John Edwards' New Age Friends

With each new detail, the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter saga continues to raise more questions than it answers.

First, there's Newsweek reporter Jonathan Darman's new article about his relationship and many meetings with Rielle Hunter. She's very new age -- astrology, auras, energy fields, etc. He was covering Edwards in Iowa in 2006 when he met Rielle and they stayed in touch and met several times. Very strange story.

Then, there's the real mystery man in all this: Bob McGovern. He's the guy who separately drove both Rielle and Edwards to the Beverly Hilton for their meet-up. Edwards told Nightline that McGovern was the one who called him that afternoon and asked for the meeting. Edwards also told Nightline that he only agreed to the meeting if McGovern would be there too.

Edwards' never said how he knew Bob McGovern. So who is Bob McGovern? Apparently, a new age healer from Santa Barbara. [More...]

McGovern doesn't seem to be a money guy like Fred Baron or Andrew Young. From what I can tell, he's lived in a very moderately priced place in Santa Barbara for years (by Santa Barbara standards, it's probably considered poor.) He has a wife or until recently had a wife (I'm not going to post her name for her privacy reasons, she doesn't seem to have a part in this.)

Rielle Hunter's website, Being Free.org, now offline, is the personification of New Age. She's the equivalent of a born again -- she woke up one day and found spirituality and heightened awareness rather than religion.

Clicking around the now defunct website, as Deceiver found out, there's a spiritual network out there in cyberspace and Rielle and McGovern are good friends and connected. Here's a photo of McGovern that Deceiver has posted.

The story made more sense to me when it was just Fred Baron and Andrew Young. Baron was Edward's national campaign finance chair and Young is the man who used to be the N.C. state finance chair for the Edwards campaign and who claimed paternity of Rielle's baby.

While it's a little excessive that Baron would first foot the bill for Rielle to move to North Carolina to live by Young and his wife within blocks of the Edwards campaign and then foot another bill to have them all move to Santa Barbara where she delivered the baby in February, he's rich and can do what he wants to protect his friends. More from a Santa Barbara blogger on that expensive Santa Barbara property.(I did verify the real estate info provided and can find no connection between the owners and Baron or anyone else connected to Edwards.)

So, why was McGovern acting as the go-between, even driving both of them to the meeting? Edwards told Nightline that McGovern said the meeting had to do with Rielle's difficulties. (I'm deliberately skipping and ignoring other Enquirer details that have not been verified.)

Did McGovern and Rielle set this up together? Was Young in on it or not? Who tipped off the Enquirer? Rielle? Young? McGovern? All of them? None of them? Who got paid by the Enquirer?

It's crossed my mind the move to Santa Barbara and the birth of the baby there could have something to do with McGovern rather than Young, especially since both Young and his wife moved there too. But it could also be that McGovern was simply Hunters' spiritual connection and that's where she wanted to be in the months before giving birth.

Why doesn't Hunter want a paternity test? Her lawyer, Robert Gordon of New York, says it would be a violation of her privacy. That makes no sense to me. Is she trying to protect Edwards and preserve what in her mind is a chance they could reconcile in the future? Or is she trying to protect herself? If he wasn't the father and she had demanded money from Edwards -- through McGovern, Young or on her own, falsely claiming the baby was his -- that could be a crime.

More importantly, why did Edwards trust McGovern so much? How did McGovern and Edwards hook up? Was Edwards on some kind of new age bender looking for meaning in life and death due to his and Kerry's loss in 2004 and Elizabeth's first bout with cancer right afterwards?

Here's what was on this website, now taken down about McGovern. I'm reprinting it because it's also on a third website with McGovern's address and phone number, and I have verified the address matches California real estate records for a Robert Philip McGovern.

Robert (Bob) McGovern - Healer

Bob McGovern is an intuitive who has worked as a healer since 1988. He works with energy in the area of the emotional fields. He uses philosophy, psychology and the intuitive to find resolutions that move people back into alignment with the universe and into a place of peace, harmony and joy.

Bob uses the intuitive to help people with a variety of life issues, including relationships, career and health. His knowledge of the past and the future helps people find balance in the present. He is able to separate out surrounding negative energy, which allows people to have a clearer perception of their own options and choices. He works to empower people so that they can respond to the challenges of daily life with greater discernment and fuller understanding.

Obviously, the effect of cancer extends beyond the patient to family members. Their lives become centered on the disease. I'm sure, even during periods of remission, it can cause people to act and think in ways that are not "in character."

Maybe that's what happened to John Edwards. Maybe he lost his way and was searching for something new and different, something affirming that would give him a greater awareness of himself and his connection to the universe. But did he have to run for President while seeking his new enlightenment?

I'm convinced there's still more here. And it's all going to come out, slowly, drip by agonizing drip.

Earlier posts:

< Defense Blamed For Prosecutorial Overkill | Judge Says Prosecution Drove Up Costs in Atlanta Courthouse Death Penalty Case >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Pathetic. (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:49:01 AM EST
    When did Americans become such desperately needy people?  And how?  And why?

    These people are embarrassing but are totally unaware of it from all appearances.

    I have a very difficult time (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by weltec2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:29:38 AM EST
    listening to New Agers talk. I want to just... leave the room.

    But OP - we all seek solace - (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:35:16 AM EST
    finding it where we may - the term "New Age" is unfortunate - I am a practicing Catholic but I have found strength in a practice called visualization - that is so called New Age.

    Of course, I'm old fashioned enough to say R needs a real job - that will take up her energy.  But I'm old school, old pro.  

    And there is a baby here - who will read about all this when old enough no doubt.  I hope the child has some anchor somewhere.

    Clint Eastwood said on an interview that yes, he had children out there and when asked who are they?  said: that is for them to say - and yes, he has acknowledged and supported them.  Different strokes.  



    Uh, "Americans"? (4.66 / 3) (#31)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:46:21 AM EST
    I'm American.  I'm not needy.  I don't even cling to my God and my guns, since I don't even have the latter.  

    Sorry, but from here in the Heartland, this all sounds like something in a foreign country.  A foreign country called California. . . .:-)

    All this is not at all how guys like Edwards act out in my America.  Nope, the middle-aged working-class guys hit with a series of life's realities have their own ways of working it out, like joining more softball and bowling teams.

    And the middle-aged wealthy guys here?  When they hit their male menopausal midlife crises, they get Miatas.  Red Miatas.  Sporty but good in snow. :-)


    Well, I grant you that a lot (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:27:00 AM EST
    of New Age thinking would probably seem foreign in many or even most part of the Heartland or non-elitist regions in the flyover areas.  

    Yet it's instructive here to remember that America's most famous psychic, the guy who also might have been the first or one of the first to use the phrase "new age", who certainly was one of the very early ones to promote things like natural vegetarian diets, meditation and thinking positive thoughts to create a positive outcome ("mind is the builder") came from the Heartland, or the Bible Belt.  Edgar Cayce, from Kentucky.


    Kentucky is not in the MIdwest (none / 0) (#85)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:56:33 AM EST
    by the census and accepted definition.  Sorry 'bout that, but there are 12 states in the Midwest, not 13.

    Which is why I said "Bible Belt" (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:10:08 AM EST
    which I believe also usually qualifies in discussions of this type as another area (part MW part continguous states) where These Sorts of Weird Beliefs Are Foreign Sounding.  I merely wanted to note there are always exceptions, and of course the context of the times is another consideration.

    CA for instance is almost (at least) two states -- the "elitist" coastal cities and towns, of a more socially relaxed and politically liberal persuasion, and the interior valley areas which is more MW/BB/Red State in socio-political flavor.


    Bible Belt, yes. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:37:15 AM EST
    That is Kentucky.  It is an either/or, and I was going with your "or."

    Easy and accepted definition is that east of the Mississippi, the Midwest is those states that were in the North-West Territory.  (Thus, not Ohio or Pennsylvania, either, although sometimes cited as Midwest because their western portions share some characteristics.  But so does Buffalo, as has been pointed out, and New York is hardly Midwestern.:-)


    Kentucky is part of the "Heartland"... (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Thanin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:38:08 AM EST
    which you yourself brought up.

    Ah, well, if you're one who (none / 0) (#135)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:05:19 AM EST
    thinks the Heartland is everything that isn't on an ocean, sure.  I give up figuring out anyone who thinks the South is in the Heartland.

    Definition: (4.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Thanin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:08:53 AM EST
    Main Entry: heart·land  
    Pronunciation: &#712;härt-ˌland\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1904
    : a central area: as a: a central land area (as northern Eurasia) having strategic advantages b: the central geographical region of the United States in which mainstream or traditional values predominate c: a region where something (as an industry or activity) most strongly thrives <the heartland of high technology>

    This could easily encompass Kentucky.


    Love that "date: 1904" line. (none / 0) (#199)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:24:43 PM EST
    Drama (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Prabhata on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 04:14:15 AM EST
    If Edwards was pushed to support Obama to hush the scandal, that it's material information.  But we should not be delving into Edwards life in an area that does not impact the political arena.  To Edwards I say good riddance, and to Elizabeth, good luck.  If someone broke the law, let their lawyers and the appropriate law enforcement deal with it. It's a waste of time to try to figure out why Edwards got into the affair.  One reason is as good as another and it doesn't matter to any of us.  He probably is the reason Hillary is not the nominee, and I will never want to see his face again.  

    Edwards is not the reason why Hillary is not (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by cpa1 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:35:34 AM EST
    the nominee.  Where did you get that from?  She is not the nominee because Obama charged the Clintons and their friends of racism and the shallow and stupid American press fell hook line and sinker.

    As far as Edwards, the human condition is very intriguing and we lean from other's mistakes, or at least we should.  It doesn't matter as far as the presidential race but it does matter to issues that will continue to face us forever.  

    It's not our business what goes on in the private lives of people but it's not bad to understand how things work, even if it only involves John and Elizabeth's personal lives.  As many of us are getting older, these are things we will have to face.  The same way the only real experience for being the POTUS is being the POTUS, when couples are faced with cancer or ven a loss of intimacy they have nothing to draw back on except their values and their love.  Then again, it might have happened without the cancer affecting Elizabeth, as campaigning is horribly difficult, whether they love it or not.  

    I am usually not one who likes these kinds of stories but with such a large baby boomer component in this country who are facing these things everyday, it is a way to step back and try to understand the issues from someone else's viewpoint.  


    See past threads for discussion (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:50:51 AM EST
    of Edwards' role in the dissing of Clinton and the turning of the momentum in the campaign.

    It was a factor.  Of course, we cannot know how much of a factor.  But that does not negate it as a factor.


    Oh so this is basically vengence (3.60 / 5) (#119)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:50:39 AM EST
    for you.

    I couldn't figure out why you were so intent on destroying this irrelevant also-ran.  Clearly, you are pursuing payback on Senator Clinton's behalf. I am not sure that either she or President Clinton would approve especially given the fact that it is puritanical fevrvor that drove their totally unjust and imo anti-Constitutional impeachment crisis.


    That's exactly how I read this. (3.00 / 4) (#124)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:54:38 AM EST
    And also why I'm staying out.

    For me (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:06:29 AM EST
    it's not about revenge, it's about another instance in a pattern and the fact that he did something that is wrong.  I can't speak for others but I'm not interested in "destroying" him -- if this story destroys anything it will be his doing, and our talking about it is no one's fault but John Edwards', don't you think?

    I think the sanctimonious attitude (4.00 / 4) (#144)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:09:08 AM EST
    that people are taking here is quite illiberal. I have no interest in participating, and don't respect it.

    Huh, seems like you just participated (5.00 / 4) (#149)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:14:03 AM EST
    And to each his/her own. If objecting to hurting and betraying other people is 'sanctimonious' and 'illiberal', then I'll gladly be tarred with those insults.

    And if others want to falsely equate marital fidelity with puritanicalism, that's their right too.


    I agree completely (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:55:39 AM EST
    I think those who ridicule the instinct to call out Edwards' behavior as immoral and displaying a lack of character should think twice.  Infidelity is a form of emotional violence committed against one's partner, it destroys families & harms children as well.  Is there anything inconsistent between being a liberal and feeling this way? I don't think so.  Being faithful, not just in one's relationships but in political life as well, should be a foundational value of everything we do.  That goes beyond ideology, doesn't it?

    everyone's business stops where their nose (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:07:27 PM EST
    stops. frankly, beyond the first response to keep rehasing it is so clinton bashing to me. the other aspects like who is this lady and is she guilty of something is worth discussion to be selfrighteous and bash edwards says a lot about the basher and very little about edwards.

    I will not participate in the sanctimony (4.00 / 4) (#158)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    Dick Armey could have written many of the comments here in 1998.

    then please (5.00 / 3) (#166)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:29:59 AM EST
    scroll on by. Obviously, others do want to discuss it. There's plenty of other threads to comment on.

    Since I do not respect many of the opinions (none / 0) (#170)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:33:02 AM EST
    expressed here in the comments, that is exactly what I will do.

    Maybe for some andgarden, but I doubt for all. (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by Teresa on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:33:53 PM EST
    I've been reading comments at DKos and the anger there is worse than here. It has really amazed me to see and I know those people aren't mad on Hillary's behalf. The angriest comment I read was from geogia10! Things that would have been hidden in the past are getting rec's.

    For me, I'm just puzzled by it all, but I try hard not to judge people for their mistakes. Who knows what makes good people screw up their lives? I think the need to try to figure that out is why some are interested in this. The whole story just makes me sad, not angry at anyone.


    as i said earlier it reminds too much (5.00 / 3) (#216)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    of the way clinton was treated. what would we have done to fdr? it just makes me sad. we play right into the "britney spears media" when we go over board with our discussions. i know there is unhappiness with his being in the campaign and the probable damage he did. i well understand that. and who is this lady? i understand that. it is a difficult thing to deal with and of course the kos sphere will over overboard like they do on everything.

    My, my. (none / 0) (#157)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:22:14 AM EST
    You really have some li'l conversation of your own going on here and in your head.

    I was for Edwards, for his platform, first.

    What in my comment to which you reply suggests vengeance, payback, puritanicalism, etc.?  Jeesh, you are so judgmental based on so little.

    In a competition that went from three to two, the third was a factor.  It's basic political analysis (or analysis of any competition).  

    Please restrain yourself to replying to what is there, not to what you think is there.  


    You said up thread something (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:38:59 AM EST
    about how Edwards campaigned with his family - as if that in light of this affair was some sort of crime on his part.  Lots of people are making that point with an incredulous tone.  What?  You think Elizabeth Edwards - or any other woman who had been cheated on - is NOT going to keep her husband on a short leash after she's found out he's had an affair?  lol

    Besides, based on what Elizabeth Edwards has said about that presidential bid, it is as likely that she was as interested in doing it as he was if not more.  That campaign platform is all I cared about.  His family wasn't a factor in my support and as far as I'm concerned finding out whether or not Edwards has a love child is not going to get me or any other American decent healthcare or out of Iraq so I think the whole discussion about this is totally irrelevant - a stupid irrelevant distraction.


    Uh huh. (none / 0) (#181)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:06:11 PM EST
    I said "something."  And something that others, as you say, have said here.  Yet you use that to justify an attack that is way over the line.

    You're watching me?  Well, then, I'll be watching you.  Watch it.  No stupidities or irrelevancies allowed.  Vagaries also are unwise. . . .


    CC, I don't think it's worth your time. n/t (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:23:44 PM EST
    Don't you think think that by the time Edwards (none / 0) (#122)
    by cpa1 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:53:33 AM EST
    endorsed Obama, it was over?

    Let's also remember that Elizabth voted for Hillary in NC.  What a great story it would be if the Obama camp pressured Edwards to support BO because of what they found out about his affair, a hypothetical that someone suggested above.  


    It wasn't over when Edwards joined (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:23:37 AM EST
    Obama in ganging up on Clinton in the debates, or when he implicitly criticised her on happy-family-morality grounds.  It wasn't over before Iowa even caucused.

    People can argue over the magnitude and nature of the effects, but to argue that John Edwards' campaign for President had no effect whatsoever on the primaries is ridiculous.


    edwards did not please me all the time (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:09:23 PM EST
    during the primary either. but campaigning is hardball politics. we can cast some blame on edwards but the truth is the real blame belongs with brazile, pelosi, dean and the dnc.

    I don't excuse them (none / 0) (#202)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:25:28 PM EST
    Just trying to address the idea that Edwards campaign had no effect.

    yup i can see there is a fine line there. (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:30:10 PM EST
    the damage done is worthy of discussion. i used to lean repub in a time when i was less active and more naive. i freely admit to being naive and not involved thereby not that well informed. but please remember that texas used to have a different republican party. they were very akin to the ne republicans in style even bush 1 was moderate. then the repub revolution. but i digress. first i didn't trust clinton but then i saw he certainly did. also i saw what the repubs had become and that mean spiritied morality bashers. i couldn't handle the meaness and bashing, so i left never looking back. the electon of bush 2(whom i opposed from the beginning) confirmed my feelings. so i don't care for this. i have seen it way too much.

    Over for him. Momentum for Obama. (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:26:02 AM EST
    It was a big deal that he got the endorsement of Edwards, bigger than Edwards' number of delegates, as a review of the coverage at the time shows -- and recall also all the coverage of Obama flying down to see Edwards, Clinton doing so, etc., all showing that Edwards' endosement was considered important.

    Edwards must have enjoyed all that helicoptering to his estate's airpad, all that media attention again.

    And it undercut Clinton on her strength on health care -- to the detriment of the rest of us left with a lesser health care plan, btw -- and it was timed to entirely undercut her big win in W. Va., etc.  


    Blackmail. (none / 0) (#179)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:59:29 AM EST
    'Pressured' is just another word for blackmail in the example you speculate about.

    And that is the basic reason these things matter when public officials put themselves in such positions...same for candidates who would become public officials.


    It is? (none / 0) (#203)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:25:40 PM EST
    That's a question, not a challenge.

    What would it have been if the Obama camp had simply leaked the information without gaining an endorsement? I'm thinking of Jack Ryan with that.


    Obama (5.00 / 3) (#224)
    by ding7777 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:56:54 PM EST
    wasn't strong enough to be the only major candidate to remove his name from the MI and FL ballots.

    Obama needed Edwards to join him in the charade so the media could spin it as a negative Hillary story.


    Hush the scandal? (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:29:49 AM EST

    The NYT did not think it substantial enough to print.  Compare to the mere rumor of a McCain affair.  The MSM had a cone of silence on this.

    way to speculative for me.... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 06:21:10 AM EST
    sorry, but trying to tie Edwards to McGovern based on Elizabeth's cancer is way too speculative (IMHO)

    It seems far more likely that someone like Young told Edwards that McGovern was close to Hunter, that she listened to hm, and that he could be trusted.  

    One of the details in the NE article (my mom subscribes, and I visted her yesterday, so shoot me) is that Hunter told friends (plural) that Edwards was the father -- and I believe that NE has at least two people who are making this statement.  That doesn't mean that Edwards is the father -- my "speculation" is that Hunter is something of an attention-seeking flake/phony who would tell friends about her affair with Edwards, then say he was the father of her child.


    Ridiculous, simply ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by dutchfox on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:26:21 AM EST
    Why is it that the media is more interested in the sexual shenanigans of Democratic politicians than the Republicans'? IMHO, there are far more important stories happening now than Edwards' trysts. I'm always amazed by Americans' obsessions with sex, and this blog notwithstanding.

    The Russian-Georgian conflict is escalating.

    And for you die hard Pelosians: Cindy Sheehan has made it on the ballot!

    And the Anthrax investigations are not over.

    I Agree, To An Extent (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:08:04 AM EST
    At least 99% of the time when the media decides to focus in on sex/murder/death -related scandals instead of really important issues, I'd say the same thing.

    However in this case, there are just so many things wrong with the timing and basics of this scandal. Among them:

    -- It's John Edwards. Mr. High-And-Mighty and Morally-Sound candidate who apparently spoke for the people and fought for them.
    -- He, who has two very young children and an older daughter with a wife of 31 years, who's been battling an incurable form of cancer and put her life and health on the line to campaign for him A SECOND TIME.
    -- He, who was quite vocal and critical about Bill/Hillary Clinton and their past personal problems, and took every opportunity to take advantage of his position as a so-called "king-maker" during this election cycle.

    In this case, John Edwards deserves the backlash. (I just wish Elizabeth and her kids didn't have to be caught in the midst of it.)


    Would if had made a difference (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by delacarpa on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:25:51 AM EST
    if Elizabeth had said no to a run for the presidency because of their known baggage, if the media has wrote about it, and if Edwards had sucked it up months ago. Is the media, the arrogance of men and power, leading America down into that deep dark hole? If this was known months ago and it would have had an effect on the campaign with Iowa turning out a different way.

    They were already running (none / 0) (#180)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:04:27 PM EST
    for POTUS when Elizabeth discovered what was going on from everything I'm reading about the timing.

    Funny, though. Guiliani and his public affair, divorce, and quick remarriage didn't stop him from throwing his hat into the POTUS race, and for awhile being a major front-runner by speculators.


    Wasn't Guiliani's info already known, though? (none / 0) (#205)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    I don't know, that's just my impression.

    Maybe Edwards was seeking (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:53:04 AM EST
    some form of "spiritual" healing for Elizabeth. People seek faith healers and alternate healing when conventional isn't helping? Maybe that's how this all started.

    Experience teaches us (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:14:46 AM EST
    that it's not either-or, and new-age spiritualists can have the same strain of wacky in them the worst conservative Christian. I agree with Cream City that this is reminiscent of the mentality that was so dismissive of "working-class white voters" in the primary.  Try to remember that every state, city, region is filled with lots of decent people who are not evil.

    Speaking speculatively and politically: Cui bono? (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by Ellie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:17:05 AM EST
    These 'eruptions' aren't surprising, but I always want to know what's behind the timing and legs of a story. Who's egging this on forward and feeding the media? Who's the target? Who gains from the opportunity?

    The ability of some scandals to be a blip, while others get fammed from a flicker to a full blown wildfire is deeply concerning to me. (The sordid details and behavior of a few individuals here aside, there's a lot of power, influence and money at stake beyond individual reputations.)

    I wouldn't discount oppositional influences here in relation to the other candidates for public office.

    Not to derail the topic but keep this one in perspective, the timing of this scandal could be a pre-emptive strike to deflect attention away from other anticipated negative media.

    Obviously, I'm disappointed in any public servant abusing the office and exploiting supporters.

    I don't really care what Edwards was doing (5.00 / 5) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:12:13 AM EST
    with New Age type people.  His spiritual practices or the possibility of his spiritual practices are his biz, not mine.

    Amen Tracy.... (5.00 / 5) (#104)
    by kdog on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:26:12 AM EST
    same goes for his sex life.

    Double goes that (5.00 / 3) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:31:24 AM EST
    I'm tired of having to hear what famous or infamous adults and other consenting adults are doing with their privates.  We are all sexual beings, mother nature designed us that way for mother nature's own purposes.  Sometimes the purposes of some sections of organzied society and mother nature seem to come into conflict and feed the gossips when this situation is really between these families.... not me or mine.  I just want to keep track of my own thanks and my own sexual and relationship commitments.  If I'm doing that I don't seem to have a whole lot of time to worry about the expressions of the sexuality of others.

    Honestly? (5.00 / 4) (#191)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:18:23 PM EST
    It doesn't matter if he is an adherent of the Reverend Moon or some other controlling belief system?  How about a fundmentalist Muslim?

    Didn't we learn this lesson from George Bush listening to his 'higher father.'

    People whose beliefs inform their public and private behavior are responsible for a lot of damage that the rest of the world has to live with.

    I do not take this lightly...and I'm not talking about sex as an issue, except as it provides a basis for blackmail and extortion - what WOULD that person do to keep a secret?  We don't know and that is the danger for us all.  What I  am talking about is the seeker/healer connection and what that implies...possibly...


    If you're private beliefs affect your public (4.33 / 3) (#217)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:40:57 PM EST
    actions, and those actions affect, say, the whole world, then it's fair to consider them.  Agree wholeheartedly that GWB should have taught us that.

    No one can really know how another person will govern the country, so all sorts of things are fair game when evaluating whom a voter will support for President that would not normally be fair game for judgment otherwise.

    What I think some folks are reacting to, though (or maybe it's just me), is the rush to mock New Agers -- it reeks of snobbery.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of a lot of New Age beliefs (although I find some of the underlying principles interesting and appealing).  But I fear them a lot less than I do, say, the evangelists.  That is because New Agers have not combined to make themselves a powerful political force that blurs or destroys the lines between government and religion while demonstrating an amazing and unwavering intolerance for anyone who does not share those beliefs.  New Agers do not, as a group, seek to curtail and trample my constitutional rights.


    Controlling (2.00 / 1) (#210)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:31:40 PM EST
    It doesn't matter if he is an adherent of the Reverend Moon or some other controlling belief system?  How about a fundmentalist Muslim?

    Many people will state that all Religious belief systems are "controlling belief system[s]". New Age holds no one to a threat of punishment for not following the human rules laid down by religions. There are no mortal sins for human frailties.

    I'm not sure what you think New Age is, but I'm pretty sure it isn't what you are thinking.


    With regard to McGovern, (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by frankly0 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:29:58 AM EST
    wouldn't it be a sufficient explanation of his salience in this whole business that he was selected by Hunter herself as, in effect, her "representative" -- someone who would handle her interests?

    Certainly it's not obvious that Edwards had any real part in bringing him into the picture -- though it might be that he considered McGovern someone who might be more "rational" than Hunter herself, and so either wished to or consented to his involvement.

    Marital fidelity seems an (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by jpete on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:43:38 AM EST
    odd qualification for a POTUS.  The absence of sleeze does not.  So the affair does seem none of our business, but his handling of it does.

    I'm just trying to summarize others' remarks here.

    To me, the thing that strikes me (5.00 / 4) (#120)
    by frankly0 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    most about this business is not so much that Edwards chose to have an affair, but that he managed to do so with a woman who, it would seem, was such a flake, and had a history of being out of control.

    Every flag should have been in full display signaling that she was likely to be completely indiscreet, and potentially exceedingly manipulative -- that is, the very last person a prominent politician should get involved with.

    While anything might be true of course, it's hard not to speculate that she basically threw herself at him.

    Didn't any bells go off in Edwards' head that she could be real trouble? Is his understanding of human nature so poor that he couldn't detect her underlying character and personality?

    There's a profound naivete in Edwards' actions that is pretty astonishing.

    In general, I'd expect that a man of Edwards' fame, riches, and pretty impressive good looks should not have a lot of difficulty getting all sorts of women to be attracted to him, and, given his activities, which involve meeting many, many people, should have encountered a very large pool of attractive women. I'm sure that any number of them would have been discreet.

    Yet he seems to have settled on the one who almost flagrantly showed little potential for discretion.

    Just to add a bit to my point, (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by frankly0 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    I have a theory that there are two kinds of people.

    There are those who, when someone flatters them, immediately listen to that person as if they are speaking important truths, and can't break away from that person.

    And there are those who, upon hearing flattery, immediately ask themselves the question, what's this person's angle? What are they trying to get out of me?

    Edwards, I think we can conclude, is of type 1.


    a flake? (5.00 / 3) (#161)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:26:42 AM EST
    for why?

    Because she believes that people have auras?
    Or because she's more than a little interested in astrology?
    Hmmm...maybe it was because of something else...like say crystals?

    Before I stepped on to the particular spiritual path I'm currently on, I wandered into the New Age realm til I realized that I wanted something with a bit more...teeth and drifted towards druidism.

    But hey...I guess that make me a flake too...inspite of my post-graduate degrees and the 10+ years worth of college teaching under my belt...as well as a firm grounding in the physical sciences thanks to my father and grandfather--both of whom embrace both magic and science.

    I'm off to meditate in front of my very flaky Buddha statue...


    Look, (3.00 / 1) (#194)
    by frankly0 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:18:57 PM EST
    I wasn't even thinking about the New Age stuff -- I was mainly thinking about her long and literally storied history as an out of control drug and sex devotee.

    I believe people change over time, but I don't believe they change that much -- I think that you can always see the strong relief of who they were under the surface of who they "become". Given how long she led this crazed lifestyle, it betrays certain basic character issues in her, which are not likely to change fundamentally.

    I see the NA stuff, in her case, as mainly a way of trying to put some kind of order in an exceedingly disordered life.

    But, on still another hand, I see the NA thing as completely crackpot, passing well beyond conventional religion. Her having turned to that certainly does not make me feel, Oh here we have the exception, the rare person who is attracted to NA who really has her stuff together.

    And as for your point about the general possibility of embracing both "magic and science"? No better. Probably worse. The science part seems not to have had the proper effect.

    You see, the important thing about science is that it is based on rational methods. The important thing about magic is that, emphatically, it is not. If you can't pick up that basic lesson from science, what have you really learned?


    New Ageism is really stupid (1.00 / 1) (#163)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:28:31 AM EST
    but IMO so is all religion.

    New Ageism (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:39:43 AM EST
    as some people have chewed on it has done a good bit of damage to others. The craze surrounding folks like Lynn Andrews kinda freaked me out...and I was unimpressed with how she took parts and butchered other bits from various different paths (e.g. Native American, Celtic stuff, and so on).

    But given what various other religions have done over the las several centuries, in a similar fashion, it's nothing new.

    I had a history prof who insisted that the transubstantiation of bread and grape juice to body and blood and taking communion afterwards was an act of cannibalism. He was an interesting board to bounce ideas off of.

    Not sure about stupid...but religions are definitely funky. But I don't see how this guy's being a New Ageish counselor is that big a deal.


    Spirituality is not necessarily religion (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    but it has validity backed up by research, that humans operate via mind, body,some kind of spiritual connections. Spiritual could simply mean tolerance for all those picky events that happen daily or sometimes hourly to anyone.

    Life is difficult.  People seek meaning.  Being a nihilist can be very painful to some. Geesh...every election cycle we have a peek into all the "paths" people have explored.

    That stated, my thinking only, who knows?


    New Ageism is not a religion (1.00 / 1) (#213)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:36:35 PM EST
    There are no commandments, no mortal sins, and all accountability is the responsibility of the individual. Human kindness is a natural focus.

    If you don't understand the difference between being spiritual and being religious, then you are clearly criticizing simply to criticize and you are uninformed.


    Yeah, I wouldn't think (none / 0) (#176)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:49:12 AM EST
    her a "flake" just because of a NA belief system, even with the heavy doses of astrology which is mostly harmless.

    I'd call her a somewhat more "risky" partner than necessary for Edwards.  And with her filming gig, she was going to always be around, plus her "product" would be there for all to see and analyze for clues in video form.  Not very smart for a political candidate.

    Good luck with the meditating, kredwin.  Cayce recommended it and I give it my full endorsement.


    I think most of us (none / 0) (#189)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    have the deepest respect for your beliefs and the deep meaning they hold for you, and would not want to belittle them in any way.  It doesn't mean there aren't genuine flakes out there, but new age spiritualism or druidism is no less or more valid than any other belief system.

    I remember asking (none / 0) (#172)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:36:50 AM EST
    similar Qs back in 98 during the Monica Mess, and why he chose to have a fling with someone so young and flirty and all while the Starr crowd was looking into any angle to get him, when with all he had going for him he could have had his pick of women more mature and less likely to talk.  

    And I concluded that at times the rational just gets trumped by the biological, that a normally careful public person can be just as tempted to throw caution to the wind and allow his immediate physical urges to control as any other nonpublic person.  Ditto for Hart and that attractive younger woman in 87.

    And as with Bill, it's only after the affair has started and immediate needs have been met that you come back to earth and begin to assess what has happened and how to extricate yourself.

    Another thought, from the Freudian angle, is that some of these men subconsciously want to be caught to atone for the sins they consciously know they're committing, so put themselves more at risk than necessary.


    Maybe going after (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:21:05 PM EST
    the fantasy is exciting but when it becomes reality....you say Oh sh*t!

    My bottom line is (5.00 / 5) (#133)
    by athyrio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:02:55 AM EST
    that I donated money that I could ill afford and believed in Edwards and obviously was misguided and lied to ....I am not happy about that but will not forget it either...He is done with me and my family...Edwards was then used by the DNC to boot Hillary out of the running early on...It is all a sordid mess...

    BTD's shorthand lesson... (4.00 / 1) (#204)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM EST
    DON'T believe in pols.  Believe in issues.

    I believed in Edwards' issues--that's why I'm (5.00 / 3) (#221)
    by jawbone on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:47:35 PM EST
    concerned that his voice, his ability to speak out for those issues in public and to push for them with Obama, is diminished.

    Also, I have seen commenters criticizing Elizabeth Edwards for supporting her husband's presidential run after she learned about the affair--making her responsible in some way for John's political collapse. And, conveniently, marginalizing her voice in support of universal heathcare.

    That is the major fallout I see from this "scandal"--or petite scandal or scandalette. And that is why I wish John Edwards had shown more self-control--and the woman involved wasn't such a talkative person.

    I don't think Obama is going to give much effort to universal healthcare, especially given his advisers. And Rahm Emmanuel and other Dem leaders have indicated they're not going to do much for it. But, I hoped Edwards might bring some pressure to bear, keep the issue alive and kicking. The MCM* likes Big Names to have on TV as spokespeople, and both of the Edwardses fit that bill.

    Now? Chalk one up for Big Insurance and Big Pharma. Alas.

    *MCM--Mainstream Corporate Media


    I blame the media (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:30:32 AM EST
    Remember when Kennedy was president, lots of suspicion about his affairs.  Had it been "kosher" to reveal these things, maybe he wouldn't have been so beloved.

    I will hold, now and forever, that it's none of our business.  That the media makes a big deal of these things and destroys politicians, is the media's fault.  

    The reason Obama won was because the DNC propped up a rookie candidate for president over a more experienced and politically poised candidate who they hated.  Had Edwards not been in the picture, they'd have figured out another way to keep Clinton out.

    Yes, the political analysis (5.00 / 1) (#214)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:38:13 PM EST
    of this, per your last sentence, is what interests me.  I agree to an extent, as the DNC certainly was doing whatever it could to do in Clinton.  But -- I don't quite see that it could have used a Biden or a Dodd or a Richardson so well.

    Edwards was a major player, an early favorite, for his previous place on the Dem ticket.  He came in with a base of support from the prior campaign.  He had a donor list, he used it, and then he apparently misused some funds.  Not illegal misuse -- but looking back, that funds would go to such an inexperienced "filmmaker" is a sign of why his campaign fizzled.  Not to mention the time away from it for, shall we say, non-campaign activities.:-)

    So I see what you're saying, but I also think that Edwards made it easier for the DNC.  And I doubt that it scripted his attacks on Clinton, and especially his holier-than-thou attacks.  And I don't see -- although it could be that there was knowledge of all this, pressure, etc., but we have no evidence of it -- that the DNC could cause Edwards to endorse the candidate with the lesser health care plan, his supposed cause.  Etc.


    frankly, the more we bash and hash (none / 0) (#197)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:23:37 PM EST
    on this subject, the more of a gift we give to the repubs. that doesn't help. remember liberman bashing clinton? wasn't that special? i too am disappinted in john. i have expressed it, but i don't continue doing it over and over and over. move on for heaven's sake. i started off as an edwards supporter and had moved over to hillary before john even dropped out. i think the primary responsiblity belongs with brazile, pelosi and dean(dnc) here.

    Everything looks different in retrospect, (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    even to the person who lived the experience, and if you think about any of the major, difficult things you have been through, you will remember that what you thought about it on the other side may not have been at all what you thought about it when you were in the beginning or middle of it.

    So, let's agree to one universal truth, and that is that John Edwards may be engaging in the same kind of examination we are - why did he do it, what was he thinking, how could he have been so dumb.

    I think what is bothering a lot of people is that had he decided to forego a presidential run in order to take this personal journey of examining the choices he made, we would probably be giving him credit for putting his family and his marriage first, where they belong.  Instead, I think we are all a little taken aback by his decision to go forward, to take a political risk, and to be out there telling a love story about his marriage and his family - which, now that I think about it, may have been something of a slam at the Clintons.

    I wish him and his family well, I hope he and they can figure this thing out and move forward, and I hope that regardless of whether this is his child, that she does not become the equivalent of Anna Nicole's baby.  Whatever these so-called adults have done, the child does not deserve to suffer the consequences.

    I wonder what the GOP will do with this (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by kempis on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:13:29 PM EST
    We can pretty much count on their attempting to get some sort of political gain from it, even though Edwards is not on the ticket. They'll use Edwards as a representative of the Democratic party. After all the Republican sex scandals in recent years, they're probably thrilled about this opportunity to take a broad brush to the Democrats.

    They'll probably try use this to evoke Clinton's affair with Lewinsky, which they've reminded the country of every chance they get. But the New Age angle also gives them more fuel for the "be afraid of Democrats!" fires they stoke among the Religious Right. Evangelicals think New Age stuff is something akin to devil worship. So not only is a guy who was a serious contender for Democratic nominee a phony who cheated on his wife, he consorts with devil-worshipers, they'll say. :p

    Harsh Realities (5.00 / 2) (#225)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:10:45 PM EST
    People deal with harsh realities in different ways and John Edwards was obviously weak of mind and body.  That is his cross to bear and, unfortunately, his family will suffer with him.  

    But, in my opinion, he has shown that above all else he is a hypocritical, selfish cad who tampered with our election knowing it could have an effect if he was found out. And I believe it did have an effect. This should send him into political oblivion for all time. I am really, really ticked off - again we will have to speculate for the next four years what might have been.  Damn!


    All of these realities about John Edwards, ...... (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by BronxFem on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:28:30 PM EST
    Elizabeth, their son Wade, and the rest of it are just too painful and sad.  My wishes are that all find a measure of peace and contentment in their lives.

    I'm sorry but (4.87 / 8) (#4)
    by weltec2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:51:59 AM EST
    whatever the reasons, and there are always excuses... he put his reputation, his family, and the entire party at risk plus he influencd the primary election by running when he knew all this could very well come to the surface.

    that seems to be part of Edwards' delusion... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Josey on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:09:47 AM EST
    he did not think the affair would ever become public.

    IF his life was in such confusion that... (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Shainzona on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:17:52 AM EST
    he needed to seek out any of this to bring him back into balance (healers, intuitives, mistresses, more babies, etc.) THEN he should have never run again for public office (probably not ever!) let alone POTUS.

    BUT, he and Elizabeth (who knew of his history) went forward anyway.  I NEVER agree with Maureen Dowd, but her comments about his narcissistic personality seems pretty accurate.  (My concern, BTW is that another current politician suffers from the same disability!).

    Where do politicians get the idea that they're bigger, better, smarter, more needed than any of the rest of us?


    It's better to be in confusion (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:33:42 AM EST
    and NOT seek out healing?  I don't follow that.

    How politicians get to feeling omnipotent is because the bigger they get, the more of a bubble they live in, surrounded by sycophants and power seekers who tell them constantly how magnificent they are, protected from unpleasantness, their every small wish fulfilled, no matter how inconvenient.  How could they not come to believe they're special?

    I've seen this close up not with a politicians but with top musicians.  I remember one, years ago, who was a big basketball fan and in the course of some chitchat, wistfully said how much he'd love to see the last game of the NBA finals the next night.  Said nothing about asking anybody to get tickets for him, mind you.  The entire organization I was then a part of was pulled off its normal tasks and set to calling every possible contact who might be able to score tickets.  Someone succeeded, and the delighted big shot was presented with them the next day and went and enjoyed himself thoroughly, without the slightest clue what it had cost the organization to acquire them.

    THis is the environment people like this live in.  


    NO, I'm all for people seeking (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Shainzona on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:41:32 AM EST
    help for what problems/confusions they have.  Absolutely!

    I don't think it's wise of them to then run for POTUS if their confusions/problems or solutions might cast them in a less-than-"normal" light.


    Those in 'confusion' (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:02:13 AM EST
    don't need healing.

    They need clarity.


    Clarity is much easier to find in (3.00 / 2) (#215)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:39:47 PM EST
    meditation than it is in a church.

    Would it make you happier (3.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:42:51 AM EST
    if he had sought out a Western medicine therapist and taken prescribed pharmaceuticals?  What if he had taken non-prescription mind altering substances?  What if he had practiced yoga, become a Buddhist, practiced transcendental meditation, been treated with acupuncture, climbed Mt Everest, become a monk?

    He made his decisions and he will have to live with the consequences. Not us.

    And the persistent narrative that the primary results could have, might have been different without Edwards sound a lot like the "Blame Nader" narrative for 2000.  If.  If only.  Scapegoating is never attractive and it keeps people looking back instead of looking forward.


    You didn't read my comment... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Shainzona on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:54:16 AM EST
    I said IF....THEN.  I am not condemning him/her/them/anyone for seeking help for any of life's "problems", but I do not think it showed great judgment to THEN run for POTUS.

    And no, I do not endorse pharmaceuticals as a solution - although, for some people, that may be the only thing that can help.


    Throwing up hands. (4.20 / 5) (#94)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:18:50 AM EST
    Then Bill Clinton should have never run either.


    I'll take the insatiable lovers over the puritanical warmongers any day.


    Well, that's a big fat false choice. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:47:16 AM EST
    Really? (4.20 / 5) (#131)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:02:11 AM EST

    I am stunned at how on a blog with such a huge number of devoted Clinton fans there is such a huge amount of sanctimony over an extra-marital affair.  It is not only ironic, but also to a degree incredibly hypocritical.  

    I have always - always - held that Clinton's impeachment was a travesty of justice because his affairs of the heart had NOTHING to do with his performance as a public servant.  I haven't even been a Bill fan, but on that point I would defend him and his wife vigorously.  It is none of our business and while I think lying is stupid - I don't think the public actually deserves an answer or even an honest answer to questions about a candidate's sex life (assuming everyone is consenting and of legal age).  Furthermore, the sex life of a candidate should have no bearing on the discussion about their fitness for office.

    And I'll say it again - if it should be a consideration - we can say definitively that Bill Clinon had no business running for president ever - and I for one - especially after living through 12 dark years with Reagan and Bush 1 am not willing to give up a talented and essentially peace-seeking Democrat just because he likes sex.  Sheesh.


    Well, for what it is worth (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    I felt exactly the same way about Clinton - I felt nothing but sadness and empathy for the pain and suffering of his wife and daughter. Same here with the Edwards situation.

    False dichotomy (5.00 / 3) (#139)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:07:35 AM EST
    What about the honorable, trustworthy, sex-loving, pacifists?

    There's nothing puritanical about not betraying your partner.


    What is puritanical is not being able (1.00 / 1) (#175)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:48:14 AM EST
    to forgive someone else's partner if they make a mistake.

    It is up to each individual to decide in the context of their own marriage and life with a partner the extent to which something is considered a "betrayal" and the extent of forgiveness that should be afforded.  It is not up to me or you to judge.  It is not for me or you to destroy John Edwards on Elizabeth's behalf - he is her husband - not ours.  If she wants to sew a scarlet letter onto his blazer - that's up to her - not us.  But the puritains are the ones who believe that they have rights here - and I contend that they don't.


    Conflation (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:56:38 AM EST
    Those who were making excuses for Edwards' behavior were talking about marital fidelity being puritanical in regards to sex; had nothing to do with forgiveness.

    I don't know about "those who" (1.00 / 1) (#187)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:15:48 PM EST
    I know about me - and my reading of the responses - which is fairly extensive - is that people have taken a quintessentially puritanical view of this situation - and if you really understand what the Puritans were all about you would understand that the condemnation - damnation - of those who committed sins was a ey component of what made them who they were.  They were an unforgiving group.  Their list of sins weren't all that different from most of the Judeo-Christian religions, but their reaction to those sins was particularly unforgiving and vengeful.

    Not how you originally used the term. Whatever. (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:24:55 PM EST
    So judgmental (3.00 / 2) (#63)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:11:23 AM EST
    Isn't it possible that Edwards was terrified that he was going to lose his wife and life partner of many years and was reaching out for another connection?  Even granted that what he did in having an affair and running for office regardless, I think if one must make judgments, one should separate the personal from the political.  When someone close to you is threatened with a potentially deadly illness, you keep up the brave face of hope when around that person, but you must have someone you can speak to about your own fears of loss, etc. I'm not excusing what Edwards did, but it is understandable from a human/coping point of view.

    While the pundits are all proclaiming that had Edwards been the nominee, he would have jeopardized the party's chances of winning the election, and therefore he is at fault from a political point of view.  But should this be the case?  Should a candidate or politician have the right to keep private things private and not disclose them when they certainly have NO impact on political matters?  Why have we as a society chosen to make things like this a political issue?  Elizabeth Edwards herself has said that she and John have dealt with the matter between them privately and does not want any further public intrusion here.  It is not as though John Edwards ever made his personal morality a campaign issue or otherwise an issue to which he has devoted a significant part of his public life.  Over the last few years when many Republicans were outed as gay, I had to admit to myself that I was not interested nor did I want to judge them by their sexual orientation, but many of these pols made their sexual orieentation the issue by opposing gay marriage and so on.  Spitzer's personal demons also seemed appropriately tied to his public life, due to his public campaigns to clean up prostitutionm etc.

    But John Edwards' platform has always been "the other America", the poor, universal healthcare, etc.  So why should he be judged as a politician on the basis of something that was never part of his politics?  You might argue that the picture he presented of himself was that of a devoted family man, etc.  Yes, that is true, but he did not promote a political platform designed to impose "family values" on the rest of society.  And I would submit that he is a devoted family man, who was only human in the face of a crisis. Perhaps he lied about his affair when confronted with it, but so what?  Why is this our business?  The Puritan strain in our culture that urges us, as a society, to stand as judge and jury over each other as we struggle to deal with major life stresses, is a slippery slope that leads to judging and condemning others who don't share our values, have the same sexual orientation, look like us, etc.  We, as Democrats, have criticized these views among Republicans of the last 15 years or so; why can't we recognize them in ourselves and their pernicious effect?  


    Nope, doesn't wash. (5.00 / 7) (#79)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:43:59 AM EST
    It is not as though John Edwards ever made his personal morality a campaign issue

    Yeh, he did.  Repeatedly.  Read up on past threads on this.  He ran as a family man, blah blah blah.

    And he dissed the Clintons, repeatedly, on issues of morality.  And he took money from donors that he spent on his mistress.

    And he screwed up the election for my candidate -- after Edwards no longer was my candidate -- and 18 million of us.  And our country.

    Sorry, but I'm gonna be judgmental as all get-out about all that.  The personal part, his problem.

    But the personal is political in this case.


    I think that (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:52:35 AM EST
    John Edwards used, maybe not intentionally, Elizabeth and their marriage, family, politically. Dozens of stories were written about their relationship, storybook marriage, devotion, grief, during the primaries and they made an impact on the public. The world loved Elizabeth Edwards who became
    John Edwards strongest political message for a long time. It most likely kept him in the running with the two other candidates who the press had millions of words to write and talk about; Obama and his rhetoric and Clinton hate.

    Also, you can state as many times as you care too that it is their personal life however, when you use your relationship, as they did, then it is valid.

    Also, to say "it was just sex and an affair, so what? For millions of people who strive to be "traditional" parents (otherwise known as commitment and not open marriages for sex) it makes a difference. I suspect that many partners would have a lot to say about the "so what" factor of infidelity.

    I think John Edwards fell in love with Hunter and
    is now stuck in a difficult place. You know how love works, consequences be damned.


    MichaelGale, you make a good point (5.00 / 2) (#219)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:42:20 PM EST
    You said:
    Also, to say "it was just sex and an affair, so what? For millions of people who strive to be "traditional" parents (otherwise known as commitment and not open marriages for sex) it makes a difference. I suspect that many partners would have a lot to say about the "so what" factor of infidelity.
    Yes...for those in the "so what" category, try convincing your partner of this perspective.  You may very well find that they will begin to wonder if that is how you feel about your relationship with them, i.e. is infidelity no big deal to you?  

    Michael, the distinction you make between a "traditional" relationship and what Edwards did is important, because by this standard GLBT couples are also traditional.  However I would also point out that in open marriages, properly understood, both couples consent.  So they, too, are faithful within the parameters of their relationship.  

    What Edwards did when he was unfaithful and untrue is done to women (and men, too) across America every day, and invariably they always have an excuse...for those who were concerned with the treatment of women in the primary I'm surprised there is so much disdain for even discussing this topic.


    Cream & MichaelG you make good points (4.75 / 4) (#137)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:05:40 AM EST
    I stand corrected on the $ - I was wrongly con-flating potential later shake-down with earlier use of campaign cash, and I understand what you point out as the political implications.  I do not mean to dismiss infidelity as unimportant or okay. But I do wish we had a more European atittude toward it so that it could not be used as the basis for some pols to hold themselves out as more holy while detracting attention from issues of war, the economy & the like & other pols would be less subject to extortion & false denials because of it. I clearly need more coffee so I can be sharp enough for the rest of you.

    Agree re European attitude (5.00 / 3) (#190)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:17:58 PM EST
    as the American puritanical streak is problematic on so many issues here.  But Edwards ran here -- and from the Bible Belt, so he knew the realities.  

    And yet he ran, and even with a campaign that boasted of his award as Father of the Year, and with his wife and children at his side, etc.  And he took hardworking people's money and misspent it -- while claiming to be for the hardworking poor.

    That's the hypocrisy of it, and I think that even those decadent Europeans dislike such hypocrisies on other bases.

    I note the comparisons to Guiliani here -- but note also that he did not campaign on the imputed claims of Edwards.  No chance Giuliani's kids were going to be by his side.:-)


    a better way to avoid (3.50 / 2) (#222)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:49:10 PM EST
    detracting attention from issues of war, the economy & the like & other pols would be less subject to extortion & false denials because of it.
    Would have been for John Edwards to not have an affair on his wife, period, but especially during his own Presidential campaign.

    That said, I agree with you that it shouldn't be allowed to eclipse other, more pressing issues.  If this is an ongoing, unfolding saga until November, however (to paraphrase Edwards endorsing Obama), "there is one man" we can blame for it.


    Not even a question of "think" (4.00 / 1) (#96)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:20:56 AM EST
    Edwards clearly was running with his wife -- almost more than Bill ran with Hill in 92 -- along with the rest of his family to portray himself favorably for political ends.  He really played the Devoted Husband/Family Man card much more than most pols do -- one could argue maybe a little too much.

    One can also plausibly conclude, sadly, that this latest revelation doesn't tend to make more believable the story published by a top Kerry aide from the 04 cycle, that Kerry concluded in interviewing Edwards that JE was lying about (at least one aspect of) and using for personal political gain the unusual and very intimate story about him and his dead son.  

    Later, post-election, he said privately he wished he'd gone with his initial uneasy instincts and not put him on the ticket.  


    Except I think it might be the other way around (none / 0) (#125)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:55:30 AM EST
    I could be wrong of course, but obsession is an amazing thing. If one truly believes it is their destiny to be with someone, then they will not let go and accept reality. That an affair is over. I only say this because they contacted him for the meeting. I am not accusing Hunter of being a bad person, but obsession is a strong emotion and if Edwards was trying to stay in contact with her, etc, etc..

    Interesting that Clint Eastwood has been mentioned in the comments. Made me think of his movie "Play Misty For Me". Now that is a case of obsession.  


    I'd find this: (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Nadai on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:48:39 AM EST
    Isn't it possible that Edwards was terrified that he was going to lose his wife and life partner of many years and was reaching out for another connection?

    a lot more believable if he hadn't "reached out" to his mistress' guru.


    Thanks for (3.66 / 3) (#93)
    by JamesTX on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:14:53 AM EST
    summing up the sentiment which I could only express with "Who cares?"

    But John Edwards' platform has always been "the other America", the poor, universal healthcare, etc.  So why should he be judged as a politician on the basis of something that was never part of his politics?  You might argue that the picture he presented of himself was that of a devoted family man, etc.  Yes, that is true, but he did not promote a political platform designed to impose "family values" on the rest of society.

    The thing I like about Edwards is that he would probably volunteer to take public heat on this scandal to any degree if some benefactor would match the dollars spent crucifying him with donations to "the other America." Shame on us. I don't care who John has slept with, or who he sleeps with in the future. I am tempted to view those Democrats who are participating in this as part of the problem. This whole issue reeks of Republican politics. I envision a political order that doesn't run on sex scandal, and I hope other Democrats can see the value in that. Why have we taken up the Republicans' perverted interests in governing the sex lives of individuals? Have they induced us to do so with their own scandals? I don't care. I really don't care what Republicans do in restrooms, nor what Democrats do after hours. The extent to which we do care is the extent to which we have let Republican values come to dominate our party.


    But Edwards own spin-story in the ABC (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:53:17 AM EST
    interview was that his hubris overcame his better judgment.

    Had he said, I screwed up but I kept running because the issues were just too d*mn important to bow out, that would be one thing.  But instead he said, I made a mistake but I didn't bow out because I was too d*mn important.


    There ya go. The poor, the uninsured (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:09:03 AM EST
    and all the reasons he said he ran?  They got disappeared.  He ran, it now seems, for the same reason that he had the affair: narcissism.

    And, I've seen no evidence that he (5.00 / 3) (#220)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:43:30 PM EST
    took that self-importance and applied it to pressuring the DNC to run an ethical primary, and establish a platform that would prioritize the issues where his voice was so valued.

    Crisis, confusion, etc. (4.80 / 5) (#5)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:05:37 AM EST
    With this latest tidbit, I'm going to consider Jeralyn's supposition that Edwards may have been in real personal crisis after losing in 2004 and the harrowing months of Elizabeth's diagnosis and treatment. People really do go "out of character" during crisis.

    I don't think much of the new agers but I grew up in California during the 60's and 70's, so I had more than my fill of it.

    This story is getting increasingly convoluted and Hunter strikes me as a real loser. Today I don't feel as angry at Edwards but I find the whole episode rather mind-boggling. Relieved now that he didn't get the nomination.

    Of course, who can forget Nancy Reagan and her astrologers?

    I thought of Nancy Reagan too (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:10:00 AM EST
    and remember how we mocked her for it.

    Nancy and Ronald (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:00:33 AM EST
    had a ranch in Santa Barbara too...

    Hmm... the plot thickens... n/t (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:14:22 AM EST
    Maybe (none / 0) (#118)
    by Nadai on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:50:07 AM EST
    there's a major node on the ley lines there.

    We shouldn't have (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:35:03 AM EST
    She and her astrologer were right, from waht I read, more often than not, and kept Ronnie dear from acting on some of his worst ideas-- invading Nicaragua, stiffing Gorbachev, etc.

    This is way interesting - (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:49:01 AM EST
    where did you read this?  I'm an astrologer - tho do it mostly for fun.

    There was a great deal (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:03:44 AM EST
    of yak about it back when, but my mind is not calling up many of the specifics.  There was a Reagan administration insider who wrote a book that was not well received by the Reaganites, name escapes me at the moment, but it was while Reagan was still in office.  And there was some Kitty Kelly book on Nancy, I think, that covered some of it.

    Anyway, she was apparently in regular contact with one of the more famous LA astrologers, who, among other things, did a comparison chart of Reagan and Gorbachev in advance of his first meeting with him and told Nancy that Ronnie would do well to take him seriously and that he would get along with him very well.

    You could probably google Nancy Reagan and astrologer or astrology and come up with the details.


    Let's also not forget (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:13:23 AM EST
    Hillary and Bill brought in some New Agers to the WH, ca 93-4, people like self-help guru Tony Robbins, then Jean Houston to help Hill imagine the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt and her travails.  Something like that, as revealed in the Woodward book.  

    That disclosure got plenty of yucks from the media when it came out and didn't help the Clintons at all.

    Moi, I'm considerably less judgmental about some of these belief systems these days, or the nontraditional "softer" ones, especially since I probably hold to some new agey ideas which if they got out would probably not make me a viable candidate for higher office.

    So I give Edwards a break if he was dipping a few toes into some of this stuff.  I don't give him much slack, however, for the lying and the hypocrisy and putting his party at risk.


    The Gores lost a child and an election (5.00 / 7) (#34)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:51:40 AM EST
    that Gore really won.

    So what did Gore do?  He grew a beard.

    And then he got on with it and got a Nobel Prize.


    That is one way (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by weltec2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:01:25 AM EST
    of dealing with it... a HEALTHY way, I would say. Encouraged by Tipper, he channeled his energies in a positive direction.

    And therein lies the (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:36:11 AM EST
    crucial difference; Gore turned to his partner in his times of emotional turmoil and was faithful to her and himself.  All this talk about how Edwards was trying to "cope" smacks just a little bit to me of trying to excuse his behavior.  I think we should also be on the watch for those who will inevitable try to blame Elizabeth in some way for this whole affair (or ridicule her for "standing by" him).  Where have we heard that canard before?

    The fact that Elizabeth herself was the one he was faced with losing, in my mind only makes the betrayal more shocking and immoral.  To say that it is "human" or "understandable" is a cop-out, IMHO.


    The Gores had a child who was severely (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:14:24 AM EST
    injured in an accident outside Camden Yards in Baltimore, but he didn't die.  It was the Edwards' who lost a child - Wade - when Wade was 16, in a freak car accident.

    It was Wade's death that had the Edwards' deciding to have 2 more children - Jack and Emma Claire - who are still quite young.

    Now, I don't presume to have a clue what the Edwards' went through, first losing Wade and then an election and then Elizabeth getting cancer - but, since any one of those things can send people reeling, I imagine the cumulative effect might have been enough to put cracks in the Edwards family, no matter how hard they tried to cope and no matter how much they love each other.

    Where I have a problem is that if Edwards was in enough emotional turmoil that he had an affair that he tried to conceal, and thought running for president knowing his wife had a condition that could end in death at any time - further sending him into an emotional tailspin - was a good idea, he was kidding himself and not doing the American people the service he claimed he was.

    I supported his message and his vision for America, even as I had my doubts how he could be effective with a wife who could begin the slide toward death at any time - but that was when I was under the impression that he was otherwise in good emotional shape; now, I have to believe that he was not, and it bothers me that both JOhn and Elizabeth thought it made sense for him to jump into the presidential race with that kind of baggage.


    I didn't care for the way Edwards, (none / 0) (#103)
    by brodie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:26:11 AM EST
    according to one published and now highly credible inside source, used his son's death in private to earn political favor as Kerry was deciding on the Veep pick.  Not just that unseemly fact, but lying about one aspect of the story too.  At the time, it gave even Kerry the creeps, and he later regretted (to the political aide) having put Edwards on the ticket.

    Sorry, but Edwards has no credibility with me.  And anyone who would use his child's death like that, well, that's just contemptible.


    Correct, sorry -- I recalled (none / 0) (#148)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    it incorrectly.  I checked, and the son was near death, clinically dead, etc.  Interesting, in my checking this, that Gore said it changed his life and was cause for a spiritual rebirth, etc. -- sound familiar? -- and was the reason that he decided not to run for President then.

    But Gore (3.00 / 2) (#67)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:15:38 AM EST
    was not in the position of having to be a cheerleader for his wife in her battle against cancer while needing someone to speak to about his own fears of losing her.  And, yes, Gore's work on climate change etc since losing the election is admirable, but I don't think his entire response has been healthy -- he has become extremely overweight.  My point is not to criticize Gore, but simply to point out no one is perfect.

    Oh, please. As Senator Obama (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:46:33 AM EST
    would say, if Edwards needed to talk to someone, he ought to have consulted his minister.

    LOL. Perfect. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:55:30 AM EST
    Talk about a Soul Patch! :-) n/t (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ellie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:20:21 AM EST
    That is an amazing way to deal with it (none / 0) (#141)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:08:23 AM EST
    But not the most common way to deal with loss.  I am not sure if it is completely healthy to put that type of success born out of tradedy as the "correct" way to deal with loss.  I don't think you were doing that in general

    Of curse not. Some of us (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:14:47 AM EST
    can't grow beards.  Jeesh.  I answered an example of one with another example of one.  It wasn't a public opinion poll.

    Paternity test (4.75 / 4) (#6)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:09:15 AM EST
    I said this on another thread, but what does a dna test get Hunter?  In all this reporting and rumors flying, I don't remember any time where she said he was the baby's father.

    If she demanded money from him for keeping quiet, it doesn't matter whether he's the father or not.  If she demanded child support money reasonably believing the child could be his, then it's not extortion or blackmail.

    A dna test only helps Edwards, it does nothing for her.

    A lot of this entirely circumstantial evidence for her extortion could equally apply to Edwards trying to pay her off to shut her up.  Most of this we only have Edwards' word for.  And we know he doesn't have a problem with lying to save his bacon.  People may suspect she's lied too, but there's no evidence.  We have Edwards admitting he lied.  On the one hand we have a politician, in whose interest it was to lie, and did lie.  On the other we have a woman who has said v. little publicly so far.  But she's the one we're all over the suspiciousness with?

    Why?  Because there's a rumor she's an actress?  How does actress v politician line up on the Likely to Lie Your Butt Off scale?  Because her father was part of the JonBenet fiasco?  Because she's a New Ager?  Are they more likely to act scummily toward others?  To extort money from others?  

    Edwards said neither he nor his campaign have paid her money, blah blah.  Given that he denied the NE report with the excuse that it was not 100% accurate, his credibility is pretty low with me.  

    A paternity test benefits the child, who (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:38:12 AM EST
    is entitled to financial support from both parents.

    But again, Hunter isn't claiming it's his child (none / 0) (#129)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:59:27 AM EST
    So not only is Hunter crazy and contemptible based on no evidence, but she's a bad parent too?

    Are there any tar brushes missing here?  I bet she hates all those starving kids in Africa too...


    I think it is quite (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:19:36 AM EST
    possible that someone would like to protect himself and others from personal embarrassment while being honest about matters that truly relate to their public lives.  I'm not saying Edwards did so, but he might have, and to judge him this harshly on matters that basically should be none of our business, when we don't know all the facts, is unfair.  I, for one, don't care who all did what to whom. This is Elizabeth's business, she knew long before we did, and she has made it clear she would prefer to deal with the matter privately.

    Actually (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:39:21 AM EST
    Bill Clinton's affair did not ruin his career.  It tarnished his public image temporarily, but the thing that it almost ruined was his marriage.

    How do you know it almost ruined (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:36:40 AM EST
    his marriage?

    Were you in the room when Bill and Hillary discussed Lewinsky or Flowers or any of the others?

    Do you know if she said, "Monica is the last straw" or if she said, "How could you be so stupid as to get caught again?"

    Am I one of the only people who has figured out that Prince Charming was nothing more than a character in a fairy tale?


    You're right, I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:48:41 AM EST
    I was just working from the presumption that that kind of betrayal would cause damage to any relationship--not irreparable damage, necessarily, but damage nonetheless.  Obviously they worked it out and I'm happy for them.  I wasn't trying to mind-read HRC and WJC so I'm sorry if it came across that way ;)

    The problem is that people are (4.33 / 3) (#151)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:15:24 AM EST
    applying a standard interpretation to the institution of marriage which in my experience rarely if ever occurs in real life.  People have problems and the longer they are married to one another, the more problems they face together and apart.  A lot of people work out relationships in the context of their marriages that do not adhere exactly to that paragon of virtue scenario that we read about in self-help books and in the fairy tales.  I am in the camp having seen my parents 40+ year marriage go through its ups and downs that believes that the divorce rate in this country would come down if people were more realistic about the fact that we enter into marriages with other mortals who are going to have faults and flaws that we have to learn to live with, work to change to the extent that they could be and often forgive.

    The Clintons have lived a long life together and they have decided to stay together for whatever reasons.  Whatever those reasons are are their business, but I have to applaud them for forging a partnership that has survived the rough spots.  Same with the Edwards.


    Who cares (none / 0) (#16)
    by ChuckieTomato on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:54:11 AM EST
    if it doesn't do anything for Hunter? If she is making a support claim or asking for money then Edwards is entitled to a paternity test.

    My guess is that he wants to avoid the courts and make this story go away which I think it will after tomorrow.


    If, if, if. Reread the comment (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:49:22 AM EST
    from Valhalla, who makes valid points about what is known.  Yet off ye go again into the unknown unknowns.

    She has NOT made any such claims (none / 0) (#130)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    Even the National Enquirer, that paragon of journalistic integrity, doesn't suggest that.

    I have read (none / 0) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:37:39 AM EST
    in various reports before the Edwards "confession" that she has told friends that the child is Edwards's.  She has apparently not been all that discreet about all this.

    The NE says the child is Edwards (none / 0) (#64)
    by Josey on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:13:12 AM EST
    and they'll probably continue that narrative....

    Oh good greif... (4.66 / 3) (#1)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:37:12 AM EST
    a candidate who hangs out with new agers, healers and seekers?

    Beyond wacky.

    Good thing she didn't decide Obama had 'the vibes.'

    "new age bender"? (5.00 / 10) (#26)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 05:47:01 AM EST
    Is it possible that we could stop judging people's beliefs and faith?

    I've seen people who have been indifferent christians suddenly start going to church upon the death of a loved one, or become even more devoted to their faith.   Maybe they found comfort and hope in a religion - or maybe they went on a "bender"!

    I no longer wonder why Mitt Romney's religion was such an issue.  Is "religionism" a word?


    Eh... (4.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Thanin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:53:08 AM EST
    Since religion is a choice and not some state your born into, like gender, race, sexual preference, etc., I dont really consider some mild mocking to be a big deal, because youre choosing to believe it.  Especially considering some of the tenants of certain religions.  I mean doesnt mormonism teach that Africans are the descendants of the devils that turned against God?  To me thats a pretty disgusting thought.  And what about all the sexism and homophobia in the bible?  Sorry but some religions are just mock worthy.

    I'm with you right up to the boundary ... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Ellie on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:48:05 AM EST
    ... of someone else's personal religious and moral choices for his or her own life.

    How those will influence the public should be a public concern and equally applied to candidates for public ofice (esp when we're continually having a National Faith pushed on us, and used to deflect media attention from earthbound wrongdoing.)

    As someone who has family in the clergy and activist in multifaith programs that deal with a variety of issues -- domestic violence, family turmoil, addiction etc. -- I don't begrudge people's belief systems and spiritual codes to see themselves through troubled times.

    It's a fine line. If someone's trying to have the best of both worlds, eg, making political hay of persecuting opponents while not privately not practicing what s/he preaches, I say, haul off and take them down hard.

    Otherwise, what someone chooses to believe is of secondary importance to me than their actions.

    I usually couldn't care less what "celebs" are into or the latest hooey riding the elevator on the best-seller list. I do question why Gawd Almighty (or variant) has co-written so many crappy Grammy winning ear fungus and other bad entertainment, and shown historicaly poor judgment in backing sports teams that beat up on my mine.


    ALL religions are mock worthy. (3.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:46:58 AM EST
    Just get a hard core atheist on a roll, and they'll be glad to tear up any and all religions from the oldest to the newest, from the popular to the socially unacceptable.

    And if you really want to be offended, ask a hardcore atheist what they think about people of faith and their emotional and psychological stability and competence.


    Conversely (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by Faust on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:20:12 AM EST
    take Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher and try to come up with a framework that will succesfully guide social mores.

    There is a reason that hardcore atheists spend most of their time attacking existing religious fundamentalism but are completely unable to come up with anything that will help or comfort people in difficult times.

    Attacking fundamentalism is like shooting fish in a barrel. On the flip side finding meaning seems to be a little bit more difficult. Hence the reason religion will never die.


    Didn't need to (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:25:34 AM EST
    It would have been hard for her to get noticed, half the Democratic Party and most of the news media decided Obama had 'the vibes.'  :)

    As a witch... (4.66 / 3) (#140)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:08:03 AM EST
    and one who has practiced for a very long time and managed to live a fairly mudane life (what with being a college prof, editor, and writer) my only response to this comment is...


    Jumping to conclusions with regards to this guy and his healing work is well...hybris. For all you know, this guy could have a serious masters in psych who just happens to follow another therapy path.


    Judgmental, or speaking with knowledge (4.00 / 1) (#171)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:36:09 AM EST
    New Age is hardly worthy of "good grief" assessment unless you are fully educated and knowledgeable in all it encompasses.

    Eckhart Tolle and "The Power of Now" has proven to be very helpful and positive for millions of people around the world. Meditation is healthy on many levels, and removing grudges, old emotional wounds, and insecurities in one's life is not deserving of "good grief".

    I didn't read anything that indicated Edwards was using Rielle to get his chart read, or changing his spiritual beliefs.

    The affair is enough. The public claiming they "should/need/want" to know who the father of her daughter is really might be a deeper dig than we're entitled to. Rielle is within her rights to deny the paternity test if it's just to satisfy public curiosity/meddling. However, if she wants child support, she needs to take this through the correct channels for that.

    Her thinking women who have affairs to help men end failing marriages speaks volumes. The Newsweek article gives evidence she probably got pregnant on purpose, and with the intent to end John and Elizabeth's marriage. Still doesn't mean the baby is JE's. He's an attorney, with many attorney friends...he'll deal with this, though I doubt he or Elizabeth want to handle it in a fashion that will invite public procedings.


    There's no evidence whatsoever (none / 0) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:46:12 AM EST
    that Edwards was consulting McGovern about anything other than the Rielle problem, and I don't get why we would jump to that conclusion.  Because McGovern has been acting as a go-between doesn't say a thing about any further relationship with Edwards than that.

    Jeralyn, you're thinking like a prosecutor here...


    Montecito, where Hunter lived, is (4.66 / 3) (#17)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:59:11 AM EST
    very wealthy -- Oprah, Ellen, and Steve Martin all live there (along with a lot of other famous people).  It's approximately a 2 to 3 hour drive outside of LA.  

    Just judging from McGovern's photo, I wonder if this Robert McGovern III isn't him?  Some people who don't find fame and fandom in LA via acting (or whatever) turn to other methods to support themselves -- like becoming New Age healers.  It's all acting, right?  

    Goleta, where McGovern lives, is a poor part of town.  

    After reading what I've written here and before, I'd be willing to bet that he's the one who got paid for info.  He's not wealthy and could use the money, he's older so burnt bridges don't mean so much, he has inside information.  

    Goleta's not a "poor" part of town (none / 0) (#156)
    by addy on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:22:12 AM EST
    more middle class track housing. I lived there for a few years. A friend of mine sold his home for $650k three years ago. So I wouldn't say the guy necessarily needed money. There are parts with less money for sure (where I lived) but it's by no means poor. Compared to Montecito however.....

    Edwards Wanted To Be In Control (4.50 / 6) (#35)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:51:41 AM EST
    Per TV Newser, John Edwards was not happy that the news of his confession with ABC News broke early in the afternoon.

    Apparently, he planned "to control the news cycle by making his admission late on a Friday night when the country was watching the Olympics and the long weekend yawned ahead."


    So, I guess everyone and their grandmas (and MoDo even) have weighed in on this news, so I just wanted to add my 2-cents.

    I was thrilled that John Kerry picked J.E. to be his running mate in 2004. He was frankly the reason why I supported that ticket because I didn't like Kerry. But, I digress.

    So anyway, I was furious that the allegations I learned about last year (and willingly brushed off as salacious rumors) turned out to be true. Although I did not vote for him this year, I was still rooting for him to do well. Of course, I was livid when he chose to drag his feet on his endorsement and picked Obama instead, conveniently doing it on the day after Hillary's amazing win in West Virginia.

    He chose to have this affair DURING his second run for President; had the balls to say that Elizabeth was in remission when it happened; put Elizabeth's already-fragile health at risk by having unprotected sex with another woman -- described as a NYC party girl -- and placed her, his children and other family in the worst possible position when they already have so much to deal with.

    I'm sorry, but right now, I care more about how Elizabeth and the children are doing, and believe this is John's just-deserts. He looked selfish and self-serving during the Primaries, and even in the process of lighting his political career on fire with his LATE confession, he wanted to be in control of its release. He totally deserves this.

    (And in my own way, I see the selfish actions of several of those who burned Hillary and Bill in the Primaries coming back to haunt them. Who's next?)

    Jim, you have no idea that Edwards (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    had unprotected sex with Hunter.  Until it is established that the child is his, and until the two parties come forward and tell us who did and did not use protection, we simply cannot leap to this conclusion.

    Contraception is not 100% effective.

    All that being said, when I watched the Nightline interview, I almost expected him to blurt out that "of course" this could not be his child, as it is always his practice to use protection when having an affair...because I do think we are going to learn that this is not the first time he "strayed."


    Really? I don't see how that follows. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:39:53 AM EST
    If, in fact, the dates of his involvement don't gibe with her pregnancy, it's irrelevant whether and what form of contraception was used when he was with her.

    Let's say that person A is three months pregnant, which means she got pregnant in May, and she claims that person B is the father.  Let's further say that person B was out of state from April to June and had no contact with person A during that time period, but had a relationship with her both before and after he was away.  What difference does it make that in March, or in July, these people had protected or unprotected sex?  None - since no matter what they did when they were together, person B could not be the father of person A's baby.


    Agree (4.33 / 6) (#60)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:58:08 AM EST
    All this excuse-making for Edwards seems like a real reach to me. He's a cad, pure and simple. And even his 'apology' on TV made him look like he was trying to play the victim. It's the same boilerplate language they always use when they get caught - go ahead and beat me up, i'm beating myself up more, i love my wife, i'm talking to god, blah blah blah.

    He chose to hurt his wife, who's fighting for her life and who has done nothing but support his political ambitions. He chose to hurt his children, who now have to deal with how he betrayed their mother, and endure public humiliation. He chose it all. He's no victim.

    Fidelity matters to most married people, or else they would have an open marriage or not get married. Let's get real. He was wrong, and more importantly, he devastated a good person who trusted him. SHE is the victim, not him.

    Oh, and then there's the poor child.... but let's pretend it won't affect her either.


    Thank you! (4.40 / 5) (#88)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:07:54 AM EST
    This is how I feel about the situation.  "Fidelity matters."  Saying it's "human," etc. is a non-sequitur.

    In a way I feel like Edwards' infidelity to his wife is of a piece with his "infidelity" to the issues he pretended to champion.  After all, he sold out to Obama and his "new politics" and got us ZERO in return for his much-lauded endorsement.


    Well, I never bought Edwards' schtick (4.33 / 3) (#100)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:23:20 AM EST
    He always struck me as a self-absorbed preener and a phony.

    Yes, his populist campaign rhetoric about poverty and two americas was great, but it sure didn't match his public record previously. And he skewered Hillary for the AUMF vote, which he also participated in, supposedly because it was so important and distinctive that he apologized for it later. He apologized when the tide of public opinion turned, that's all.

    I feel nothing about the current events except extreme sympathy for Elizabeth and her kids. Imagine facing your own mortality and then this.


    Well, you were right! (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:39:39 AM EST
    I'm just saddened that more people in the progressive blogosphere 1.0 didn't share your perspective.  I have to wonder if the fact that he piled on the criticism of Hillary in the primary & apparently didn't give a thought to the notion that she would make a good president, and the fact that he didn't give a thought to his wife & marital vows, were related somehow.

    Good point (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:10:19 AM EST
    I'd really rather have a discussion about the failure of the netroots to vet its beloved heroes (going on elsewhere) than sit around making up reasons why Hunter is a modern-day Siren to JE's tragic but heroic Odysseus, with Elizabeth playing the part of admirably loyal Penelope in the backgrouind.

    From everything I'm hearing (4.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:11:49 AM EST
    this is John Edward's kid whether he agrees to it or not.  

    She loves him.  He's trapped.  

    I think this McGovern guy made a bunch of money (because I think he's the one that snitched).  He has enough money to pay his rent in Goleta for a few more years.  

    Andrew Young?  Misguided, obviously.  

    Let's see (3.71 / 7) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:00:30 AM EST
    Lost a child in 1996
    Lost presidential bid and wife diagnosed with cancer in 2004.

    People do wierd things when the lose a child, and as I said several times when this all came out, people do wierd things when their wife is diagnosed with cancer.

    Men are not "allowed" by our sexist society to really grieve.  The grief comes out in other ways.

    Edwards may have gone a little off the deep end.

    I concur with weltec (4.25 / 4) (#41)
    by JimWash08 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:13:40 AM EST
    I'd love to also be forgiving, and I do realize the circumstance can cause people to do things that are uncharacteristic of them. But, if John Edwards had chosen to come clean early on and not decided to seek the office again, this would be an after-thought at this point. But, he admitted trying to cover it up, and he should have known better than to do that, seeing how he's a public figure with the bright lights of a Presidential election shining down on his every move. It was bound to come out.

    Why shouldn't he cover this up? (3.66 / 3) (#71)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:23:07 AM EST
    This is not our business; it has nothing to do with his politics; he does not campaign on a platform of marital fidelity; this matter most affects Elizabeth Edwards, she knew long before we did, and she has made clear she wants to be left alone to deal with this privately.  

    This can be debated (5.00 / 2) (#212)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:34:59 PM EST
    forever as to Edwards responsibility to the election, the voters.

    It is not going to change. People see in their candidates,themselves;validation,similar,beliefs,aspirations. It's not about policy unless you are a political junkie.

    When you see that candidate, male or female, hear what they have to say, their appearance, body language, tone, behavior.....it's all about you/us.


    I don't like candidates (3.00 / 2) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:40:40 AM EST
    lying about issues that matter to me and other members of the public.  We don't know who paid the $.

    Wrong again. We do know (4.40 / 5) (#81)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:49:25 AM EST
    that she was paid $114,000 from campaign funds.  

    Please get the facts straight before your own moralizing here.  You keep getting them wrong but using your errors as the basis to moralize to others here about not moralizing.  Keep in mind there are Edwards donors here who worked hard for that money that he paid to his mistress.


    bashing the john edwards when he (1.00 / 1) (#193)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:18:52 PM EST
    does something that disappoints is fine, but to constantly hang around bashing says more about the basher.

    I see what you're trying to say (4.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 09:58:52 AM EST
    but there are plenty of men that grieve when they suffer a loss or trauma.  The fact that John Edwards was too emotionally immature to go through this journey with his wife and life partner is not exactly a first, but it's separate from the fact that he was going through something difficult.

    There are plenty of men and women (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:46:33 AM EST
    who engage in affairs when their family lives are affected by tragedies such as a death in the family and grave illness.

    It wasn't talked about much, but my great grandfather ended up marrying (or maybe just living with) the woman who cared for my great grandmother while she was terminally ill.  Scandalous in the 1920's because something was going on before my great grandmother died - based on responses I'm seeing here that would clearly worthy of a stoning in the early 21st Century - I'm glad for my great grandfather that they weren't so viscous during his era.  My step-great grandmother made him really happy and was by all accounts a really cool and fun lady who helped my family through a great tragedy.


    obviously there are plenty that do that (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Iris on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 10:56:59 AM EST
    or we wouldn't be having this discussion!  I was just pointing out that despite what society is said to "allow" there are men that grieve deeply, and do it without committing emotional or sexual infidelity.  It's not hard.

    How do you know (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:11:16 AM EST
    Edwards' affair had anything to do with grave illness or tragedy?

    Yep. (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:16:47 AM EST
    Even Edwards has not made some of the excuses being made for him here.

    It's astounding to me (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:21:00 AM EST
    Poor, poor John Edwards - his wife is dying of cancer and he isn't going to be president, he just NEEDS to have a little on the side...

    The excuses are sexist, too. (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:31:40 AM EST
    I haven't a clue. (3.00 / 2) (#162)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:28:19 AM EST
    That's Jeralyn's bag.

    I was only pointing out that family crises often bring about this kind of behavior for both men and women.

    Assuming that over the course of 33 years or whatever that the Edwardses have been married this is the first time he has cheated, the illness is one element of their life together that would have been a change.

    It could just as easily be that mid-life crisis thing men go through too.  The story of the 50-something faithful married man having an affair is pretty standard stuff.  First they buy the ridiculous sports car and then they take up with some 30-something - the strength of the marriage is usually the determining factor in whether the 30-something ends up being the second wife or not.

    But basically I don't really care that it happened or even why it happened mostly because it is not all that unusual for couples to face this sort of challenge at some point in their marriages.  I also don't really care because it has no bearing on anything that made me care about Edwards campaign.  Just as that oval office encounter between Lewinsky and Clinton made NO difference in my life - neither does Edwards affair.  The ONLY reason I am talking about this issue at all is that I think it is a real waste to throw good talent out just because of their sex life which is none of our business and completely unrelated to their ability to deliver healthcare, help the poor, stop wars etc.


    This is very nice. (3.50 / 2) (#39)
    by weltec2 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:04:46 AM EST
    I don't know if it is true or not, but I think you have a very good heart to suggest it. I would like to be that generous. I try but often find it... overwhelmingly difficult.

    And the relevance of this is? (3.00 / 2) (#136)
    by idealthoughts on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:05:32 AM EST
    I kind of wonder why a respected blog like this one has joined the MSM on this topic. Larisa Alexandrovna in the HuffPost had the best response to all of this. Considering all that has happen this week and now Russia mirroring it's old self is back at war, you waste time with this? Please, if you want to be the NYT, WashPost then get a printing press and kill some more trees. Return to your excellent postings not this meaningless drivil.

    Could you give us this part (none / 0) (#8)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:11:20 AM EST

    (I'm deliberately skipping and ignoring other Enquirer details that have not been verified.)

    Where did you find these details?  What are they?  

    Seriously, I'm not running around the internet looking for details on this so what you give me is what I have.  

    The National Enquirer has been on target so far so I'd like to hear the details even if they aren't verified.  

    the Enquirer story (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:24:23 AM EST
    on the meeting in the hotel is here.

    The weekend LA Times (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by IzikLA on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:44:12 AM EST
    Has a strange opinion piece from a writer who claims to have known her about several years ago.  The story is about how new-agey she was, how obsessed she was with being associated with famous people and how determined she was to become associated with one.

    Did anyone else see this?  It was hardly informative other than that but it struck me as random and odd.  I would be interested in any more background about that story and the truth behind it.


    Why would the LA Times (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 03:53:12 AM EST
    run something like this?? Unless they've been bought out like the NYT!!  And they now only print useless trash like the Podunk Herald!

    Shame!  Shame!  On the MSM!!!!!    


    I don't blame the Enquirer (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 04:31:37 AM EST
    for mocking the MSM since no one followed their lead.  

    Seriously, half of the stories you post bother me from the journalistic aspects of them.   Journalists are supposed to chase down stories.  It appears many of the MSM have lost the will to chase down anything, including stories.  They wait, until someone drops a story in their lap.  

    It's just so bogus!!    Give me some good old journalism please!!  The NYT in particular seems to be incredibly guilty of failing to follow up on possible stories.  They report non-news and press releases from the White House -- and they have editorial writers who ... have slunk to new lows...  they are that low... in the gutter low....  

    I wonder what journalism schools are teaching now...  How to set yourself up as a repository of deviant information?  Ala Drudge?  (Who needs school for that?)  


    Don't bother posting (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:27:11 AM EST
    anti-Obama comments here, they are off-topic and will be deleted. And profanity is always deleted, regardless of the point of view expressed.

    Sorry Jeralyn (none / 0) (#15)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:40:15 AM EST
    I know that was directed @ me.  I apologize for that.  

    You're right - there's a (none / 0) (#58)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 08:53:46 AM EST
    novel here - Miss Lonelyhearts?  

    Oh for Pete's sake... (none / 0) (#152)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:16:46 AM EST
    Deceiver is gilding the lily more than just a bit I'd say.

    They move from your description of this Bob guy to Rielle's "psychic friend" without blinking an eye.

    There is nothing in that description that announces that he is a psychic. Indeed the description that is posted is fairly unobtrusive when it comes to what healers and therapists do when it comes to trying to help people work through issue.

    As far as I can tell, the guy has done nothing wrong beyond trying to help out a friend.

    Unresolved: How fast did they hook up? (none / 0) (#164)
    by RonK Seattle on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 11:29:30 AM EST
    How did they hook up so fast?

    Like many less celebrated, less attractive public figures, JRE must be approached aggressively by a lot of women in a lot of settings. What was special about this one?

    "Hey, big guy, wanna see my aura?" doesn't cover it.

    And where the Hell (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:29:20 PM EST
    was Edwards' staff when this was brewing and the campfollower was on the prowl?

    OT, but "New Age" is such an abused term (none / 0) (#188)
    by Dadler on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:16:11 PM EST
    Anyone insterested in a great story of a woman facing institutional sexism, and insterested in "alternative" medicine and science should actually read the most groundbreaking book on the subject, written by a female PhD, who discovered the opiate receptor in human beings and could have easily gotten the Lasker and Nobel Prizes for it, but instead was denied credit by men in the academy who still consider female scientists less than -- and she fought for credit only to be essentially blackballed by the academy because of it.  Her name is Candace Pert and the book, firmly grounded in the concrete science, is called MOLECULES OF EMOTION.  Please read it before stooping to consider everything "alternative" as some hairy-fairy B.S. not grounded in the discoveries in the last few decades about the relation of emotions to disease.  And any woman on this site who wants to read an infuriating tale of sexism, and what it was/is like for those women trying to make real change in the often baseless medical paradigms of "modern" medicine should read it.  Though the first part is very scientific and sometimes hard to follow, the end result of the book is pretty staggering.

    From Kirkus Reviews
    Pert, a self-described ``catalyst in the mindbodyspirit revolution in modern medical science,'' and once a chief of brain chemistry at the NIH, freely intermingles vibrant stories of her professional and personal life with her theories about neuropeptides. Currently a research professor at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, Pert may be best known as one of the scientists on Bill Moyers's PBS series Healing and the Mind. In the early 1970s, she made a name for herself with her key role in discovering the brain's opiate receptors. For the next decade, however, owing to her protests over her exclusion from the prestigious Lasker Award, her reputation among scientists was more that of feminist troublemaker than pathfinder. Certainly the picture she draws here of the science establishment would seem to suggest a world of aggressive, even ruthless, alpha males fighting for the top prize. She also traces her own evolution from competitive bench scientist to explorer of personal healing modalities. The death of her father, the end of her marriage, her resignation from the NIH, her embracing of the Christian faith, and her discovery of the healing power of dreams--all were, she says, life-shaping events. Pert also explains her theory that neuropeptides and their receptors are the biochemicals of emotions, carrying information in a vast network linking the material world of molecules with the nonmaterial world of the psyche. Her views on mind-body cellular communication mesh well with the concepts of energy held by many alternative therapies, and she is now, not surprisingly, a popular lecturer on the wellness circuit. Her final chapter describes an eight-part program for a healthy lifestyle, and she has appended an extensive list of alternative medicine resources. Strong scientific support for the mind-body school of medicine, sure to rankle those alpha males back in the labs.

    It's Edwards' baby. It's just not Hunter's. (none / 0) (#226)
    by Dsinope on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:16:12 PM EST
    What follows is pure, unsupported speculation

    I think it's Edwards' baby. I just don't think it's Hunters.

    Edward's wife Elizabeth is 4 years older than him, born July 3 1949. They had 2 kids, Wade in 1979 and Cate in 1982. Wade was killed in 1996 when his Jeep was blown off a road by strong winds. Shortly thereafter, the Edwards decided to have more children. They had Emma Claire in 1998 and Jack in 2000.

    At the time Emma was born Elizabeth was 49. The odds of her becoming pregnant at that age with her own eggs is about 1:1,000,000. They have said that she underwent "fertility treatments" but it is almost certain that both Emma and Jack were the result of one or more egg donations.

    They have never admitted that. Perhaps not even to the children. It is relatively common for DE (Donated Egg) parents to keep it a secret from everyone. There are MANY Hollywood celebrity mothers who have had DE children and won't admit it. When an actress has twins at age 50, it's DE.

    When you do a DE procedure it's just like conventional IVF, except the Dr. changes patients between egg retrieval and embryo transfer. And if it works you almost always end up with extra embryos, stored frozen in liquid nitrogen in a lab.

    There are a few things you can do with those frozens - or "Totsicles" as some of the DE people call them. If the parents want more kids they can be transfered, one or two at a time, into the mom in the hope that they'll take and become new babies. They can be thawed and flushed. They can be donated to science for stem cell research, or they can be donated to another childless couple that can't afford a full $40,000 donor egg cycle.

    It isn't at all common, but they could also be implanted in a surrogate, to carry them to gestation. Parents might do that if they wanted more children but the mother couldn't carry a pregnancy to term. For example, she might have had a hysterectomy, or have a progressive disease like Parkinson's. Or she might be on Chemotherapy.

    Like Elizabeth Edwards.

    I think maybe that's what happened here. I think Rielle Hunter wasn't John Edward's mistress, or at least she was not JUST his mistress.

    She's 44 and she's never had a child.  Her odds of conceiving without fertility help are about 1:100.

    I think she was a surrogate. I think John and Elizabeth Edwards wanted another baby, but due to the chemo she couldn't carry one.

    That 6 weeks between the cancer announcement and conception would be a horrible span, if Edwards was cheating on his wife then. But would be about the right amount of time to get a surrogate ready to accept an embryo. Since she became pregnant she's been put up in very nice private homes AND paid $15k/month - a little on the rich side but not that outlandish as a surrogate fee, and they were paying for more than a conventional surrogate. The payments seem to have continued after the birth, as Ms. Hunter has nursed the little girl. The plan may have been to wait until after the election then quietly adopt the little guy. After all, John McCain has an adopted daughter, why not the Edwards?

    If it hadn't been for those meddlesome kids at the National Enquirer, they would have gotten away with it, too!

    Comments at 200, thread closed (none / 0) (#227)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    Thanks for your thoughts. There's a new open thread up for those who want to continue the discussion.