Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Wife's Book Review of "The Politician"

Since I did a book review of Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, An American Life, I told Eric that I would also like to do a book review of Andrew Young’s book, The Politician.  I am not sure this is really a book review, as it is just me expressing some thoughts that came to me while reading the book, but either way, here it is:

After it became apparent that John Edwards had a child with his mistress, and that he had a mistress in the first place, I was fascinated to hear some back story and what transpired to make this “family man” fall from grace.  Well, as it turns out, the story is much more awful than I would have thought.  Although my views on some things fall to the conservative side, some also fall to the liberal side.  I am one of those people.  As such, I don’t generally judge a book by its cover or by its label.  Because of this, I became a big fan of John Edwards back when he was running for President/Vice President in 2004.  I am not sure which of his views at the time I agreed/disagree with, but the thing that I loved about John Edwards as a politician was how much he seemed to love his wife.  Not necessarily his family, but his wife.  It was the essence of his image, and one that I bought hook, line, and sinker. 

Now, looking back, I should have been a bit wiser.  Everything that came out of John Edward’s mouth about his wife was kind, loving, and respectful.  I cannot imagine any person, let alone woman, who would not like to have those qualities spoken about her publicly.  Let’s face it; John Edwards always seemed a bit out of Elizabeth’s league.  She was short and pudgy and never quite looked the part of a rich, political power.  John Edwards, on the other hand, was exactly what one would expect from a politician.  If anyone were to get elected based on their looks, John Edward was the man.  Yet, John still seemed to love Elizabeth as much in 2004 as he had the day they met.  He did not see her as short and pudgy, but rather as the love of his life.  However, after reading Andrew Young’s book, I was reminded that Elizabeth Edward is quite an intelligent woman with a prestigious career.  She grew up as an Army brat and became very worldly as a result of it.  She also graduated at the top of her law school, just behind John.  She really was a force to be reckoned with.  It was this intelligence and presence that attracted John to Elizabeth at the beginning of their courtship and marriage.  According to Andrew Young, Elizabeth continued to be a strong voice in John’s political career and a trusted advisor.  But somehow, after many years of marriage and the gut-wrenching loss of their only son, John Edwards managed to stray outside his marriage. 

Andrew writes that Reile Hunter was just suddenly in the Senator’s life and seemed to stay there.  They first became acquainted in 2006 and apparently continue their affair to this day.  Andrew reveals many questionable tasks the Senator asked him to perform in order to hide the affair from Elizabeth, including taking responsibility for fathering Hunter’s child.  Andrew also speaks of John telling Hunter that the two would marry once Elizabeth had died of her incurable cancer.  This part of the book is no doubt full of juicy tidbits and exposes John and Elizabeth as power-hungry and sneaky people who would do anything to get into the White House. 

When reading the book, I actually believed Andrew Young.  He does have incentive to lie and there were many quotes in the book that were virtually impossible to remember, but for the most part, I honestly believed the story he was telling.  And at the end of the story, I did not feel better for having read the book, but rather worse.  Yes, I now believe John Edward to be a man who played the American people like a fiddle.  Yes, I now believe Elizabeth Edwards turned a blind eye while be relentless and not such a nice person with John’s staff.  But at the end of the day, I just don’t care.  John Edward created a public persona and ran with it for as long as he could.  He should have been honest with the American people, but there are a many political implications of having something like this scandal out in the open.    It is a game, and John and Elizabeth Edwards wanted to win that game.  I can say that after reading The Politician, I would never vote for John Edwards to be a president.  I do not understand how adults can lie like they are 12.  That baffles me.  However, I also wish I would not have given my money to Andrew Young.  I think there are some things that are better left unsaid, and if Andrew Young was as dedicated to John as he claims throughout the entire book, he should have kept his mouth shut.  His allegiance to John Edwards should have faded long ago, and because he made the mistake of not letting it fade, it is not now his place to air out dirty laundry of a family that needs to just sink into the background and go away.  If you want to read this book, rent it from your library or ask me for my copy.  I will be happy to get it out of my house.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your comments on John and Andrew. I have to say, the suggestion you believe the details to be accurate causes a problem to me. I, too, read the book. A borrowed copy for the reasons you stated. I would never give a penny to a "friend" who would disregard the lives of the innocent children, and Elizabeth. The rest of the characters, deserve the karma they will one day experience.