The XX Factor

Does She Want Us To Talk About Her?

Hanna, I have to take issue with your statement that Elizabeth Edwards has an “infallible bullshit detector.” Sure, she would have spotted what an on-the-make idiot Rielle Hunter was. But her detector’s been on the blink for the past 30 years as far as John Edwards was concerned. As soon as he appeared on the scene it wasn’t hard to see he was an oily, vain phony who would take on whatever pose seemed useful for his own advancement. You’re right, Elizabeth is not simply “standing by her man” and pasting a fake smile on her face. But as Susannah points out, she’s trying to portray John as a naif taken in by a New Age seductress, which just prompts an “Oh, please.” But John Edward’s political career is over, and Elizabeth Edwards is mortally ill-it’s understandable that given the circumstances she doesn’t want to end her marriage. Still, why is she making so public this private pain?