John Edwards, Sociopath
For a long time I toyed with the idea of writing a small book reflecting on the soul-warping megalomania that is required to run for president and other high offices. Ambition is not enough; you need to think very well
of yourself indeed to feel you are the person best fit to lead the nation and the world. Then I discovered Jeremy Paxman's terrific book, The Political Animal
, that does the job of describing the preternatural weirdness of politicians. I highly recommend it as a great read, offering a lot of insight about familiar traits.
I'm not sure Paxman or any other single book can help us discern very well when ambition and egomania elide into a megalomania so egregious that it makes you want to throw up. Case in point: John Edwards. While Harry Reid's moronic comments about Obama's skin tone and dialect are getting all the attention from the forthcoming John Heilemann and Mark Halperin book Game Change
, the long excerpt from the book published this week in New York magazine
about John Edwards doesn't just make you cringe and rejoice that we dodged a potential disaster. It makes clear that Edwards and his even more despicable wife were completely unfit to serve in the high station they sought. And yet the media and many liberal elites took this total fraud of a human being seriously. It's a long excerpt, and I'd normally include a two-cup-of-coffee recommendation, except that it would put your keyboard at risk from the numerous snort-worthy revelations in the piece. Kudos to Heilemann and Halperin for terrific reporting. Where was the rest of the media on this? Why did they cover for this guy?
12:44 PM / January 10, 2010
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