John Edwards at a podium in the Ninth Ward on January 30, 2008:
I began my presidential campaign [in New Orleans] to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters. We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.
John Edwards in a North Carolina courtroom on Tuesday:
Shortly before Reynolds began her account of what happened that day at the Raleigh airport, Edwards turned to his daughter Cate, a lawyer who has been seated in the front row for much of her father’s trial.
“I don’t know what’s coming,” Edwards was heard saying. “Do you want to leave?”
She responded to him in a whisper, grabbed her purse and walked out, wiping away tears. Edwards was heard saying, “Cate, Cate” as she left.
I’m sometimes torn about what public figures owe the rest of us vis a vis their “personal” lives. Sometimes a public figure’s foibles makes me crazy and unhappy, other times I just shrug. Does anyone expect Kim Kardashian to lead us?
There is a certain glee among some – not Derek – though when folks of supposed high moral standing fall. That makes me uncomfortable as well.
I’m with you. I’d actually written a whole lot more that got into some of that but deleted it because I thought pairing the quotes with the pictures was just so plain sad. I can’t help but feel for Cate Edwards. I can’t help but be sort of astounded at how it’s played out. And when I was shooting photos of his concession speech, it unnerved me a bit how it seemed Elizabeth would look right at my camera.
When I was in college I went to a college press convention where the keynote speaker was one of the Miami Herald reporters who broke the Gary Hart/Donna Rice story and I remember feeling so underwhelmed by their “investigation,” which mostly consisted of them staking out a condo in D.C. where Hart was staying with Rice. I was especially underwhelmed given the previous year’s speaker had been Seymour Hersch. I don’t think Hersch would waste his time with a Hart/Rice story, and thankfully so given how much more substantive and important his work has been than the Kardashian beat.
Well said, Derek. It seems to me that it’s become easier and easier to traffic in “gotcha” journalism, especially as so many people who make these bad choices also chronicle them with photos and videos, tweets, and Flickr accounts.
The John Edwards saga has got so many sad components it’s hard to know who deserves the most empathy. I hope that kid gets raised okay. I hope what went on before doesn’t have to define that life.