Cathy Renna

Notes from South Carolina...

Filed By Cathy Renna | August 12, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: Clemson Tigers, John Edwards, John Edwards affair, North Carolina, political scandals, South Carolina

I am sitting in one of the most interesting places possible to hear about the John Edwards affair and alleged love child - the lobby of a La Quinta hotel in Anderson, South Carolina. Anderson is "upstate" (aka Mike Hukcabee country) and it is always fascinating for me to come here and visit my wife's family. I get a ton more stares and even more hostile reaction to my non-genderconforming appearance, EdwardsEnquirer.jpgmy Yankee accent and New York license plates. I wear my Clemson tigers baseball hat for security as much as the fact that it is very sunny and hot (ok, maybe more). But I digress.

Here in the crowded lobby on a Tuesday morning, CNN on the television and waffle machine getting a workout, there is a lot of hostility and pain, especially amongst women here. "How could he do this to Elizabeth" "What a hypocrite" and a litany of other comments fly. Let's just say the men in the lobby are being very quiet.

For my own part, I am disappointed, saddened and angry. And I worry. This was one candidate that actually spoke about many of the issues I care about - poverty, healthcare, government responsibility and others. But I am so angry about these men - and frankly, it is mostly men - who screw up their political careers (literally) and even more importantly, destroy the work of their supporters and the people who put their time and money behind the candidate who talks about the issues they care about and in whom we put our trust.

Insider baseball is lost on most folks, who just see another man who betrayed his family - and in this case one with a wife struggling with cancer and small children - and another chip in the credibility and trust of our elected. Handsome guy with power gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar.


Simply put by the woman sitting next to me: "How can he claim to be moral and do this to his family?"

As the media pundits play their game of "now what" and pull out their crystal balls to try and predict how this may affect the election, the electorate's feeling and the general mood about the political impact as we approach the Democratic convention (which obviously just lost a potential speaker and a potential VP candidate), it will be interesting to see what the impact is on the "big picture." But as I sit here in what can be better described as the "small picture," it is very plain to me - another disappointment, another chip in the credibility of politicians. No wonder the number of people who vote has dwindled.

Somehow it feels like the reaction here is more genuine than the political spin I would be hearing in DC. I can't say I am in a rush to get back to that. Bonding with some of the folks here may make it possible to take off that Clemson hat and not feel quite as threatened.

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I wear my Clemson tigers baseball hat for security...

Having grown up just down the road in Columbia i can relate... but there you need a USC hat. I prefer one that references the beloved mascot.

I know we're supposed to be all about sexual freedom on this list, but I'm a definite prude about marriage. Marriage is, for me, a solemn moral bond between 2 adults, who pledge before the deity they both believe in to love and have no others. I've taken that vow, and so did John Edwards.

Edwards violated that vow. What others would he have violated?
And he has those young kids. I cannot imagine what he was thinking - obviously he wasn't. I hope Elizabeth has kicked his skinny butt, and keeps kicking it.

I felt he was the best candidate running, this year, for President. Nearly as liberal as Kucinich, but taken more seriously by the public. After his primary defeats, I hoped he'd have a role in the new administration, perhaps as AG or SC Justice. Better to know now we were wrong about him, than after he was named to a post and caused embarrassment to Obama. The term "morally unfit to serve" comes strongly to mind.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 12, 2008 9:03 PM

I think who Edwards sleeps with is none of my business. It's between him, his wife and the other partner(s). Period.

No offense, but "news" like this makes me feel like I'm back in high school, gossiping about who's sleeping with the jocks.

Except he campaigned to be President of the United States with the whole "White Knight" idea, brandishing his doting wife (w/ cancer!) as a sword. He was a "family man" of the "common people."

And while I agree that who he sleeps with is none of my business, the idea that he jeopardized my rights with his dick doesn't make me feel too damned generous right now.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 13, 2008 8:25 PM

Who knows: he and his wife may have had an agreement. Considering how judgemental the American public is on these issues, they would be as likely to admit that now as he was to admit that he had an affair before.

the idea that he jeopardized my rights with his dick doesn't make me feel too damned generous right now.

Just how exactly did he jeopardize your rights? You seem to be projecting a bit.

Also, why are we forgetting that McCain, THE candidate of the morally judgemental party, also cheated on his wife? Why does he get a pass? Edwards isn't even a presidential candidate anymore.

People's reactions to this whole thing baffle me.