John and Elizabeth Edwards’ Privacy vs. The Public’s Right to Know

John Edwards’ admission, that he had an affair while running for President, has raised the issue of whether the public has the right to know vis a vis the Edwards’ right to privacy.

Elizabeth Edwards, a former attorney, asserted in a statement released on the same date as her husband’s appearance on ABC’s Nightline with Bob Woodruff, that her husband’s affair was a “private matter”:

From Elizabeth Edwards’ statement on DailyKOS:

“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.”

The response of the public upon learning John Edwards participated in an affair while gearing up to run for President has been to paint Elizabeth Edwards as a victim of a cheating spouse. Yet in her statement Elizabeth Edwards casts both her and her husband as victims of sensationalists and profiteers:

“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.”

While Elizabeth Edwards casts her and husband as “victims” of sensationalism and greed, she also claims the matter of her husband’s affair is private and therefore, out of bounds for public dissection. She goes further, claiming the “recent pain” in her family’s life stems from the actions of those who uncovered her husband’s adultery, and not from Edwards admission he had an affair and then denied it to reporters in Ocotober. If one were to follow Elizabeth’s line of reasoning, only insensitive clods would seek answers about the Edwards affair.

We found it fascinating that John Edwards repeatedly mentioned the year 2006 in his “confession” to Bob Woodruff. Not only John, but Elizabeth too. We looked into why the Edwards may have wanted the public to key into the “2006” date, and how it plays a role in the Edwards’ narrative regarding the affair.

There are those who argue that the Edwards affair fell under the aegis of politicians, political campaigns, and the public’s right to scrutinize the candidate’s personal life while running for public office. The Edwards benefit from this line of thought, as they can now argue a technicality,that since John didn’t “formally” announce his candidacy until December 28, 2006, then the affair is “off-limits” to the prying eyes of the “sensationalist” public.

Cloaking the affair as a private matter prohibits further questioning of the role Elizabeth Edwards may have played in perpetuating the myth that her husband was the most qualified person to run for President, as well as any other questions regarding her husband’s behavior which hasn’t been thoroughly explained. For example, recently discovered photos of the “other” woman, Rielle Hunter, show Ms. Hunter, along with both John and Elizabeth at a campaign event held on December 30, a little over 24 hours until the advent of 2007, which could very well mean the Edwards may have been “fudging” about the affair time line.

Edwards was a candidate running for office, and not just any office, but the top spot, the Oval Office, Commander-in- Chief, head of the Executive Branch. Edwards’ campaign was essentially an audition for the job of President. Edwards, a one-term Senator from North Carolina, and former VP pick of John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential race, lacked substance in regards to his resume. Voters were left with Edwards’ character which Elizabeth vouched for on the campaign trail. Amazingly, in light of what we’ve learned, Edwards began his campaign preaching about America’s morality and “moral leadership”.

From an Edwards podcast dated December 26, 2006, two days before Edwards formally announced he was running for President:

John Edwards: “And actually, one of the things that all of us have a responsibility together is re-establish America’s moral leadership and moral authority in the world.”

In the podcast Edwards spoke about his upcoming trip to New Orleans were he would film his announcement that he was running for President which would be broadcast on Youtube:

Continue reading: John Edwards Affair: Why the Public has the Right to Know

by Mondoreb/LBG
Source: John Edwards Affair: Why the Public has the Right to Know

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at All DBKP stories are filed under Mondoreb at BNN. This post is by LBG.

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