When you read some of the testimony of Cheri Young and others in the Campaign Finance Trial against John Edwards, I don’t see how you can’t come to believe Edwards was a seriously unfit for any kind of leadership role. And it’s not because of the affairs. The infidelity is not a dis-qualifier to me. That’s a personal failing.
The descriptions of Edwards churlish, consistently abusive, short sighted and disloyal behavior when dealing with his own transgressions are astonishing. Edwards asked his rich donors to fund cover ups of his unseemly behavior, demanded Andrew Young and his wife (supposed friends) publicly make a mockery of their marriage, and put trust in a couple who would publicly betray their weddings vows and family for another man’s political ambitions. It kinda seems like Young damn near threw out his marriage so John Edwards could stay in a presidential campaign.
The unnerving thing is that we may have only been saved from an Obama Veep or Attorney General designate selection of Edwards by Axelrod being so familiar with Edwards in 2004:
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, worked for Mr. Edwards in the 2004 cycle, a relationship that did not end amicably. (In an interview with The New York Times Magazine last year, Mr. Axelrod explained the campaign’s failure by pointing to Mr. Edwards: “I have a whole lot of respect for John, but at some point the candidate has to close the deal and — I can’t tell you why — that never happened with John.”)
During the 2004 general-election campaign, Mr. Edwards was not seen as a team player on the ticket with Senator John Kerry. They couldn’t even agree on a campaign slogan: Mr. Kerry tried to rouse audiences with the chant, “Help is on the way.” Mr. Edwards stuck to his own version, “Hope is on the way.”
Or maybe we were spared Obama/Edwards ’08 by ’04 Democratic Candidate John Kerry telling the Obama folks he was down on Edwards as a running mate who lacked discipline and left much to be desired in the VP candidate debate where he allowed Cheney to basically seem like he outmatched him:
Edwards, in 2004, was chosen partly for his campaign skills, though Kerry had reportedly wanted the more stolid Dick Gephardt, the former House Majority Leader, and was deeply disappointed at his performance on the trail and in his debate with Dick Cheney.
Or maybe dismayed Edwards 08 staffers would have soldiered up tanked Edwards further ambitions had he made it to late rounds of vetting:
As they became more and more convinced that reports of his extramarital affair were true, members of John Edwards’s presidential-campaign staff considered sabotaging the whole enterprise in order to prevent him from losing the election for the Democrats.
In any event, the vetting worked, because in the summer of 2008, even though Edwards polled as a more popular VP choice than Joe Biden did in many of the swing states and was a popular choice to many Dems who doubted Hillary Clinton would get the nod after a contentious primary Obama picked Biden ended up winning the election.