Well, seems like John really ain’t too bright!! Just a poor liar and a cheat!

  6. 6
    John says:

    RE: Virginia Harris and her “Sex and the Suffragettes” link…  Nobody cares about your blogspam.

  7. 7
    jim says:

    Lying to a Grand Jury was what the Monica Lewinsky thing was about too, not sex.

    Although Mr. Clinton had sexual relations with Ms. L, he clearly did not legally lie.  they set a definition to which he legally answered no.  As for the rest of an investigation that started with a land deal where nothing could be found, to pork bellies, whatever else including jailing of friends, you can decide how that got to sex with an intern. 

  8. 8
    jimmy says:

    i just love that it finally took an adultery scandal for people to realize what a scumbag edwards is. It didn’t matter that he was a first term senator with no experience that thought he could be vice president after acruing his wealth from suing doctors over(mostly) frivolous lawsuits. the U.S. will never have good healthcare while hospital liability insurance is so expensive.

  9. 9
    Celia says:

    John McCain’s first wife’s pelvis was crushed in that car wreck.  Everyone focuses on the damage to her legs, but that wasn’t all there was to it. 

      Realistically, she wasn’t able to resume a sex life, and he, to be blunt, had done without for five and a half years and didn’t think he’d come out alive either.  When Carol Shepp said “John wanted to be twenty five again, I didn’t,” what she meant was that she couldn’t–really.   He admitted he was selfish, and he’s not terribly proud of his behavior–but he didn’t really “sneak” around.  She understood, too, even though she didn’t like it much–which is why they remain friends and she contributes to his campaigns.

      Keep in mind, SHE left a marriage when it wasn’t working out for her, to marry McCain.  She “cheated on” and “dumped” a spouse, as well.  McCain adopted her kids by her first husband,  and continues to keep them close. 

    It’s not the same.  McCain was cheating, but he wasn’t deceiving his wife.  She was not clueless–Carol KNEW what was going on.  Part of the reason they stayed married is to secure her as the recipient of his Navy pension (she gets the whole thing, IIRC–and he didn’t “fight” over that–he gave it to her.  She’ll also get a Survivor Benefit annuity for life in the event of his death).  She is provided for, as have been her children that he adopted and continues to take pride in. 

    Sure, it’s not nice to cheat, and it’s not nice to deceive.  I think the real “proof” if there is any of any viability in the relationship is if the parties can repair the breach or at least remain friends. 

    If it comes out that Elizabeth was LIED to, and John Edwards did father that kid, and DID keep screwing that crazy woman, I hope Elizabeth takes him to the cleaners, gets that hideous monstrosity of a house, and turns it into a shelter for abused spouses or something. 

  10. 10
    Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg says:

    I’ve often heard various folks comment on how wonderfully varied, complex and diverse the English language is, effortlessly welcoming foreign words and phrases ‘into the fold’. The depth of our language is sometimes described as a ‘bottomless reservoir’ of nuance.
    I agreed with that sentiment, but no longer, thanks to John Edwards. I’ve been struggling the last two weeks for words to describe exactly how much of a douchebag he really is. And sadly, for the first time I find my native tongue wanting. The adjectives simply aren’t ‘there’ to accurately describe how much of a manipulative, calculating, reprehensible, scumbag, liar, phony, narcissistic, empty-suit, jackass he really is.
    See that? My best effort to ‘capture’ the fundamental essence of John Edwards rings completely hollow, like calling the Grand Canyon a ‘really big ravine’. I would otherwise be embarrassed by my linguistic impotence, but I really don’t think it’s my fault. He has simply re-defined the boundaries of douche-baggery, shattering the power of words to define him. It is, in wierd sort of way, a mark of greatness. A legacy, if you will.

  11. 11
    Independent1 says:

    First, Celia, your comment is not only disgusting, it is horrifying. The only “hideous monstrosity” I see is your bizarre skewed view of betrayal and infidelity. You prattle on about McCain and how HIS repeated cheating on his poor wife is perfectly acceptable since her pelvis was crushed and she could not have sex!!??! 

    Furthermore, you make the chilling statement that since McCain’s wife just didn’t like it much but still can find a way to stay somewhat friendly and forgiving,  he really wasn’t cheating at all.  Then, you attempt to wash it all clean with the notion that since she has been ‘taken care of’ with his Navy pension that he ‘gave’ her that we can just leave her behind in McCain’s shameful past.

    I had no idea McCain was such a self-serving political power monster. I am absolutely convinced that he left his poor, crippled wife to marry a pretty, rich, well connected wife who would be much more acceptable to the Political elite who he wanted to back him in his campaign.

    What a manipulative, calculating, reprehensible, phony, scumbag jackass he is.

    These hypocrites who turn a blind eye to McCain’s dirty past but sure didn’t waste a single, solitary second before piling on Edwards for his affair should be ashamed of themselves.

    They are not Americans. They are political Party puppets.

  12. 12
    Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg says:

    “These hypocrites who turn a blind eye to McCain’s dirty past but sure didn’t waste a single, solitary second before piling on Edwards for his affair should be ashamed of themselves.”

    Hey, fuck you, Independent1.  At least John McCain cared for the woman he cheated with, eventually marrying her.  And he wasn’t running for president, either.  He’d just returned from 5 years of torture in a North Vietnamese gulag.  I’d say he was entitled to have some ‘issues’.

    Your ultra-douchebag hereo John Edwards was just looking for some vacuous shell of a human being he could use & then dispose of (which he did).  And he’s such a pathological liar, he still can’t bring himself to tell the truth.

    If you had any integrity whatsoever, you be ashamed of yourself.  We won’t hold our breath for that, though.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Arguments might be made as to whether Edwards is worse than McCain here but that does not excuse what McCain did.

    You simply cannot criticize Edwards and defend McCain without being a partisan hypocrite.

    At least justifying McCain’s behavior back then upon having been a POW isn’t as bad as the disgusting manner in which McCain continues to justify everything he says or does wrong based upon once having been a POW.

  14. 14
    Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg says:

    “You simply cannot criticize Edwards and defend McCain without being a partisan hypocrite. ”

    Yes I can.  And I did it very well, thank you.  Your effort at moral equivalency fell flat on it’s face.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, you failed miserably, revealing yourself to be a partisan hypocrite lacking in any sense of objectivity.

  16. 16
    Hack Chappel says:

    Clinton was innocent, as was Edwards. IT was that despicable Laura
    Bush and Ken Starr who caused all of the problems.  and George
    Bush is guilty for all furture weather events.

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