No, not the accidental death of their talented 17-year-old son, Wade, in 1996, nor do I mean the inevitable death of wife and mother Elizabeth whose incurable cancer has spread to the bone (this is a real tragedy for a very brave woman--his better half, indeed)--no, I'm speaking of the death of husband and father John Edwards in the National Enquirer (and latterly the main-stream media) a couple of days ago.
It is truly a loss to be mourned. Here was a guy... an Al Gore but for humbler beginnings, who still "coulda been a contenda" on the national scene (who also lives down the road from me in Chapel Hill). But his public life is dead. His infidelity, rumored last year (and fiercely denied), is now doubtless true, and further compounded by lies, and worse, hypocrisy. In spite of his wife's illness and added pounds, he had proclaimed his faithfulness, and even--get this--come out last year with a cozy coffee-table book that he shilled on the talk shows called Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives. The affair had gotten underway the year before. Now he's been caught skulking and cowering (literally; read the reports) with mistress and "love child" in Beverly Hills. No wonder he was so adamant in refusing (not so coyly as it turns out) a bid for VP. He would have been "vetted," and no chance he would have passed. He's always been a second-stringer, but always a damn good one. He really outshone Kerry in their 2004 White House bid, and he was dangerously nipping at the heels of the Obama/Clinton first team almost to the end of this presidential-nomination campaign.
Here is the terrible irony: he would have been the PERFECT RUNNING-MATE (I was hoping) for Obama--white, southern, working class roots--or lacking that been a formidable voice in the administration to come. Edwards' progressive politics would have been just right--anti-war, anti-poverty, pro-choice, pro-universal-health-care, pro-environment, etc. He had it all. Really a critical wound, though not fatal, to the body politic that's taking form. Obama can do it without him. Notwithstanding the gloom and doom of yesterday's post about his poll numbers, lets go to where the numbers really count: Las Vegas! But seriously folks, the betting lines across the country have Obama in a virtual landslide at 66-33%. You betcha.