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Wag the Blog: Understanding Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards during an appearance on the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to promote her new memoir. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions, Inc., George Burns)

The recent media tour by Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former North Carolina senator and two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, to promote her new book, "Resilience," has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

"Is Elizabeth Edwards a victim or a co-conspirator?" Politico's Roger Simon asked in a recent column, noting that Elizabeth's decision to support her husband's 2008 presidential campaign despite his acknowledged extramarital affair was a mistake.

"Elizabeth's goal became the same as John's goal: Get this guy to the White House, a job she undertook with particular relish, especially when it came to attacking his opponents," wrote Simon.

Maureen Dowd, the queen of all columnists, wondered what Elizabeth Edwards "hopes to gain from this book."

Wrote MoDo:

"Saint Elizabeth has dragged [Edwards] back into the public square for a flogging on 'Oprah' and in Time and at bookstores near you. The book is billed as helping people 'facing life's adversities' and offering an 'inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life's biggest challenges.' But it's just a gratuitous peek into their lives, and one that exposes her kids, by peddling more dregs about their personal family life in a book, and exposes the ex-girlfriend who's now trying to raise the baby girl, a dead ringer for John Edwards, in South Orange, N.J."

And, even the Edwards's home-state paper -- the Raleigh News & Observer -- got into the act, publishing a piece that carried this lede: "As Elizabeth Edwards continued to air details of her husband's affair Thursday, she opened the gates to a tabloid torrent that left even friends and supporters questioning her motives."

Others, however, have leapt to Elizabeth Edwards's defense. "Elizabeth Edwards' reasons are her own, and she's justified to make them," wrote Tina Jordan on Entertainment Weekly's "Pop Watch" blog. "Who are we to sit in judgment?"

For today's Wag the Blog question, we want to hear your take on Elizabeth Edwards's book and subsequent media tour. Why is she doing it? And is she right or wrong to be doing it?

The most thoughtful responses will be featured in their own post later this week.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 12, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Next: White House Cheat Sheet: Commencement Speech Controversy


looking in from the outside- we all can be pretty judgmental. here is an article that discusses the complexities of forgiveness in marriage. take a quick peek.

Posted by: passionatewives | May 18, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why she wrote it. Some say money, some say she is noble. It could be for attention, to be back in the public eye again. She was on Oprah. That is getting attention.

I have a better question: Can anyone imagine what it was like living in the Edward's house while Elizabeth was writing that book? So many spouses say they read the author's work by chapters or before it goes to the publisher. She probably had to set up a publisher first or agree to a book deal. The whole process takes a long time. Can anyone imagine what it was like in that marriage as she wrote her book and then went out to promote it?

He humiliated her. I think she got him back in full measure. Maybe the payback was worse. He hid it from her. She got her payback right in front of his face every day with every page she finished and now with every place she promotes it.

The moral to this cautionary tale is that you don't mess with Elizabeth.

Posted by: smearedlipstick | May 15, 2009 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Honesty about difficulties is a hallmark of Elizabeth Edwards's life.

On the campiagn trail in Iowa, her candidness about her cancer drew many women to collapse in her arm as they wispered they too had cancer. Those of us attending the small meetings grew to expect this and always gave that person time for Elizabeth's compassion.

I guarantee, if she were on the campaign trail today, a different set of women would be collapsing into her arms as they tell their story of husbands who cheated. They might cry, they might be angry but they would know they had a compassionate ear in Elizabeth Edwards.

When Elizabeth speaks about a cheating husband, I am 100% with her. I know that pain, that humiliation and that life turned upside down. Her honesty gives me strength.

I appreciate deeply that I have had the chance to know Elizabeth Edwards, and to have learned from a great lady who has shown me not only how to face difficulties and survive, but how to help others along the way.

Posted by: JoCr | May 14, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Does it strike anyone else that the negative judgments about Elizabeth Edwards are less reasoned commentaries on her book's content (which, if they've read it at all, they've read selectively) than they are a vitriolic rehash of the judgments that followed John Edwards's admission of his affair?

Why didn't Elizabeth stop the campaign when she found out? Why doesn't Elizabeth throw the bum out? Why doesn't she just shut up about it already?

It speaks volumes that she decided to write the book at all, knowing full well that she would have to run this mean-spirited gauntlet of a book tour.

I've heard no one--no one--talk about its substance: her valuable and hard-won insights into how a person copes with, accepts, and eventually lives with the new reality of a life that's been irrevocably and radically changed by *any* sweeping change, loss, or tragedy. A good half of book, at least, concerns the loss of her son, Wade. She has gone beyond her earlier work, "Saving Graces," in speaking to the evolving struggle of any human being who faces the profoundest of losses.

I truly don't understand the rush to judge her. If people don't care to hear any more about the Edwardses, for heaven's sake, don't buy the book! Don't read or watch the interviews! Change the channel!

In the meantime, what some of us see is a magnificent woman, imperfect as we all are, who is sharing her truth while she still can. She does not have the luxury of time to reach out, to share her journey, perhaps to help others find their own way through the darkness, as she has done so eloquently.

People see what they want to see, through their own filters. It's a pity that so many see fit to strike out at someone in whose shoes they haven't walked.

Posted by: editrix | May 13, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Well Mr. 68 year old man, I suppose that it is theoretically possible that you loved your wife while you had multiple affairs behind her back. Then again it is statistically more probable that you say that you did because it sounds good and throws you in a better light(?) if true. Nobody likes to look like scum of the earth.

Posted by: Thersites2 | May 13, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Many people post comments about Elizabeth Edward's book without reading it. I have read it. I highly recommend it to anyone who has had their life slammed by unexpected pain. This book is not just about John's affair, but she has had the courage not to leave that part of her life out of the book. It is a good book because it helps the reader feel less alone, and much less hopeless.

After the critics and the skeptics have moved on to other topics, the book will still be here. I think she wrote it because she needed to tell her story. I am so grateful that she did. Her book has helped me, and will help many others. I hope you will read it.

Posted by: bettync | May 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

You are a 68-year-old man who admits to cheating against his first wife, and says that Mrs. Edwards "should know that a man can be in love with his wife and still have affairs". My husband said that to me, too, as if it was supposed to make it better. It actually makes it worse, because it is a clear statement that "I loved you then, had affairs, just as I love you now.... so look out, I may just do it again." It is the most unsettling thing you could do. It is far more understandable if you have a reason that you weren't feeling great about the relationship with the wife at the time. Hence if that reason no longer exists, there's a better chance you'll be faithful.

Posted by: amhartley | May 13, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As a 68 year old man in my second marriage who cheated on my first wife frequently despite the fact that she was beautiful and a great wife I certainly cannot put myself in Elizabeth Edwards shoes. My marriage did not end because of my cheating. As a lawyer and a human being I feel great compassion for Mrs.Edwards. It seems that life is playing a dirty trick on her. I also feel great compassion for John Edwards. As a rich and handsome man I am sure he was given many opportunities to cheat. If he only gave in to "temptation" once he certainly must have been very much in love with his wife. I hope that Mrs. Edwards realizes that it is very possible for a man to be very much in love with a wife and still have "affairs" with other women. I hope that she finds a cure for her cancer and that she lives many more years. I also hope that she gives her husband another chance if, even now, he wants to stay married. She should have a talk with Hillary Clinton. If for no other reason she should stay married because of the children.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | May 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

If her kids weren't involved, I would say good for her. However, her kids and her husband's potential love child (through no faults of their own) are involved. Shame on her for putting these children into the spotlight like this.

Posted by: jadrummond | May 13, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The pain in Elizabeth Edward's account is palpable. I really feel for her. I think her motive is to set the record straight before it can be distorted for her children in the future. She knows she is going to leave them prematurely and history has a way of re-writing itself in the hands of others. This is her story and she needed to make it concrete. His story may be quite different and he may attempt to justify his actions in the future, but her children will always know how she felt about his betrayal and it would make it very difficult for the other woman and the child--if it is his--to be a part of their lives in the future. Perhaps it is her attempt to secure her family for the days ahead. . I say, blessings on her, not curses. We should not try to second guess why she is doing this but just admire her for taking a stand and leaving something for her children. It's not important to understand her motivation but to emphatize with her pain and the pain of her children who were also betrayed.

Posted by: primadonna1 | May 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

A key point is that Elizabeth is dying. She must know that John is just waiting for her death and looking forward to spending the rest of his life (could be 40 years) with the girlfriend, their baby and Elizabeth's children. Every moment she spends with him in their house must be filled with distrust and grief. She sees her entire marriage as a farce and knows that whatever "kindness" he might show to her now is fake. He can't wait for her to die so he can move on to the pretty young girlfriend. If Elizabeth weren't dying, I bet she'd kick his butt out faster than fast. Because she's dying, she wants her children to continue their relationship with the parent who will raise them after her death. Maybe her book is her only way of expressing the intense anger and tragic sorrow of knowing that her marriage, past and present, has been a lie and that John's future lies with the cheap tart who moved in on a married man. Of course John is a narcissist who is flattered by the attention of a young, pretty girl (or girls) while married to a mature woman, especially one who is dying. If Elizabeth gets any catharsis from writing this book, and if it explains for everyone forever the duplicity of this man, I'm happy for her. Money? How silly. If she divorced John, she'd get more money than she could ever hope to spend. If she makes money on this book, she'll leave it to her children who might well be left out of his will in favor of the "love child." God bless, Elizabeth.

Posted by: Noel6 | May 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Oprah show interview and read a very angry woman who is trying to keep her family together for whatever time she has left. I just hope she has left her true feelings about her decisions to her children. A man like John Edwards, who is a self admitted narcissist and has children need to hear from their mother that if the circumstances were different regarding her health, she would be outta there.
I believe her continuation of the campaign was done while in such a state of shock over his infidelity and her cancer return, her head was in the wrong place. Let's have some compassion here for a woman who had been handed way more than 99.9%of us could handle with a clear head.

Posted by: bjbold | May 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

What's the mystery? She is selling her book, that's what this is all about.

Posted by: galleta1 | May 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse


You are quite an ass. Of course you can only see how the MAN was hurt through all this. I bet your wife is SO proud of you, that is if someone puts up with your ass.

Posted by: MAC14 | May 13, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I do understand the suspicions about Elizabeth Edwards' motives. She has not always endeared herself to us as a candidate's wife, and we've seen what a savvy political operative she can be. She knows politics. However, I don't think it would hurt any of us to try to think about this for a moment from the perspective of someone who is looking at her death with an immediacy that most of us don't have to. I wonder if she decided to state some things, clear the air so to speak, before she leaves. The book will outlive her in a way that her spoken words won't. I don't know for sure that there isn't some darker motive here. Most of us usually aren't fully aware of all of our motives ourselves, so she may not have a handle on it all, either. But the position and perspective of someone with a terminal illness can't be ignored here when we talk motive.

Posted by: lkmcland | May 13, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Would John Edwards stay with and publicly defend Elizabeth if she had borne a child fathered by another man who was her lover? I doubt it.

Posted by: arussell91 | May 13, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards isn't naive. She's known all along that she's married to a powerful and persuasive man whose looks could get him cast on a soap opera if he weren't in politics. It's the high profile men such as Edwards, Clinton, Vitter, Spitzer, etc. (the list goes on and on, doesn't it) who are naive to think that they won't get caught.

So my guess is that Elizabeth still loves her man and that she's defending all that she's earned in her life and that, and that, uh ...

...Aw, heck, I don't know why she's doing what she's doing!

Posted by: dognabbit | May 13, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to peg a motive on what she is doing, but it's not hard to sit in judgement of her when you consider her kids and the rest of her family. Bringing this stuff back up and going back through it all can serve no positive purpose for them. The only reasonable explanation is that she wants to go down in history as the most noble of all political wives. They don't need the money and the publicity is only negative at this point for her husband. Seems to me like she is sacrificing what little dignity her family had left to leave her mark on the political world. There seems to be little other explanation for the sudden rush of publicity regarding the debacle that was the Edwards affair and campaign. I felt bad for her before, but now she is using a terrible incident for her own personal agenda.

Posted by: brentlundberg | May 13, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

A psychologist friend told me that the most pain her patients related to her was a result of infidelity by a spouse.. even more so than grieving or physical maladies..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 13, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Another glib comment from a cynic who I'm sure has never walked in the shoes of anyone in this story. It reflects badly on you, not them.

She doesn't need money. She needs validation, empathy, and respect, and to feel like she's a person in her own right, not just one absorbed by him and his deceiptful and selfish life. There is so much more to her than that.

Posted by: amhartley | May 13, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"What does she gain from this book ?"
Just money.

Posted by: mixedbreed | May 13, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with revenge. If it'll keep the other woman out of her house and away from her children I say good for her. It didn't work for Princes Di, but maybe it will for Elizabeth. Politicians and money and power and affairs are almost always a certainty. I like Elizabeth for her brains and her courage. I'm not sure I'll buy her book because tell-alls bore me, but she surely deserved the opportunity to write and publish it if it gives her consulation. Dowd writes a good column, but she doesn't like women other than herself and Caroline Kennedy.

Posted by: txajohnson | May 12, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I am continually astounded at people who criticize the victim of infidelity. Especially when it's a public figure. They flaunt their progressive views that it really doesn't matter what anyone does in their private lives as long as their public lives meet with public approval. Fine. I disagree because I think mistakes in judgment in their private lives are a huge red flag about their judgment, period.

Elizabeth Edwards seems to me to be completely blameless in all of this and I can't fault her a bit for going public with their private business because the media and practically everyone else have made it public business. And if she is sharing painful personal information that embarrasses him further, well, that was what he signed up for when he chose to betray his commitment to Elizabeth. Period. All bets were off at that point. Let her have her day in court!

I agree that she hasn't dealt with some of the issues. That little girl is John Edwards' baby; the eyes are exact copies of his. But anyone who has been through this (I have) knows that recovery, if it ever happens, is a very slow process, and verbalizing whatever's happening in that process at any given time is helpful because you hear yourself and evaluate your own words. Then you adjust and grow a little more.

I just want her to come out (and go out) with her self respect and life intact. The least we can do is listen.

Posted by: amhartley | May 12, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards may well be dying. Normally you could expect a woman in her position to do whatever she needs to, quietly, so as to escape the harsh light of bad publicity.

In her case though, bad publicity is her friend, her very best friend, let me explain.

John has indicated a willingness to drag his family all over the country on the campaign trail for little or no gain. He does not appear to care what happens to them, he's going to do it anyway, witness Elizabeth's poor health.

Elizabeth is a big girl who has more options at her disposal to defend herself than her young children do. She can shield them while she's alive but she may not be alive much longer.

If she shines a light on the stupid things he's done now (and the stupider things he did to cover up), he will be unable to repair the damage for a long time if ever and will need to assume a much lower profile. He may not view this as a very good thing now, but getting it over with will keep him from coming to nothing later. He cannot deny in any case that she really did go above and beyond the call of duty to help him win, take a look at the firestorm she is enduring now for smiling for the camera while saying what a wonderful husband he was. He's done, either now or in a death by a thousand cuts later, had she not written the book.

This will make her dying days most unpleasant, but it may buy her children many years of relative normalcy. I don't think that there is any mistake in the timing of this book, the last business day before Mother's Day.

Posted by: Thersites2 | May 12, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the emotions most playing on Ms. Edwards's psyche at the moment are guilt and determination. She cares enough about the country that she surely feels some guilt for the Faustian bargain she made in 2007 and 2008, when she helped her husband trade on his family man persona to seek the nomination. But now that all that's over, and the whole world knows what he did, I suspect Ms. Edwards is bound and determined to redeem him in the eyes of the country - not so much for his sake, but for the sake of her youngest kids, so that they won't grow up knowing that everyone around them disdains their father. The fact that Ms. Edwards probably won't be here to help them through it just makes the situation heartbreaking. But by parading him in public and letting everyone get their licks in now, not to mention opening herself up to the pity of a nation, she's making it possible for him to one day move beyond this point.

Posted by: ladylily | May 12, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The media seems to overlook that the book is Edwards' stories and learned lessons, not a juicy tell-all gossip book. The affair focus may get viewers, but it's insulting to Elizabeth to boil her life down to something her husband did. Whatever her "goal" is, I doubt it's this drivel. It's not about pity for a cancer victim and aggrieved wife, it's basic respect.

Posted by: thecorinthian | May 12, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

MIA, yeah, that's how I remember it. Monica's game was way too strong for MoDo.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

BWJ, I defer to your recollection.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

1. Why is she doing it?

Money, money, money.

2. And is she right or wrong to be doing it?

Look, she is a blowhard and nobody cares about what he has to say. (BTW, is she still "withholding" her endorsement of BHO (just checking). What arrogance and self-importance.) Her TV interviews are idiotic, mean (towards the child, whom she calls "it"), and ghoulish (given her medical condition).

3. Why is the Fix talking about this self-absorbed bloated blowhard?

Your guess is as good as mine. Slow news day, I guess.

One poster wrote: "Dowd is a gossip columnist who won a Pulitzer for her Monica stories. The funniest of them was her retelling of crossing ML's path in a DC restaurant. ML asked her "Why do you write that stuff about me all the time? To which Dowd said "You? You think this is about you? I write about the President. You are nothing.""

I like MoDo but as I remember it, Monica L. totally faced MoDo down and MoDo had NO verbal comeback whatsoever. Monica won the facedown. MoDo then wrote a column about what she SHOULD have said to Monica if she had had the nerve.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 12, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I read EE's earlier book and liked it and her even more than after the 2004 campaign, when she was who I wanted to vote for. I was convinced that she was worth three of her husband even before the affair news broke. There is a genuineness about her that warms me to my toes, whereas he always seemed like warmed-over Bill Clinton to me: slick and vain. Having said that, Bill C. wasn't a bad president, and John E. might even have been a good one; I have no problem with his wife believing in him in that capacity while wanting to flog him raw on the domestic side. Anyway, if you don't like that she wrote it, don't buy or read the book! The more naysayers grumble, the more buzz mounts about it. And you know what that means!

Posted by: msbeadsley | May 12, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse


As you no doubt are aware, regional fusion centers apparently are using sophisticated computer technology to maliciously tamper in real time with the internet connections of persons unjustly "targeted" for warrantless surveillance.

This surveillance appears to be a pretext for harassment, censorship and imposition of control.

Part of this harassment protocol apparently involves the insertion in real time of spelling and grammatical errors, with the intent to make the "target" look ignorant or sloppy.

I proof my posts carefully. Still, the errors appear. This "real-time" site mirroring and tampering, in my opinion, constitutes a color of law violation.

Unfortunately, no one seems to be enforcing the law in this regard, or reining in rogue operators. Perhaps a lawsuit is in order. Or a call to Janet Napolitano.

Since you raised the subject, perhaps I should refer you to a short article with links to examples of malicious tampering.

Given your apparent "hobby," you already may be familiar with these "methods."

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I think it is obvious that Elizabeth is preparing for the day she will no longer be with her family.
The last think she wants is for "the other woman"
to be a part of her children's lives.
I wish her luck and hopefully she can live to see her children as Adults.
I can't tell you how disappointed I am in Maureen Dowd and the other columnists that don't understand her pain.

Posted by: gigimn37 | May 12, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse


Do you have the same advice for male victims of infidelity?

Until recently, it had been considered unmanly to vent in public about the cheating wife, but we know men who have done it, nevertheless

I had a firend, now deceased, who was a Methodist minister. He was certain his wife was cheating. She too was a UMC minister. Eventually they divorced and she married the man [another UMC Minister] who my friend believed she was diddling. I convinced my friend not to complain to church authorities about her but to raise his concerns in counseling. Was that wrong advice?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Are we really the arbiters of what is right and wrong in Mrs. Edwards's situation?

If so, the mind reels.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Many find it highly objectionable that Elizabeth Edwards has chosen to write and speak so candidly about her husband’s infidelity and its effect on her. Others question her motives for doing so. Speaking from the standpoint of an infidelity expert who has researched infidelity for the past 15 years, and who is frequently called on by the media to comment on high profile infidelity and other infidelity issues in the news -- and from the standpoint of someone who was once a victim of infidelity myself, I think Elizabeth Edwards should be commended, rather than criticized for sharing her innermost thoughts about the affair.

In speaking so candidly, Elizabeth Edwards is performing a valuable service to betrayed wives, and other women with cheating mates, by directing public attention to aspects of infidelity that usually go unnoticed or ignored. Media coverage of high profile infidelity is usually all about the cheater -- who he is, why he cheated, how he got caught, what his infidelity will mean to his career. The betrayed wife’s voice is seldom heard. In her book and her interviews, Elizabeth Edwards has focused public attention on a side of infidelity that’s rarely seen. Judging from the severe criticism she has garnered for “airing her dirty laundry,” this is a side of infidelity that the public would rather not see.

Betrayed wives need to know that they are not alone -- that Elizabeth Edwards and other women in the same situation, experience the same emotional turmoil, physical symptoms, and mental anguish when trying to cope with their husbands’ affairs.

Men who are cheating, or who have cheated on their wives or significant others, need to see and hear firsthand the hurt, humiliation and heartbreak they inflict on their loved ones when they have affairs.

Political ramifications aside, I think we need to look at this much-discussed topic from a different perspective. Much can be learned, even from the portions of Elizabeth Edwards’ book that were leaked to the public before the book went on sale. These things are addressed on my Infidelity News and Views blog at

A discussion of the reasons politicians’ wives like Elizabeth Edwards, and other women stay with men who cheat, is posted on my Infidelity Advice blog at

Posted by: RuthHouston | May 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Are we talking about the first wife that Mr. Gingrich left for a younger woman? Or are we talking about the second wife he left for a younger woman (the one he was having an affair with while he was impeaching the President for having an affair)? Hard to keep track. And are we talking about the same mainstream media that constantly touts this man as Presidential material and a potential 2012 candidate?

Posted by: sinjon | May 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Scrivener50 wrote:

Keep up the output. "The program" is counting on you. You do, "mark_in_austin."

What does this mean? My guess:

The first two sentences refer to MikeB and the last sentence was supposed to read "You, too,..." not
"You do,...". Then it would make grammatic sense. But it would still lack clarity, IMHO.

Have a nice day, Vic - and I mean you no harm. There is no hidden message in my greeting.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

She is doing this all for money. That's it. Plain and simple. She was a participant in a conspiracy to commit public fraud with her husband's campaign. Let's ignore her and her book. This is no longer politics. It is tabloid fodder.

Posted by: psears2 | May 12, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It is her right to do this...I just think tere has to be a better use of her remaining time than to drag this negative stuff out again.

Posted by: soonerthought | May 12, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure anyone really cares about John or Elizabeth Edwards at this point.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 12, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey armpeg, what exactly do you think a terminally ill cancer patient is going to do with the "millions" she's going to make off the book. "I'm going to DisneyWorld!!!"

You're an idiot armpeg.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 12, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know of Cheney's whereabouts at the time of the Tate murders.. the stuff written on the walls.. it suddenly just 'all seems to fit'..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

What I see, so far, is a woman who is ill, has been betrayed by the man who was for three decades her husband/lover/father of her children and is now merely her betrayer, is not giving off a particularly forgiving vibe toward said man, is feeling especially vengeful toward his extramarital partner, and is stressed beyond endurance--and for unfathomable reasons of her own is choosing to work out that stress in a public venue.

I feel horribly sad for her. I don't know if it's courage sustaining her or anger, but I'm betting on the latter.

Posted by: ktartiste | May 12, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse


Spoken like a true Machiavellian.

Keep up the output. "The program" is counting on you. You do, "mark_in_austin."

And don't worry: I won't tell Team Obama about political blog mobbing.

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards is probably not just a spurned woman scorned, she's promoting her book in order to make millions for herself. The more publicity she can stir up, the more people will buy her book, and the more money she'll make.
This John Edwards affair though proves once again that the Main Stream Media is totally in the tank with the Democrap Socialist Party. John Edwards, before he was exposed by the National Enquirer, was the poster boy of the Democrap Socialist Party, with many comparing him to JFK. He could do no wrong, and was not only in the MSM's news reports just about every day, but usually had his picture on the front page or on the MSM's TV news shows. Once his tryst however was reported by the National Enquirer, John Edwards was suddenly gone everywhere for a whole year(exept for Fox News which always reports all the news fairly and balanced). Compare that to when Newt Gingrich asked his cancer-stricken wife for a divorce, in order to marry another. Headline news everywhere, with hundreds of supposed journalists, editors, and publishers writing thousands of crocodiled-teared columns, books, and articles whining about how that poor woman suffered, and how mean and nasty Newt Gingrich was for doing that to this poor woman. Yet when John Edwards was exposed as having had an affair with another woman who had his baby, he suddenly disappeared from all of the MSM's news for a year until just recently--and only because of Elizabeth Edwards book. Whatever happened to all the womens groups, that got so upset with the Gingrich affair for months on end? Where were all those outraged journalists, editors, and publishers to whine about what Edwards did to poor cancer-stricken Elizabeth? The MSM's silence and cover-up on this Edwards affair for the last year is deafening!

Posted by: armpeg | May 12, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What a woman decides in her relationship is her business; what’s right for you, may not be right for Elizabeth Edwards. People should stop calling Elizabeth, John, and Rielle names—it’s childish and ridiculous. The pain this couple is struggling to overcome is monumental; what higher purpose is served by calling them names and tearing them down as they try to rebuild their lives and family? Why must we engage in cruel name calling and harsh judgment of this couple for choosing to remain a family?

Woman seem to be most critical of Elizabeth Edwards (and other "politcal wives" who choose to remain married to unfaithful husbands); to these women I say rather than judge Elizabeth Edwards's personal decisions what we should be moved to anger and judgment on is the years it took the Illinois medical examiner to figure out that Kathleen Savio was murdered by her husband Drew Peterson; that her dead body in a dry bathtub was not an accidental drowning.

As women we should be moved to anger and judgment that Stephen Morgan harassed, stalked, and murdered the beautiful Johanna Justin-Jinich. As women we should be moved to anger and judgment that Connie Culp endured an 80% face transplant because her husband shot her in the face.

Women should not sit in judgment of those who choose to rebuild their families. Rather, women need to be concerned with a more fundamental issue: a woman’s right to live on earth—a woman’s right to live free of violence, harassment, disfigurement, stalking, and threat of death.

Chris, at this very moment a man is beating a woman to death…judge the political and social ramifications her death and domestic violence has on society as a whole rather than judge the inconsequential personal decisions of Elizabeth Edwards.

Posted by: txgall | May 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hello? Money, fame, legacy, revenge, airing a public grievance, or just taking the opportunity to tour the country and be applauded as if she were completing a twelve step program. Take your pick; any of the reasons work, but in my opinion, all of the reasons are selfish.

Posted by: lindaj4 | May 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Your Jesse Ventura reference assumes the purpose of torture, American-style, is to gain information."

No, scrivener -- just the opposite. what venture, viabsimon is saying is that torture is used to elicit FALSE confessions -- you know, like a link between saddam and bin ladin. get it?

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I can't imagine why she is doing it, other than hurt and anger and that's doing no one any good. So why do we even have to talk about it?

Posted by: drindl | May 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

What's to understand? She's DYING and she knows it. She is leaving behind a young child that will need to be cared for by a father, a basically decent guy who got tangled up with a sexual predator -- a groupie, the female equivalent of a rapist. She is publicly rubbing her husbands nose in his folly to make certain he understands his failing and doesn't make the same mistake, or something similar, again. That's not so hard to understand, is it?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | May 12, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon's two posts are the best. Dowd is a gossip columnist who won a Pulitzer for her Monica stories. The funniest of them was her retelling of crossing ML's path in a DC restaurant. ML asked her "Why do you write that stuff about me all the time? To which Dowd said "You? You think this is about you? I write about the President. You are nothing." I apologize for inaccuracy here but that was from memory. Yes, she won a Pulitzer for cr-p like that.

We have more respect for Jesse V., of course.
I have not read EE's book. I do not watch Oprah. I do know that emotions cloud the mind and shape conduct. Thus I have always marveled at divorce lawyers because all of their clients on both sides of each contested case are functional liars. This is so different from the typical civil business case where most witnesses are actually trying to remember what they saw and heard and tell it truthfully - where human error is more of an issue than motive. Motive seems to overpower in a contested divorce.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse


To continue off-topic...

Your Jesse Ventura reference assumes the purpose of torture, American-style, is to gain information.

When it may be a sadistic exercise in sending a message to ANY potential "enemy," even the unjustly or falsely accused:

Don't mess with the U.S. security forces or THIS will happen to you.

Plus, the torturers are rewarded for their compliance by getting their sadistic jollies...

Viewed in that context, the quality of the information derived is quite beside the matter...

...with the quest for "good intel" just a pretext for bullying, monstrous behavior.

And if you think it's not STILL happening, and right here in the U.S. of A., please read THIS:

OR (if link is tortured):

OR watch this video:

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

She's no better than he is and they both make me want to throw up. They should do all of us one final favor and just go away. In fact, Elizabeth has become even less tolerable than John, Ugh!

Posted by: DCKilt | May 12, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

She is only doing it for the money.
She'll need it.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 12, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

MAC.. I like your wording better.. good point also..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Elizabeth Edwards wanted to accomplish with this book. There doesn't seem to be anything to it that isn't a gratuitous peek into the most sordid and painful chapters of their lives, gratifying the morbidly curious but puzzling the rest of us.

Is this really about her overcoming an adversity that was partly self-inflicted? Her interviews make it sound like she's mostly interested in 1) punishing her husband and the "other woman", 2) justifying her own collusion in his aborted presidential campaign and 3) offering up tidbits of this tragic situation for public consumption.

And that's unfortunate.

Posted by: dbitt | May 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

You know, my only reaction to this situation has been as a parent. In my opinion, the Edwards' marital relationship is their own business. But when a terminally ill parent decides to spend time and effort on a spouse's misconduct, they cement the image of that parent as a cheat or a liar for their children's reflection after they are gone.

Maybe, to some extent, it was important to Elizabeth Edwards that her children understand the nature of what happened, but to do it in full view of the public is not the decision I would have made.

The difference between her handling of her husband's affair and, for example, Hillary Rodham Clinton's handling of Pres. Clinton's affairs is worth noting. I remember HRC being roundly criticized for *not* speaking out...

Posted by: J_Kelly | May 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Former Governor Ventura (who experienced the board as part of his Naval training) on whether waterboarding is torture:

"You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

That a terminally ill woman has now victimized her children compounds the tragedy.

As does the media's prurient exploitation of the subject.

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 12, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

" exposes the ex-girlfriend who's now trying to raise the baby girl, a dead ringer for John Edwards, in South Orange, N.J."

How considerate of Ms Dowd to take the girlfriend's side in such a helpful way.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 12, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

While I feel badly for Mrs. Edwards, I question her judgment.

Despite knowing this story was out there (and true), she acted as the campaign's attack dog quite a few times and, for a whole host of reasons, that in and of itself was unseemly at best.

She's a remarkably strong woman and I feel for her, but her poor judgment during the campaign coupled with her inexplicable fueling of the fire now certainly has to call her judgment into serious question.

Posted by: reubencarter | May 12, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse


I disagree with your wording. Try this: Politican cheats on terminally ill wife -...... Sorry, but there is nothing new to read about there, sadly enough!

Posted by: MAC14 | May 12, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards has cancer for the 2nd time, not good by any measure. Perhaps she had some "things to say" before her time is over. And IMHO, she has every right to say what she chooses to say, the rest of our opinions matter not. I saw the Oprah show, and then on the following Friday Oprah show, the panel each commented on how they thought that the baby that "looks just like John Edwards" would changed her life, after Elizabeth said it would not. She is right! Her lot is casted, and no matter how calous that may seem, she is dying, and no one should judge her until we "walk a mile in her shoes".

Posted by: MAC14 | May 12, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

This should be a big seller.. Man cheats on loving and terminally ill wife - with cheap blonde fertile videographer.. I may buy this one myself.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 12, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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