Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Higher Standard

I supported John Edwards before I turned to Barack Obama. I find news that the rumors of his affair were indeed accurate no huge surprise. He scripted a story for his ambitious campaign and followed it until he had no out but to say the National Enquirer got it right. Apparently, he even fooled some of his campaign staff, who insisted the NE was just engaging in cheap tabloid journalism. While exiting the political arena, Edwards fired a bit of a salvo in John McCain's direction when he mentioned McCain's own marital history.

But I don’t think John McCain will touch this story with a 10-foot-pole, since the war-hero returned home and found the wife he had left behind changed. The first Mrs. McCain, once a swimsuit model, had been in a terrible car crash and was disfigured. Accounts differ, but the marriage ended. From UK’s The Mail:
Carol insists she remains on good terms with her ex-husband, who agreed as part of their divorce settlement to pay her medical costs for life. ‘I have no bitterness,’ she says. ‘My accident is well recorded. I had 23 operations, I am five inches shorter than I used to be and I was in hospital for six months. It was just awful, but it wasn’t the reason for my divorce. ‘My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that just does.’
According to Carol McCain, McCain married Cindy a month after their divorce was final.

Sen. McCain is not quick to give much detail on this part of his life, preferring instead to emphasize the scripted version. It was a long time ago and I don’t blame him.

However, I find myself asking what matters in determining a politician’s character. Are our ties to Puritan forefathers and mothers too tight? Is there a new standard? Or a politicians’ standard (lower of course)? How are we to regard flaws of a moral nature? Every time a public figure admits to a transgression of Edwards’ nature, I wonder.

Yet, I recognize a politician who strays can still be an effective leader. I guess I just wish the politicians would realize that we are looking to them to be better. You are choosing this course. How can you think every rock will not be overturned in your public life as well as your private life? And y'all, please stop being so family values preachy if you do have these extramarital skeletons rattling around in your political closets.


Tim said...

If every politician were caught, I am fairly sure that most would have infidelities in their closets.

Sheila said...

Good to hear from you again, Tim. I don't know the rate of infidelity. I don't imagine that those surveyed on the matter are always frank. It is hard to find people who haven't made some mistake or bad decision they may regret or that cannot be portrayed in a negative light. I guess we all have a morality threshold that we hold others to and which when it is crossed, we no longer hold the offenders in a positive light.

Does this sound relative? I suppose so.

Sarge Charlie said...

I am having a problem understanding why you made this comparison.

1966 days as a pow released 3/14/73

Not sure what you think but I think that would put a strain on any relationship. Oh, she was seriously hurt in an automobile accident.

Edwards wife has stage 4 breast cancer, yep, we should not go there.

The fair haired boy was caught with his pants down and he lied again, the Enquirer caught him there two weeks ago, he said it ended in 2006, NOT.

He has found a bimbo who is waiting for his wife to die, no Sheila, lets not go there.

rainlillie said...

Cindy McCain was a mistress... Of course the GOP will try to paint her and John as saints.

Marshamlow said...

One of the tabloids is reporting that Obama is having an affair as well. Ask yourself how you would feel if it were Obama who was admitting an affair. Would you no longer want to vote for him? I think we forgive the discretions of those who we like and throw stones at those who we dislike.

I personally feel that morality is important. I feel that a marital indiscretion is an idication of a selfish person who does not have the ability to do the right thing when things get tough. I do however agree with Sarge that cheating after being in a POW camp is a lot different than the Edwards thing. Being a military family I can tell you that it is very hard for families when they come home from a war, I can't even imagine how difficult it would be on a family if they were coming home from being a POW. I do think that is different. Not saying I would vote for the guy, just that it is different.

Sheila said...

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Whether you agree or disagree with the quote, I think John Edwards' frank admission to his blind ambition is more interesting than the admission to the affair.

Infidelity of any nature is a serious breach of trust and indicates serious problems in a relationship. How the parties deal with it is their business.

I am just glad Edwards didn't succeed in becoming the party's nominee.

Palm Springs Savant said...

It is frustrating when a politician makes a point of positioning themself as a family person, or a moral holy roller, and then gets caught having been naughty.