I'm an elderly grandmother who supported John Edwards early on in the 2008 election, gave him a small sum of money, and waited two hours to hear him speak at a local event. I have a small vested interest in him, therefore, so feel entitled to express my opinion about his tragic fall from grace.
How perfectly he fits Aristotle's concept of the "Tragic Flaw" that brings great men down. So many other high-positioned men have suffered the same flaw, as well -- of recent date, President Bill Clinton, Governor Elliot Spitzer, Congressman Anthony Weiner, to name a few. I guess the Tragic Flaw I'm referring to is pretty obvious --- these men, with all their brilliance, charisma and great accomplishments, allow their penises to trump their good sense.
I don't judge Edwards' infidelity. We don't know the true relationship of any married couple. It is tempting to condemn him because of his wife's critical illness, but still I can't go there without knowledge of the actual reality of their interaction.
I can, however, judge him as being profoundly careless, even stupid. No matter how urgent the commands of his penis, he shouldn't have allowed them to overpower him to the extent that he jeopardized his candidacy so profoundly. He practically invited discovery as he flaunted his liaison with Ms. Hunter to his staff and, hence, to the media. Talk about a self-destructive instinct! It's equivalent to a criminal writing on walls, "Stop Me Before I Kill." In the deep recesses of his psyche, John Edwards must have had a compulsion to be caught, to be stopped, to be punished. The reasons why I will leave to the psychoanalysts.
I also can't condemn the financial manipulations related to his cover-up. Apparently, the law in that regard is very murky, making it impossible to conclude wrongdoing.
So, though I consider him to be significantly self-deluding and incredibly boneheaded, I hoped for his acquittal. What grandmother worth her salt would want to see innocent children who had recently lost their mother lose their father as well, and particularly in such a humiliating way?
I am glad the children, including his love child, will have their father with them and I trust he will do his utmost to undo the harm he has caused them. It is questionable whether he can undo the harm he did to himself, however. But, Americans love stories of redemption, so maybe he can pull it off. After all, Elliot Spitzer is now an esteemed television commentator. And, Bill Clinton? He's once again the poster boy for the Democratic party.
As for the $15 I contributed to him, I'd like it back!