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Archive for May 1st, 2012

The American public sets a high standard for those seeking the office of President.

Not all candidates are up to the challenge but for the most part they do put on a show of family devotion that is there to soothe the apprehension of the voter to at least assume that he/she must be a “good person” if the wife and progeny are willing to stand alongside and smile.

But watching the tawdry trial of John Edwards playing out in a North Carolina, one cannot help but to question the integrity of all the players involved.  There are no winners here but the losers surely would have been the public had this man achieved the goal of POTUS.  For awhile there he was a “contender”.

It was a rarity that Elizabeth Edwards was not at the side of her husband.  Her medical issues aside, it was clear that her goal matched his for pursuing the ultimate prize.  Smart, savvy and well received by the MSM, she was his biggest cheerleader and her popularity was as instrumental in his appearances as they joined together to present a portrait of that “perfect family” the public preferred.

Coming out of the testimony so far is a far different portrayal of the candidate, his spouse, and the staff member who all aided and abetted in this false picture.  “Sordid” does not do justice to the sham these people perpetrated in an effort to elect a shabby and disgraceful little man to the office of president of the U.S.  No clean hands here.

Bits and pieces have filtered out of that campaign over the years but none is more telling than the testimony that on the day that John Edwards was to announce his intention to run for president, his aide, picking him up from the airport, found the mistress, Rielle Hunter, accompanying the “great man”.  In the back seat of the SUV, Edwards and Hunter passed a bottle of champagne back and forth as Elizabeth Edwards awaited her husband at the event.  Wow!

It was also testified that it was about this time that Mrs. Edwards became aware of the presence of Ms. Hunter as they passed one another going to and from the ladies room.  Her suspicions were aroused when answering Edwards cellphone she discovered Ms. Hunter on the other end.  In other words, Elizabeth Edwards knew that her philandering husband was engaged in more than a presidential campaign.

The issue at hand in the courts is whether Edwards used campaign funds for the “traveling circus” that was about to begin with the announcement of Ms. Hunter’s pregnancy.  Did the money “donated” to keeping this story from breaking in the press constitute campaign finance fraud, or was the money donated by wealthy patrons to “help” with Mr. Edwards “personal” finances a legitimate expense.  Either way it underscores the moral absence of all involved since it was primarily used as “hush money” to buy the silence of a New Aged nutjob who threatened to go public with the news that she was carrying the “love child” of a presidential candidate.

As the aide, Andrew Young proved an invaluable ally to this pretense.  Going so far as to admit to the paternity of the unborn child, his role was to fly this woman, along with his own family, all over the country meeting her demands for first class travel and accommodations.  Meanwhile, the candidate himself was touting his “two America’s” crapola all over the airwaves as his “adoring family” stood by basking in his limelight.  The donations rolled in and his chances to beat back Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made him a “contender” for the highest office in the land.  It could have happened.

As the primaries rolled on and it became clear that nomination was not to be, Edwards held out for the opportunity that perhaps he would be tapped as a v.p. candidate or for the office of Attorney General.  All the more reason to keep the mistress appeased, the aide on call, and the wife onboard.  It worked for awhile.  Speculation arose after a meeting with Obama when it can be assumed that “promises” were made as Edwards leapt onstage to offer his endorsement that raised a few eyebrows since Elizabeth herself had endorsed Hillary’s positions on healthcare.  But their joint quest for power in whatever form that was offered was enough for them to “cave”.

Edwards appeal was dimming. His family life in tatters. His wife’s health was deteriorating and the mistress was about to give birth. The series of denials that followed was pathetic. A man caught in his own web of lies could only stand by and watch his hopes and dreams go up in smoke. The scandal that followed was jaw dropping.

This man might have become president.  He put his character on the line for the opportunity. But he did not manage this all on his own. There was a capable cast of characters willing to sign on to this sham.  The impossibility of keeping a lid on this explosive event was never considered.   Deny, deny, deny was the name of this game.

Though we don’t expect “perfection” from our proposed leaders we have every right to expect a measure of integrity to be on hand when considering a candidate as leader of the free world.

John Edwards showed that he had none.  And those who kept up the façade of who he really is are as guilty of putting the nation at risk as was he.  A willingness to sell one’s own soul is not much of a bargain in the end.

It is not so much a question of whether what he is charged with is considered financial fraud. The fraud is what was perpetuated upon a nation seeking a leader pretending to be something far less than was portrayed.

He could have been president.  Imagine that.


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