According to a new survey from Public Policy Polling, only 15 percent of people in former presidential candidate John Edwards' home state of North Carolina hold a favorable view of him, making him "the most unpopular person we've polled anywhere at any time." The poll was taken after a series of negative allegations from the new book "Game Change," but before his confession today that he fathered a child with former campaign staffer Rielle Hunter. Edwards had already admitting to having an affair with Hunter while his wife, Elizabeth, was suffering a relapse of terminal cancer. According to the survey, Elizabeth's popularity has taken a big hit as well, falling from 58 percent to 46 percent since May. Do the Edwardses deserve this level of public scorn?
Lay off the Edwardses: The "pathologizing of Elizabeth Edwards in particular" is unfair, says James Wolcott in Vanity Fair. Thanks to the rank "misogyny" of the Washington punditry, Mrs. Edwards either has to be "Saint Elizabeth" or the she-devil of the tabloid-y "Game Change." I'll leave others to "lick the Schadenfreude from their fingers....I take no savory delight in the operatic swell and scalp-hunting details" of the Edwards' "meltdown."
John Edwards is No. 1! That Edwards is unpopular isn't surprising, says Sam Stein in The Huffington Post. But it's still "startling" to see how far he's fallen. That said, "to be historically unpopular is a real feat, considering all the loathed politicians." The odd thing is, contemporary Republican "philanderers" have "respectable approval ratings."
"John Edwards now most unpopular figure anywhere, anytime: Pollster"
People just got to know the real Edwards: As the editor of Edwards' "home-county paper," says Steve Bouser in the Southern Pines, N.C., Pilot, I can tell you that the revelations in "Game Change" about Edwards' becoming an "insufferable 'ego monster'" are just "part of a well-established and oft-noted pattern." What's "more disappointing" is learning that "Edwards' seemingly saintly wife, Elizabeth, could also be hell on heels."
"Edwards became his own worst enemy"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- California's epic drought
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week