So much for Edwards’ being a ‘man’

Published 9:12 am Thursday, January 28, 2010

Despite years of exposed cover-ups and concealment, it seems inevitable that politicians will never learn anything and still insist on displaying cowardly actions.

Last week, John Edwards announced that he is the father of a three-year-old girl he had with former campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter.

The admission by the former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate put to end months of speculation and rumors swirling around his family as well as the child and her mother.

Edwards made the acknowledgement in a prepared statement and stated “it was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.”

Of course, once Edwards released the statement to the media he made a beeline to earthquake-devastated Haiti—yeah, top-notch guy.

There was a time I admired Edwards, but that was before he cheated on his wife (who is battling cancer) then lied about it and unscrupulously covered up his fathering a child with his mistress.

I honestly believe that when infidelity occurs in a marriage it is strictly a personal issue. No matter to others’ opinion, it is the matter of the married couple and their family and it applies if you’re public figure or an everyday person.

The act of infidelity should not be taken lightly and it’s clearly a moral issue that one could view as a crack in the person’s character.

The Edwards situation is close to how I felt about Bill Clinton’s situation; it’s your personal situation, but when you are asked about it as a public figure, tell the truth, not for the media posing the question, but for the very sake of your constituents. I know, it’s a tall order for a politician. In the end, lying will never gets them anywhere, as if the array of political scandals scattered about the millennia never occurred.

So instead of telling the truth, Edwards decided to lie about fathering this little girl, exposing his family as well as this child to public scrutiny and speculation, which has its own ill-effects to those under the magnifying glass.

This all could have been solved with Edwards telling the truth when the speculation began. To say it frankly, he should have taken it like a “man,” acknowledged not just the affair but the child if he knew it to be the truth with little delay. While the scrutiny would have been there for a time, it would have quickly subsided and certainly not gone on for three years. Most importantly, Edwards and his family could have dealt with the issue behind closed doors.

Let’s hope the next politician involved in a scandal of some sort will learn from the mistakes of others. But in the meantime, I won’t hold my breath.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.