Yesterday

Posted originally at EENR Blog

Today is here and yesterday is over.  Why am I writing this?  Because as a reader and a John Edwards supporter I want to urge you not to change a damn thing about this blog.  Why?  Because the issues that are so important to us may not be as in focus today if it hadn't been for what John Edwards did throughout the campaign season.  I believe this wholeheartedly.

What John did in 2006 has no bearing on Universal Health Care.  What happened in 2006 does not make poverty in this County any less of an urgent issue.  The corporate media would love to believe that what John did in 2006 would mean one less powerful voice talking about the strangle hold that corporations have on every facet of our lives in this Country.

Nothing can take away from these issues unless we let it happen.

Secondly, people will look to the die hard Edwards supporters to see how they should feel about this.  Regardless of those people who are not really about the issues but about destroying a man, we must stand with Elizabeth and John.  I believe that with all my heart.

The only person who truly can be angry is Elizabeth and it is their private matter, theirs to struggle with and theirs to deal with, it is not our pain.


Today, by Elizabeth Edwards

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some - most recently - caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences.  None of these has been easy.  But we have stood with one another through them all.  Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.  

John made a terrible mistake in 2006.  The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007.  This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well.  Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.  

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.  

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one's mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame.  The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown.  But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue.  I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John's conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/8/1 93337/7354/473/564989

My response...


Dear Elizabeth,

It pains me to see you here, feeling you have to explain anything in your personal life.  Both you and John have given a great deal for causes that many of us believe in and have elevated the conversation this campaign season.  Everything else is noise.

I wholeheartedly supported John's campaign and wrote as part of EENR, I'm still very proud of what I wrote and all of it remains as true and important now as it did then.

Know that you are in my prayers, you and your entire family.  It is unfortunate that those who chose to serve the public must suffer such invasions of their private matters.  We are all human, we all make mistakes and we are all worthy of love and forgiveness. Until this is restored to how people in "public" office are treated, nothing much can change, even those issues we hold so dear because the sensational will aways overpower the most important priorities.

Thank you for fighting the good fight, for us and for your health and your family.  Know we are behind you in this fight whenever you need us for whatever reason.

My love and respect,
Heather

Yes, I understand feeling betrayed.  I defended him too.  And I don't regret that one bit, by keeping the talk off of supposed affairs and love children we helped push the ISSUES.  And by abandoning John I feel that we are abandoning Elizabeth when she needs us the most.  Her voice is just as powerful and clear when it comes to speaking about health care for all.  Her voice is just as vital to the cause of ending poverty in our life time.  Elizabeth needs us too and if we leave John behind, we leave her by the wayside as well.  

I have no sway here, I can only speak for myself and this is what this diary is intended to do.  But I hope you search your hearts and your consciences and reconsider your actions regarding the blog.

Yesterday Gary and I went to file his candidate statement for the ballot handbook that voters receive prior to the election.  We stood there having raised the money to pay for the majority of the ballot through donations (Something they rarely see according to the woman who helped us) and they told us we could not file this statement because we had failed to file a form.  One form.

As I stood there absorbing this I was browsing my email and saw the news alert regarding the news.  I was going between the two in my mind.  As I stood next to my husband I felt the world caving in on me.

We had taken this money from people, good people who wanted to support us and because I had failed to do something we would be wasting their money.  I could feel the tears welling up and my stomach turning.  I've put so much into this campaign and I was the one who pushed him to run and I felt I had failed him once again and not only that, I had failed hundreds of others who had donated to our campaign.

Now, they said they couldn't find said forms and I was sure we had filled them out, in fact, the copies of both forms (we filled it out TWICE) were sitting on our kitchen table with the official stamp of the Registrar of voters (ROV) on it.  We told them this.

As we drove home to get these documents, Gary was visibly shaken and upset.  I was still feeling sick.  We went over it, we filled them out!  We sent a copy to the Secretary of State (without using certified mail, something we've learned to be a big no no.)  Now what?

When we got home we had a message that stated they had found both ORIGINAL documents.  Gary was in contact with the SOS and they were clear that we could file our statement, no big deal, you filled it out, get it to us ASAP.

But the ROV was still not going to let us file, they wanted written approval from the Secretary of State (SOS).  Thankfully the wonderful woman who was helping us gave them written approval and we were able to file the statement.  But what a roller coaster ride of emotions.  What an up and down for us.

We had spent the day calling people to see if they could give us more money.  Our bank account was still a good $1,500 below what we needed to file and even though good souls had donated to ActBlue, we were not going to get that money until Thursday August 14th (GOD bless every single person who donated and who helped spread the message of a good man standing up to an entrenched party in our County).

People delivered.  We got checks in the mail, my uncle donated ANOTHER $250 as well as a good blogger friend who lives in Gary's district.  Someone wrote us a check for $50 and let us pick it up at his home.  People were helping us and when they said we couldn't file, all I could think was telling these people that I had failed them.  That we had failed them.

This is only a microcosm of what Elizabeth and John have been through.  This is minuscule compared to the turmoil, emotional trauma and upset that campaigning can drag one through, including the spouse if they choose to be as involved as Elizabeth is.

I hope you will consider my words.  I hope you will choose to stand with Elizabeth if you cannot stand by John right now.  I hope you will consider that what we did is not diminished in any way because of something that happened in 2006.  That was yesterday and that was many yesterdays ago.  We have to look to tomorrow.  We have to keep going forward and we cannot leave the Edwards family behind us.

Tags: 2006, Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards, Poverty, universal health care (all tags)

Comments

33 Comments

Sorry, not me.

I remember being betrayed by Bill "I never had sex with that woman" Clinton. I felt duped and made a fool of, because until Bill Clinton, I had never put any faith in the better nature of a politician. Then I did. And I felt like an idiot for doing so.

And frankly, the whole 'It's human weakness/frailty' is a load of B.S. Adultery is not a weakness, like finishing off all the ice cream when you only wanted a few spoonfuls. And it's not something that just 'happened' (unless one was really that drunk at the office Christmas party, and in that case, you were already an idiot).

NO. I won't be an apologist for these people, nor will I accept the attempts by others to do so.

An affair is an active, conscious choice that a fully-functioning adult makes repeatedly.

Running for office is also an active, conscious choice. If someone actively seeks to represent me and my interests, I see absolutely nothing wrong with holding that person to a higher standard. (I'm lookin' at YOU, Barack...)

by Its All So Goofy 2008-08-09 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry, not me.

I don't know where I condoned his actions or behavior.  What he did was wrong and even having to debate that seems rather silly to me, it's black and white for me, it was wrong.

But this was more about something else than whether he did something immoral.

by Ellinorianne 2008-08-09 08:53AM | 0 recs
Yesterday

Yesterday, John and Elizabeth Edwards both ceased to exist for me, and not because of his infidelity, but because the two of them strategized to deceive and lied, rolling the dice for the entire Democratic party. If Edwards had won the nomination, we'd almost certainly be looking at 8 more years of Republican rule. At this point, the only thing you can be absolutely certain the two of them care about is themselves.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-08-09 12:23PM | 0 recs
Grow up!

If you're name isn't Hillary or Elizabeth, feeling "betrayed" are absurd.

If adults that you do not know having affairs is that shocking and hurtful to you, sorry to break the news, but it happens all around you all the time. And it most definitely is human weakness -- that's why it's so damn common. We're a pretty imperfect species if you haven't noticed.

by LakersFan 2008-08-09 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow up!

Well, I was reading in the NY Times this morning about how his national campaign manager felt betrayed. And I can understand that.

But generally, I agree with what you've said.

by pomology 2008-08-09 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow up!

Honey, I've been on BOTH sides of that fence.

As someone who's single, I cheated on nobody. But HE did, and after she divorced him, and he started the same sh*t with me, we were oh-so-done. He thought I'd be wife #2, but once a cheater, always a cheater. He chose to cheat on her, he tried with me, and he will again.

So don't lecture me on cheating. Human weakness, my *ss. We're supposed to be the evolved species.

by Its All So Goofy 2008-08-09 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow up!

No one's telling you not to feel betrayed by the man who betrayed you. But don't displace your feelings and project them onto Bill and John. That's just silly, they don't owe you a thing.

This is human nature. Whoever told you we're supposed to be an evolved species is the one who's really betraying you.

by LakersFan 2008-08-09 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow up!

The difference with John Edwards is that he preached to/condescended to/condemned othere similarly situated. When people make a mistake, do something wrong, sin, act not in accordance with socially acceptable norms, it is one thing to accept and reflect on and be contrite for your own actions YET it is something else to cover and speak less of others for doing what you are doing. It is as simple as that. (E.g., Do you remember the times that Edwards castigated President Clinton and even Hillary Clinton for not having the perfect--adultery free--marriage? Do you remember the anger he exhibited in winter when he criticized them in this way?)

by christinep 2008-08-09 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Grow up!

Or...more likely...marriage is an imperfect institution.  And so is monogamy maybe?

by ProgressiveDL 2008-08-09 10:51AM | 0 recs
In a way, I agree

I don't think any of us should feel betrayed or hurt by the affair. That's between him and Ms. Edwards.

I do, however, feel anger that he would run for office, at a time when we desperately need the Democrats to win the White House, knowing that there was a bomb this size just waiting to go off. Unfortunately, along that line of thinking, I'm not so happy with Ms. Edwards either now that she says she knew about this and still encouraged hm to run for President. It seems to me that they both put their personal ambitions above the Party's interests.

I agree that we are far too puritanical and judgmental about our politicans' private lives, but that's the culture in which we live, and this would have torpedoed the Democrats' chances had Mr. Edwards been successful in his campaign for the nomination.

I guess I should be pleaased that we dodged a bullet.

by Liberal Monk 2008-08-09 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: In a way, I agree

I agree, that was a bad move on his part. But, put the ego of a politician together with the common sense of a philanderer and you don't always come up with the best decision-making.

I assume Elizabeth encouraged him to run because she really believes in his populist agenda and wanted to campaign and get more attention for his health care plan. Or maybe they were just fooling themselves and thought they could keep it a secret forever.

by LakersFan 2008-08-09 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: In a way, I agree

And, it gives us an opportunity to bring up John McCain, who left his wife for his current, um, bank account.

by Ellinorianne 2008-08-09 06:47PM | 0 recs
Gimme a f---ing break!

No one's perfect, not even a national big-name politican. We all make mistakes. And if you can't admit to yours, then you're the one with problems.

And btw, you're only setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect perfection from Barack Obama. While he may be a good Democrat, not even he meets your standard of holiness.

by atdleft 2008-08-09 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Gimme a f---ing break!

Not even a national big-name politician?

I might go as far to say especially not.

But obviously that doesn't mean they can't be good people and fight for good.

by pomology 2008-08-09 09:45AM | 0 recs
Well, of course...

No politician is perfect... Far from it! Bill Clinton was the best President we've had in the last 50+ years, but he had some terrible personal flaws that we all had to witness. So does this mean I hate Bill Clinton? NO! But am I sometimes amazed by how Bill & Hillary were able to save their marriage? You bet.

by atdleft 2008-08-09 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, of course...

And Bill was CERTAINLY the best president during my lifetime.

Does that mean I'm going to start thinking it was George W. just because he never cheated on Laura? (Obviously it couldn't be his father, because his father committed the egregious sin of having him.)

by pomology 2008-08-09 09:58AM | 0 recs
Amen from the chorus.

And btw, you're only setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect perfection from Barack Obama. While he may be a good Democrat, not even he meets your standard of holiness.

I cringe at the idea that somewhere down the line, we'll hear something from Obama's past that will make him less saintly, and the same overblown expectations of perfection that is causing such a row over John Edwards will happen with him.

Politicians are people persons.  They love attention from lots of people.  They have big egos.  They have people who adore them that want to get closer.  Let me get your donuts, let me drive you to the airport, let me schedule your appointments, let me brush off your suit.  

This is not to excuse it -- just to say, jesus christ, grow up everybody.

by Dumbo 2008-08-09 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

I'm so glad you were able to file successfully. And it's great to discover that people are there for you when you really need them. Gives you a bit of faith in this otherwise crazy world.

by LakersFan 2008-08-09 08:44AM | 0 recs
Me too!

I'm tellin' ya, it was a rough day on may levels.

by Ellinorianne 2008-08-09 08:54AM | 0 recs
Don't worry, Elli...

We're here for you. I hope we're helping to cheer you up this weekend. :-)

by atdleft 2008-08-09 09:41AM | 0 recs
Europeans rightly laugh at us...

when we allow people's careers to be ruined by the exposure of a sexual affair.

We need to grow up.

by Ed J 2008-08-09 10:18AM | 0 recs
Note to a friend

who was an even stronger Edwards supporter than I was:

"If there ever was an argument for shortening the election process and getting the money out of it, it's this.  Asking fallible human beings to submit themselves to an endless campaign and having all that money available to attract people, plus the fact that these endless, media-obsessive campaigns make stars out of our candidates, is a recipe for disaster.
I tend to be pretty forgiving of people whose hearts are in the right place.  I also refuse to put all the blame on John.  It was certainly a misjudgment but human beings screw up.  The woman is also at fault and I refuse to see this one as a victim.
But we all know that while IOKIYAR, it sure isn't OK if you are a Democrat."

And all the best to your husband!  My husband ran for state rep two years ago and lost, but ran a good race.  I have run for office at the town level a couple of times.  It is an exhausting, time-consuming, mind-boggling, soul-searing kinda thing to do.  And I am sure it gets worse the more people you are representing.  I have only compassion and gratitude for those willing to step into the fray (well, except for a "few" Republicans I could mention, who are in it for the money).  And I know I am no angel, and I don't really want to be represented by a saint.  No saint is going to understand me or my life.  

by bloomingpol 2008-08-09 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

For me the issue is almost always about hypocrisy.  That show a real lack of leadership.

Here is a quote by Edwards.

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."

-- John Edwards, quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer in 1999, on Bill Clinton.

And note he has the nerve to talk about the clinton's duaghter.  He should have to public apoligize to both bill, Hillary, and chelsa Clinton.

david

by giusd 2008-08-09 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

Seriously!  He ran as a moral family guy when he really wasn't.  Rudy never pretended to be that type of guy.  His campaign persona did not match his private persona - it's a valid question to ask if his private policy positions matched his public policy pronouncements, in their various iterations over the years.

by alamedadem 2008-08-09 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

Yes he defended him in his impeachment hearings.

It's called being human.  In 1999, I'm sure he never thought he would cheat on his wife.  No one thinks that.

by Ellinorianne 2008-08-09 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

Given his previous harsh (and, shall we say, hypocritical) comments about the Clintons, I also believe that John Edwards owes them an apology. Privately, if not publicly. We talk a lot about genuine, caring, humane people as leaders as what we want to see. Lets see what kind of man John Edwards really is.

by christinep 2008-08-09 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

As a former Edwards supporter I can't (won't) stand by him. He betrayed our trust and made us believe he was the best chance Democrats had to take back the White House ( why else would anybody run?).

Although I find it extremely hypocritical that a political career can be tarnished beyond repair by an affair, it is what it is. Look what Bill's affair did for us back then ( I'm a huge Bill Clinton fan and my cred on that is spotless on this blog). Not hating on the Big Dog but we've got to live in the real world here.

John Edwards should have known better when he put himself over his party and his country.

With so much at stake why would he risk it all?

What if he had been chosen as the Democratic nominee?

What then?

4 more years of Republican rule and a tarnished legacy all because John though he could do as he please with no repurcussions.

Bah!

Still as pissed as I was yesterday.

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-09 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

*repercussions.

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-09 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

 I wasn't pissed. I was demoralized. Much worse!

by QTG 2008-08-09 01:24PM | 0 recs
You're a good woman, El -

John may not deserve you - I'm disappointed and sorry I sent him money (sacrifices made).  We're all sinners - though not many of us run for President.  

by Xanthe 2008-08-09 03:14PM | 0 recs
Oh man...

I skipped replying to some comments.  Many of them showed the same problem.

Politicians are people.  They aren't saints.  We don't elect politicians to be our saviors.  We elect them because they have policies that fill our needs and support our values.  

But there are so many people, obviously, that want to elect a little tin god.  They worship Obama or Edwards or Bill or Hillary or Nader or Dean.  All of them fine people, but they are only USEFUL to us to the extent that they can do what we want them to do.

Edwards was never perfect.  And if you're shocked now, then you just never realized it.

I supported Edwards.  I donated to his campaign.  I just assumed that he had some personal problems that we would all be better off not knowing about, as I do with everybody that seems too good.  I never wanted Edwards to be Jesus Christ.  

I just wanted him to get us out of Iraq and stop the torture.  That's all I ever wanted from any of the candidates.  Other things would have been nice, too, but those two things were such biggies that they dwarfed everything else.

I feel sorry for Elizabeth right now.  She's dying from cancer, dammit.  She supported her husband who was running for president that she might, in her last days on this earth, help elect somebody she trusted to do those things.  She knew he was a philandering prick, and SHE GOT OVER IT, because there were more important issues to her.

She's the only one here who really has a right to throw a tizzy.  If you're shocked to find out that such a neat clean well-groomed guy played around, well, you're probably innocent to a lot of other things that most of us have already adjusted to.

by Dumbo 2008-08-09 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

Good point, Dumbo <about why one would be shocked.> For me, it definitely isn't about "shocked." Is IS about the sneer I feel in me watching a con-artist criticize with affectation of emotion the Clintons for lying and other character misdeeds. It is sad to see the expose of the hypocrite.

by christinep 2008-08-09 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Yesterday

Edwards' public disgrace isn't the result of the affair but the fact that he didn't make any sort of perfunctory disclosure before running.  Let's face it, this made him open to blackmail.  The Dems could have lost the race in a day.  It's a sad situation.  Edwards obviously doesn't deserve any punishment beyond what he's going to get, and the family stuff is his business, but this "I never expect politicians to be perfect" argument is silly.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-08-10 06:32AM | 0 recs

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