Tag Archives: John Edwards

Eric Greitens: latest casualty in ‘family values’ war

Don’t sit down, Gov. Eric Greitens. I’m going to talk about you for a moment.

This fellow is a Republican governor from Missouri. He’s been in office for only about a year. He also is making quite a name for himself.

He ran for office as a “family values” candidate. He once proclaimed his love for his wife and children and the happiness he feels at being a married man and father.

The former Navy SEAL — who was a Democrat until he switched parties in 2015 — was even discussed as a possible presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024.

Then came this: He fooled around with a woman other than his wife before he was elected governor. What’s even more troubling is that he allegedly threatened her if she blabbed about it.

The woman, who was married at the time, is now divorced from her husband. Greitens remains married to his wife. He admits to the affair, but denies threatening the woman with whom he took the tumble.

Family values …

Wow. What are we to make of political candidates who make such a big show of their marriage? How are we supposed to react when they get caught in the big lie? I take this kind of thing quite badly. It doesn’t go down well. Why? Because of the show politicians such as Greitens make when they actually boast about their marital fidelity on the campaign stump — as if someone keeping a vow he makes before God is worth a boast.

This clown reminds me of so many politicians who’ve proclaimed their love for the spouse only to be revealed to be philanderers.

Does the name John Edwards ring a bell? Edwards was the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee who campaigned across the land declaring his devotion to his late wife, Elizabeth — while he was messing around with a woman who later gave birth to a baby, courtesy of that relationship with Edwards.

This kind of revelation sickens me in the extreme. Gov. Greitens makes me sick, too, given that he made such a phony show of his marital devotion.

Politicians who lie about their faithfulness then deserve all the scorn they receive.

Now … you may sit down, Gov. Greitens. And may you disappear from the national political scene.

‘Backbencher’ thrusts himself into the limelight

I had never heard of Tim Murphy before today.

He used to be an obscure member of Congress from western Pennsylvania. The Republican lawmaker was known mostly to his constituents and, I presume, his colleagues in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.

To the rest of this vast nation, he was a stranger.

No … longer.

Many more Americans now know Murphy as a duplicitous politician who got caught doing something he shouldn’t have done. The married pol got involved with an extramarital affair with a much younger woman. That relationship resulted in the woman becoming pregnant.

What did Murphy do at that point? He reportedly asked the woman to obtain an abortion. And why is that a big deal? It’s because Murphy has been an ardent political opponent of abortion. He’s a “pro-life, family values” Republican.

Murphy is going to finish the rest of his term. Then he’ll retire from Congress.

There you have it. An individual who labels himself a certain way behaves at a couple of levels like someone quite different.

He’s not the first politician to fall off the virtue wagon. He won’t be the last one. Politicians of all stripes have said one thing and done another. Former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards used to proclaim his love for his late wife — only to be revealed to have fathered a child with another woman. Ex-GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich wailed aloud about Bill Clinton’s misbehavior with a White House intern while taking a tumble with a female staff member.

The list is endless.

I just have to believe Tim Murphy wishes for a way he could return to the farthest end of the back bench — out of sight and out of mind.

Sorry, Rep. Murphy. You brought this unwanted attention on all by yourself.

Another ‘family values’ official takes a fall

Robert Bentley got elected governor of Alabama partly on the basis of his belief in what he defined as traditional family values.

But wait! The Republican got involved romantically with a senior staffer. He got re-elected and then tried to cover the affair up. His wife of 50 years then divorced him after learning of text messages revealing the affair hubby was having.

Now he’s out of office.

This isn’t a huge deal in terms of what it means for the entire nation. Kay Ivey, another Republican, took the oath of office as governor today. State government will go on. Bentley will serve two years of probation and then he’ll disappear from the public stage.

What gives this story its legs, I suppose, is the sight of another moralist/politician going down for the count. We see this kind of thing on occasion.

Two pols stand out in my memory.

Do you remember John Edwards, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina? He used to talk publicly about the love he had for his late wife, Elizabeth, all while he was taking a tumble with a woman who was assigned to put his life story on film.

Then we had the former Republican speaker of the U.S. House, Newt Gingrich, ranting and railing about President Clinton’s sexual misdeeds as he, too, was cheating on his wife with a staffer.

During the nadir of Clinton’s presidency there were candidates for public office who would proclaim their sexual fidelity as a reason to vote for them. Imagine that, will ya? As if that’s something about which you should boast.

Bentley quit just as Alabama legislators began filing impeachment procedures on the basis of evidence that Bentley violated state campaign rules in covering up this episode.

The late President Nixon taught the nation graphically a particular lesson about political scandals. It’s rarely the deed itself that brings the politician down; it usually is the cover-up.

Governor pleads guilty, then quits

There might be a lesson, too, for future politicians to heed. Don’t try to sell yourself as a “family values” champion if you have any predilection to violate a sacred pledge.

‘Baby daddy’ quits post on Trump team?

Leave it to Twitter to knock someone flat on his face.

Jason Miller quit suddenly this past week as communications director in Donald J. Trump’s new presidential administration. He offered the usual “spend more time with my family” reason for quitting a key job in a new administration.

Then comes this from another Trump transition aide: “Congratulations to the baby-daddy on being named WH ­Comms Director!” That’s what A.J. Delgado wrote on Twitter, adding that Miller is the “2016 version of John Edwards,” referring to the former Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, who had an extramarital affair that produced a daughter.


The Washington Post reports that Delgado deactivated his Twitter account, which leads me to believe that what he wrote has more than a grain of truth to it.

Is this important? I suppose it is if you want your presidential administration to be free of the kind of scandal that brings down other presidential contenders. Consider, too, that Edwards — who ran as the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee in 2004 on a ticket led by John Kerry — came within just a few thousand votes in Ohio of actually becoming vice president of the United States.

So, you don’t want your chief spokesman — in this case Miller — speaking for a president when he is lugging around some potentially explosive baggage.

Trump insists that he uses Twitter to communicate policy issues in real time. Others within the president-elect’s circle of advisers apparently use it as a not-so-secret weapon.

Here’s another spin on the fidelity issue


I feel the need to put another brief twist to this business about marital infidelity and its emergence as an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

For starters, Donald J. Trump’s assertion that Hillary Clinton’s husband’s transgressions disqualify her for high office is ludicrous on its face. Bill Clinton made a mistake in the late 1990s. He got impeached for it; the Senate thought better about tossing him out of office and acquitted him of the charges brought against him.

Hillary’s role? She became the aggrieved wife of the nation’s foremost politician.

OK, but that entire episode spurred another kind of politician.

This was the guy who would boast on the campaign stump, in TV ads, on printed material about how he is faithful to his wife.

“Elect me!” he would say. “I’m a loving husband and devoted father. I believe in the traditional concept of marriage.”

I never could stop wondering: Since when does staying faithful to your sacred marital vows become a bragging point?

Oh, and yes, this kind of phony fealty to marriage does get politicians into some serious trouble. Do you remember former Sen. John Edwards, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate who ran with Sen. John Kerry in 2004? I recall Edwards boasting of his love for his late wife, Elizabeth, while he was cavorting with Rielle Hunter … and with whom he brought a daughter into the world.

It’s all so much crap.

Cruz affairs? Probably not, but then again …


Oh, brother. Here we go.

The National Enquirer reports that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has had at least five extramarital affairs.

Bombshell news, right? Maybe. Or, maybe not.

The fiery Texas Republican is in the middle of a heated fight with fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Cruz says Trump’s allies have planted that rumor at the Enquirer.

I need to stipulate something. I do not read the National Enquirer, which I do not consider to be a legitimate news-gathering organization.

However …

Before we dismiss the National Enquirer reporting as hogwash — which it usually is — we need to remember something.

The National Enquirer broke the story of 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter while his late wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer. The affair produced a child. The former senator, meanwhile, was proclaiming publicly his love for his wife and holding himself up as a courageous and dedicated family man.

Remember how Edwards called the story trash? Untrue? Full of lies?

Uh, the story turned out to be quite true.


OK, Mr. Veep, which is it? In or out?


Vice President Joe Biden is driving me nuts.

Just when I think he’s going to jump into the 2016 Democratic presidential primary race, he makes me think he’s going to think twice and not go.

Then the guy hires a communications chief who once worked for former Sen. John Edwards’s — yes, that John Edwards — ill-fated 2008 presidential campaign.

Kate Bedingfield is her name. I won’t hold her former job as flack for one of recent political history’s more notorious marital infidels against her.

“She will be a key adviser to me, a terrific asset to our office, and an important member of the entire White House organization,” Biden said in a statement. Of course he had to couch it in terms of her working for the vice president’s office and becoming such a key member of the “White House organization.”

She reportedly is a first-rate PR expert. That ratchets up the chatter about the vice president’s political ambitions.

Is he in or out?

Biden met this past weekend with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who’s the darling of the far left of her party. She, too, has been considered a possible presidential candidate, even though she has virtually eliminated any possibility of her running. I did say “virtually,” yes?

What was that meeting all about? Was he seeking her endorsement? Is he looking for further assurance that she’s really, really and truly not a candidate in 2016? Might he be sounding her out about joining him on a prospective Democratic ticket?

Only they know. They ain’t tellin’.

I made need a tranquilizer before this is all over.

Today — as opposed to just the other day — that fake trick knee of mine is telling me the vice president wants to make one more run at the Big Job.

He’s just got that one obstacle standing in front of him: Hillary Rodham Clinton. But now it appears she’s been damaged … maybe, possibly. That e-mail mess is getting harder to clean up.

Is the vice president now poised to rescue the Democratic Party and from its far left fringe, which now seems enamored of Sen. Bernie Sanders?

Time is running out, Mr. Vice President.

We need a decision. Soon.

And my hunch is that is exactly what Kate Bedingfield is telling him.


O'Reilly questions keep mounting

History might be repeating itself. First there’s an allegation of fibbing. Then it’s followed by more allegations. More witnesses come forward. More questions get asked.

That’s the way it often goes when controversy starts boiling over.

Bill O’Reilly’s troubles aren’t going away, any more than Brian Williams’ troubles aren’t going away.


The Fox News talk show host now is being questioned about whether he witnessed the murder of nuns in El Salvador, which he says he saw. This comes after questions arose about whether he heard the shotgun blast when someone connected to President Kennedy’s assassination killed himself. It comes after questions surfaced in a lengthy Mother Jones article about whether O’Reilly ever was in serious danger while “covering” the Falklands War from Buenos Aires.

This stuff happens. It’s not unique to O’Reilly. Brian Williams went through it. Others have endured similar revelations. Remember the John Edwards story and how the one-time Democratic vice-presidential nominee denied the affair with Rielle Hunter? How about when President Nixon denied any wrongdoing in the Watergate scandal? Then came those tape recordings and the testimony from those who said, “Yep, he told the FBI to stop investigating the break-in at the Democratic Party office.”

Is any of this going to spell the end of O’Reilly at Fox News? Time will tell.

Meantime, the bombastic talk show host had better get ready for more nasty revelations.


Let the man practice law

Byron York, a conservative columnist and commentator for Fox News, thinks it’s somehow the public’s business that John Edwards has returned to his first passion: personal-injury law.

Big deal.


Edwards once was a U.S. senator from North Carolina. He ran for vice president on a Democratic ticket led by John Kerry. They lost in 2004 by a narrow margin; a swing of some 70,000 votes in Ohio (out of more than 5 million cast in that state) would have elected the Kerry-Edwards ticket over the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney ticket.

Then came another run for the presidency four years later, the adultery scandal, the birth of Edwards’s daughter to a woman other than his wife, his separation from Elizabeth, who then died of cancer.

Edwards’s political career is finished. That, I submit, is a very good thing.

I personally don’t care what he does with his private life or his private law practice.

In fact, I would prefer he’d disappear from public view.

If only his notable right-wing critics would just allow it.

Do as I say, not do

Vance McAllister is a Louisiana Republican member of Congress who campaigned in 2012 for an office while touting his deep Christian faith, his devotion to his wife and children and his vow to make Washington a more moral place.

Then he got caught in a lengthy and reportedly passionate kiss with a female (who’s also married) member of his staff.

The stuff, shall we say, is hitting the fan down yonder in Louisiana.


This is what happens when you campaign as one thing and perform in another manner.

It happened to former U.S. Sen. and one-time Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards, who professed his devotion to his wife, Elizabeth, while producing a child with another woman.

It also happened when former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich was among the leaders in the impeach Bill Clinton movement during the president’s scandal over an affair of his own. Then we learned that as Gingrich was blasting Clinton to smithereens over his conduct, the speaker was having actual sex with a House staff member.

The bipartisan list of moral hypocrites is too long to list here. Those two jumped immediately to mind.

Rep. McAllister has some explaining to do to (a) his wife and (b) the good folks of Louisiana who elected him thinking they were getting someone with the record of a Boy Scout.

How he handles the trouble with his wife will be his business alone. How he settles it with the people who are paying his salary is quite another.

“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness. I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve,” McAllister said in a statement. “Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you’re a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed.”

How’s he going to make good with his constituents? Will he vow never to do it again? If so, can he be believed?

Good luck, congressman.