I don't understand why Elizabeth keeps making statements that she knows to be lies about John Edwards, the woman he fell in love with and the baby they conceived together. For the sake of everyone involved and because health care reform matters so much, I wish she would stop.
It's a bad, profoundly selfish idea to put oneself out as an advocate for health reform while at the same time lying to national TV audience. But there was Elizabeth Edwards Wednesday night on Larry King Live, doing both.
King asked her about DNA tests and her husband and she said, "My expectation is that, at some point, something happens. I hope for the sake of this child that it happens, you know, in a quiet way."
But something has already happened and Elizabeth is well aware of it.
Almost exactly a year ago, I laid out where the Edwards story was headed including the fact that Rielle Hunter's baby's father is John Edwards. In past couple of weeks, The National Enquirer started reporting that DNA tests had taken place, Edwards is the father and Hunter is looking for a house in North Carolina to be nearer to Edwards. Anyone who follows this story knows that The Enquirer is the paper of record and has been consistently correct on the facts.
So Elizabeth Edward is lying. Again. Shamelessly. Same as back in May of this year when said told Oprah Winfrey, "I've seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children but I don't have any idea."
The same way she lied to her rapt audience at DailyKos in 2007 and said that "because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private."
Is this a private matter for the Edwardses? Hardly.
There are so many people whose lives were touched by the Edwards's pattern of deception that it can't be considered private. A short list includes people like Andrew Young, who Edwards paid off to claim paternity. Young is married. And has kids. Young is working on a book now.
There's the late Fred Baron, who spent the last few months of his life paying for Rielle Hunter and the Youngs to live together in Santa Barbara. There are supporters and staffers who were lied to personally. And I amstill banned from DailyKos....
No, it's not just private. And along the way Elizabeth Edwards moved herself from victim to conspirator.
Does Elizabeth Edwards have some masochistic drive to seek publicity about her husband's affair? Why appear on Larry King NOW -- when her husband has made the cover of the Enquirer for the last two weeks? Ironically, it seems like Elizabeth's painful-to-witness book tour a few months ago is at least partially responsible for Hunter's decision to stop suffering in silence and demand that John Edwards step up and act responsibly.
As much as Rielle Hunter gets castigated as 'a gold digger' and worse, getting on the bad side of a rich, powerful, sympathetic but ruthless public figure like Elizabeth Edwards couldn't have been easy. Elizabeth has been able to fib and obfuscate her way through softball interviewers like Larry and Oprah and drip contempt for Hunter while not allowing interviewers to mention her by name.
For someone like Elizabeth Edwards, who's considered an advocate for women, to play the 'slutty stalker' card against Hunter over and over must have been infuriating. Elizabeth was able to toss out lines like "This person is very different from me and really very different from him. We're basically old-fashioned people."
And Elizabeth dished to Oprah, "John went to dinner at a nearby restaurant, and when he walked back to the hotel she was standing in front of the hotel. She said to him, 'You are so hot.'" knowing that it was unlikely that Oprah would ask her what John's old-fashioned response was.
John and Elizabeth Edwards could have been great advocates for progressive causes. Maybe someday they will be. But not now. They have shown nothing but contempt for their supporters, the press and the truth. While they don't owe the public the whole truth, they can't advocate issues effectively when they simply will not stop lying
Follow Lee Stranahan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Stranahan