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May 11th, 2009
05:05 PM ET

Elizabeth Edwards Fed Herself to the Vultures

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Tina Brown on Elizabeth Edwards on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Tina Brown
The Daily Beast, Editor-in-Chief

Elizabeth Edwards tried to undo the damage she did to herself on the Oprah interview last week by sitting down this morning on the Today show with Matt Lauer. The first segment did the trick—it was all about cancer and the death of her son, and Elizabeth looked solid and sympathetic in her brave blue cardigan; but when she inexorably let Matt bore into John's marital infidelity, she inexplicably blew it again. In fact she made it worse. This time, she told Matt, she had written the book as much for the sake of her children as herself. Huh?

Some first TV impressions are indelibly strong and Edwards’ media blitz now is unlikely, in any case, to wipe out the ghastly car crash of her Oprah exchange.

The hazard of confessional books is how fast the world moves on while they're written. Hearing about that doggy old "misdemeanor"—as she insists on calling her husband's infidelity with a campaign videographer while he was running for president and she was fighting terminal cancer—just drags us back into the messy aftermath of the election season at a time when we are now busy trying to get on with a collapsing economy and save our own lives.

If she had stuck with her health and her loss, Edwards might have held on to our sympathy. But her insistence on belittling to Oprah the dreaded "other woman," Rielle Hunter, who had "spotted him in the hotel," was so embarrassingly self-righteous it almost made me feel sorry for the Democratic twinkie John, who was always under the illusion that he was the next JFK. "I can't deliver the line ['You are so hot'], because I don't know how to deliver such a line as that," Edwards told us, as if this mildly juicy come-on by a campaign groupie had itself been an unspeakable vice.

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soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Elise

    John Edwards political career is over. Even the most liberal Democrats among us, cringe at the mention of his name. If he ever was a potential spokesman for the party, his entire handling of the whole affair scandal, cast a glaring light on his ineptitude as a leader. Elizabeth Edwards, only made him look even worse. She might sell a few books, but she is not doing herself, or him any favors. You would think that someone with terminal cancer would focus on their health, and the time they have left with their children.

    May 12, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    No she did not, you fed her to the vultures by only concentrating on one aspect of the book.
    I have very low respect to you for that.
    Legal , decent, honest and truthful, and meeting any measure of journalistic integrity, I think not.
    Worse still Anderson your panel of (2)contributors really screwed your attempts to bring reality to the assesment, because you did not stop them talking at each other ( instead of to each other) at the same time, and ignoring your pleas of what about the rest of the book which you let them ignore effectively.OK not enough time for the segment, but thats your judgment as well!
    Sorry, result a poor segment!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    May 12, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  3. julianna... canada

    I for one will go out and by this book of Mrs. Edwards. As a survivor of Breast Cancer, I know what a struggle it is to live life day to day. I have not had all the tragedy that Mrs. Edwards has had in her life. Losing a child, her cancer returning and being life threatening again, this affair that her husband had was something she really didn’t need…
    and her feeling bitter towards the other woman.. I can understand her feelings. This woman knew damn well who John Edwards was, knew his wife was dying of cancer… I think her going after him was well calculated… and yes she has alot of fault in this affair…
    As so did Mr. Edwards, I am not siding with him.. he was definitely at fault too.. what’s the saying… It takes two to tango!!
    As many women asked .. why would Mrs. Edwards stay with her husband.. I like the answer she gave at one of the talk show… I think of all the good and loving things he did over their marriage.. and because of this one mistake.. she wasn’t going to through away all the good that was in their marriage.. and the family that they have..
    I really think this was her book written for her children… to remind them that in life… its not the good days that we learn from… its how you handle the bad things in life… that make you strong..
    I think she is an amazing woman!!!!
    if she is angry at the other woman.... she has all the rights in the world to feel that way!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  4. victor

    Who really cares? some rich guy had an affair! what else is new? I think he is a scumbag for doing it but hey...what else can you expect from a dirtbag who cheats on his sick wife?

    May 12, 2009 at 3:41 am |
  5. jacquie

    after listening to her interview on NBC, I thought that she sounded sad and insecure! With all the questions she is facing, I don't think writing a book will help!

    May 12, 2009 at 3:24 am |
  6. Dr. Glenn W. Murphy

    Mrs. John Edwards has used her book and TV interviews to show the world that she needs some very serious counseling. Except to sell her book, RESILIENCE, the TV interviews did nothing for Elizabeth except to show her as a very bitter woman who should know when to keep her own counsel.

    I am shocked that this woman would expose her children to the ridicule which they will surely suffer from her public display of emotions just barely under control.

    After watching Elizabeth's interviews I can only sympathize with Senator Edwards for having to live with this woman.

    May 12, 2009 at 3:15 am |
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