Elizabeth Edwards speaks

She released a statement vowing to stand behind her man:

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some most recently caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy. But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, 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. The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do. I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.

It takes a lot to be able to stick with someone who’s cheated on you. And it takes a special kind of person to not only stick with the jerk, but also to stand up and defend him. I highly doubt that the Edwards’ are being completely honest and truthful, but you know what? Elizabeth is right in that it is their business. While I get the feeling that she’s sticking by him purely for political reasons, it’s her decision and I won’t lambast her for it.

I will say, though, that I don’t quite understand why so many politicians’ wives do this. Once, just once, I’d like to see a woman who has been completely betrayed by an egocentric, narcissistic asshole stand up and say so. I’m all for standing by your man, but some things are unforgivable. Cheating on your wife when she’s battling terminal cancer would be considered unforgivable in my book. But hey, it’s her decision. Either she really loves him, or she really loves the money/power (a la Hillary).

Meanwhile, Rielle Hunter is challenging Edwards to take the paternity test. He says he’s happy to take it, because, you know, he’s so sure the kid isn’t his. My money is on the test coming back positive though. I feel a little bad for Rielle. She’s been shoved under the bus so quickly, she never had a chance to know what hit her. Boy, John Edwards is just an all-around great guy, huh?

The family of John Edwards’ former mistress, Rielle Hunter, is challenging the former senator to take a DNA paternity test after his claim that he did not father Hunter’s 6-months-old child.

In the first reaction from Hunter’s family, her younger sister Melissa told ABC News that Edwards should immediately follow through on his pledge to take a paternity test.

“I would challenge him to do so,” the sister said.

“Somebody must stand up and defend my sister,” she said. “I wish that those involved would refrain from bad-mouthing my sister.”

Of course, someone’s gotta be held accountable besides John Edwards. And that means Rielle Hunter has to take the fall. Like I said, he’s a real class act.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary.

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