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
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
Subscribe to the Week