Political Rule #1 — If You Want to be President, Keep it in Your Pants

Fri, August 8, 2008



Yes, John, I’m talking to you.

How could you be that stupid?

You know, as a general matter, whatever politicians do in their private lives is their business. I don’t want them poking into my personal matters or anyone else’s, so I think that’s only fair. Have extramarital affairs or don’t, but keep CNN and the networks at bay.

In our day of 24/7 news coverage and cable news that feeds on stories about sex or anything even coming close, you have to be a fool not to believe that if you fool around, you are going to get caught eventually.

I really didn’t think you were a fool, John.

Whether it’s our business or not, when you get caught (and people always get caught), it will pretty much be the end of your career, unless you are an uber-politician like Bill Clinton.

John, how could you not know that? The only way I would be more ticked off right now, is if you HAD become the Democratic nominee and this news was coming out 2 1/2 weeks before the convention. In any event, the GOP is still going to find a way to make hay with this. I know they are working on the ad even as I am typing this post.

Perhaps an even bigger problem for you, John, is that those of us who were your most ardent supporters, were also equally enamored of your wife Elizabeth. As a matter of fact, some of us thought she should be the one running for president. So, it’s sort of a betrayal two-fer — we don’t care about the affair other than how it impacts your important messages on poverty and health care, and how it impacts your amazing wife.

If you or other politicians are going to find ways to mess up your political careers, and disenfranchise those of us who supported you the most, can you find some new way to do it?

At least surprise us next time.

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29 Responses to “Political Rule #1 — If You Want to be President, Keep it in Your Pants”

  1. Megan Says:

    Sounds like good advice to me.


  2. Caroline Says:

    Seriously PM, he has lost so much credibility in my mind. Like you, I agree that who you sleep with is your business. BUT, as you pointed out, he is so damn stupid if he didn’t KNOW better… I just feel like any ounce of strength, promise of possibility, perception of brilliance he had… is lost. Because for such an important political figure to be sleeping around, ESP. BEHIND THE BACK OF SUCH AN AMAZING WOMAN (‘scuse the scream, kinda dealing right here, PM therapy, right?), boils down to nothing else other than the fact that he is plain old stupid. Without a backbone. And so clearly NOT the human I thought he was. I know I’m mad but for real. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, John.

  3. kimberly/tippy toes Says:

    I agree. I cannot get over the arrogance of having an affair (allegedly) while running for the nomination. Did he really think it wouldn’t come out? Didn’t Gary Hart teach presidential candidates anything?!

  4. Karoli Says:

    There are really no words with which to express my disgust, sadness, disappointment and anger.

    I don’t care who he screws, but I care that Elizabeth has to deal with this. He might have even had reasons. Did he not have the sense to use protection?

    He’s not the first politician; he won’t be the last. But when do the wives stand up and tell their husbands to stop making choices that screw up their lives and careers?

  5. kimberly/tippy toes Says:

    Whoops, I now see it is definitely no longer an alleged affair. UGH! I feel bad for his wife and kids.

  6. Liz Says:

    I’m so disappointed.

  7. Phyllis Sommer Says:

    he did NOT!? I can’t believe he would be such an idiot. Well said, Pundit Mom. I am overwhelmingly disappointed in him.

  8. anniegirl1138 Says:

    I feel bad for him and his wife.

    I was married to man with a terminal illness. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior but it will bring out surprising reactions and your mind goes to places you would never have thought it would in such circumstances.

    Oh, and being terminally ill or a caretaker doesn’t make a person a saint. At the end of the day you are still just a husband and a wife with all the baggage plus the illness and the certain future. It is one thing to die or be widowed suddenly and it is a completely different to watch it advance at you slowly over years. Until you have been there, you don’t know for sure what you will or won’t do.

    For me there was a lot of emotional separation that went on. It was the only way to keep myself from falling apart – and that just wasn’t an option. Nervous breakdowns are only for those who can afford them. I didn’t have an affair but our ordeal only lasted three years.

    In the end, he should have manned up and come clean immediately but he is a politician. Spinning is a huge part of who they are.

    Politicians are just people. I think as a nation we would be better served to stop expecting better behavior from them than we do of ourselves, family, friends and neighbors.

  9. David Says:

    Nothing pisses me off more than infidelity. It’s just a thing with me.

    Think of your kids, jerk. People look up to you and all you have to say, on the friday the olympics open, is “I didn’t love her.” after you lied about it. Coward.

    I sure hope the sex was worth it, jerk.

  10. followthatdog Says:

    I’m angry too, but not really surprised. I think the political environment we’ver created would make me wonder about anyone who would run for president. What kind of person would put themselves up for that kind of unrelenting scruteny? A seriously flawed egomaniac seems to be my only answer.
    It was a rediculously stupid thing to do. He had to know he would be caught.

  11. Daisy Says:

    Remember Gary Hart and his cocky “follow me” attitude? The press followed him – and caught him. Oh, John, how could you do this to Elizabeth? To yourself?

  12. mothergoosemouse Says:

    What other people do is absolutely their business, not mine – but people in the public eye, who put themselves and by extension, their relationships, in the spotlight, have to know that there won’t be any secrets. There’s can’t be.

    I just really didn’t want it to be true. I’m sorry it is.

  13. Lawyer Mama Says:

    I’m so pissed at him!

  14. Prudence Says:

    Another whoring and lying man to add to the collection … Clinton, Spitzer, Guiliani, Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby….I guess he’s got company. I’m pissed b/c I actually liked the guy. I thought, mistakenly so, that he would have been a good candidate since the Kerry days. Imagine, if won in the last go round and was in the White House when this happened? Clinton drama again? I’m just praying that Barack Hussein Obama, if he has skeletons and he probably does, will keep them under wraps until his term is over.

  15. Shonda Little Says:

    I have to say, I am surprised. There are many other politicians I would’ve thought this of before him.
    But, like you, I don’t believe leaders should have to explain to me who is cleaning their clock so long as they are doing their jobs.

  16. Cynthia Samuels Says:

    Yeah. It’s sad, no? And she’s so brave and smart. Damn.

  17. impromptublogger Says:

    I was pretty shocked but politicians are all dogs I think. Well, McCain had affairs before he married his trophy heiress wife.

  18. Professor J Says:

    I am so angry. I really believed in Edwards. What an idiot.

  19. Laura Says:

    call me cynical but i am not surprised by this story…i’m very sad and very disappointed but i am not surprised.
    i will out myself now saying that although i liked a lot of what edwards had to say and potentially offer as president, i did not support him. i just couldn’t get past the fact that i felt at this time his place was with his wife and children. i know they made a different choice but i just could not agree with it.
    it is such a shame to see yet another talented public servant make such bad choices.

  20. Laura Says:

    To clarify, I’m a different Laura.

    Three words: what a douche.

  21. Karen Says:

    Surprisingly, I find myself unsurprised. I’m beginning to think there isn’t a (male) politician out there who can keep his fly closed. I also think that, like all the other celebrities out there (ugh), when politicians reach a certain stature, they can become arrogant, conceited and self-oriented. After all, how many of them are surrounded by people who are honest with them? Who will tell them “no”? Who will tell them they’re being idiotic and stupid? Not too many, I surmise. At some point, these public figures no longer believe that the rules for mere mortals apply to them. Either that, or they have a subconscious wish to be brought down. . .

    I’m not really all that interested in the sex lives of our leaders–as long as they are generally competent AND not lying to us about it. It’s the lying that really gets me. And yes, someone who’s banging someone other than his spouse and yet holds himself out as a family man–a paragon of virtue–is most definitely lying to us.

  22. Dorothy Says:

    I’m saddened that yet another man who I had respect for bites the dust…. Why am I surprised when so many of them think with their pants instead of their brains.

    And yes I hope this does take him out of the political arena as now we know he can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

    Dorothy from grammology

  23. Myrna Says:

    OMG do these men REALLY believe they are rock stars? Well… yes I think we have made them all celebrities and they are beginning to act like idiots. On the other hand, I’m sure Tricky Dick probably fooled around (although I’m not sure who would have had him) There are some really pissed off Demo big-wigs tonight. I really like Elizabeth Edwards but she really shouldn’t be surprised that this dirty little secret would be so interesting to the very same media that made the Edwards family the golden family. I’m sorry for their situation, but really – he is the one who dragged their whole family into this. He is a “celebrity” after all…

  24. karrie Says:

    I bet his history of infidelity snakes back further than this admission. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to discover he is a sex addict, or someone who has turned to other women for comfort during other rough times in his life.

    I feel for Elizabeth, and send as much virtual strength her way as I can muster.

    All I can say beyond this publicly is an unfaithful partner hurts more than I ever imagined it could, and that’s without fighting for my life on top of it.

  25. A Mama's Rant Says:

    I expected better from John Edwards. And I got the same old, same old. I’m beyond disappointed, I’m demoralized.

  26. Jozet at Halushki Says:


    Even with all the understanding I could summon up for his being human…good gravy. When you know that half the world is watching your every move and that being found out would hurt your wife, never mind those who support you politically?

    Istn’t there a reverse Viagra? I think it’s called “cold showers and baseball.”

  27. ilinap Says:

    The Edwards family used to live practically in my neighborhood. I never liked John but have always loved Elizabeth. In fact, I’d vote for her in a second. Honestly, she should have been running instead of John or Hillary! Most people in John’s home state don’t like him. Word on the street is that he was the schmalzy guy screaming at the kids when coaching little league. I never trusted him or liked him so I’m not surprised he turned out to be as much of an ass as I expected.

    However, I am nonetheless disappointed. My heart is heavy for his amazing wife. I am angry for his kids. And I am fuming that this man was so brazen that he ran for president under the Democratic ticket knowing about this very alive skeleton in his closet. SEETHING in Raleigh.

  28. WhyMommy Says:

    Yeah. I’m still crushed.

  29. Shannon Says:

    Well said. Just as bad, I’m concerned that maybe he still hasn’t told the whole truth and there may be more to come. The decisions he and Elizabeth make about their marriage are their business, but once it becomes news, not telling the whole truth only makes it bigger news.

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