A Shallow Character With Shallow Character

June01/ 2012

We haven’t seen the last of Johnny Reid Edwards. Maybe we’re seeing the final curtain call of THIS “Johnny Reid Edwards”. John Edwards is not a “who”, he is a “what”. A “John Edwards” is a particularly aggressive, and quite common, weed that sprouts in a societal garden that is not mindfully attended to. ………

John Edwards is hardly the first politician or high profile celebrity to fall prey to the winsome wiles of a comely chanteuse. Breathes there a man will soul so dead who has not fought that struggle to some degree. What prompted Rielle Hunter to come on to John Edwards in that NYC hotel bar and Edwards to acquiesce? ‘Twas a ritual only slightly younger than the Dawn of Creation.

King Jimmy’s Good Book recounts umpteen examples of such biological coincidences and the devastation that so often results. Samson had his Delilah. David his Bathsheba.

Men of power, and men desiring power, possess certain traits that separate them from life’s worker bees and spearcarriers. Those traits may actually be the ability to lead men into some form of battle…. or inspire men towards a common goal. Be that trait as superficial as a glib tongue or a full head of hair or a square jaw or a wry smile or……. or, hopefully, as substantial as Convictions….. and “character”.

Is “character” something we all possess…. like “a scent”? Does it require a preceding adjective to be definitive? Probably. John Edwards, Billy Graham, Dennis Rodman, Mahatma Ghandi, and your ex-spouse each have “character” (and a body scent) of some degree. …… My buddy BobLee once described John Edwards as “shallower than a puddle in a parking lot”. I wish I had thought of that one.

When Hollywood casting directors get a job order for “a leading man-type” they don’t ask candidates to write essays on their most inspirational moment or “what books have you read” or “why do you want to play this role”. Not hardly. They do a screen test where a focus group sample audience watches aspirants read from a script. Does the actor on the screen connect with the audience on some primal level? But that is “just for a movie, not real life”.

When it’s who will be the leader of the free world, ya like to imagine the qualifications are a bit more stringent. Alas, the audience’s primal sensors don’t know the difference. …… so a John Edwards gets close enough to being the freakin’ President to warrant a secret service detail.

Erskine Bowles once told me “the two smartest men I’ve ever been around were Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich”. This was before Erskine recently had Joe Biden over to his house for dinner. Wonder if he’d revise his list now? Duh, I doubt it. He defined smart in this example as “their wheels spin faster than anyone elses’ in the room”.

I doubt anyone reading this column has ever had a personal relationship with either Clinton or Gingrich, I haven’t. Our impressions of either man are too muddled by partisan PR to be valid. Oddly, both Bill and Newt have had well-documented issues with their own primal urges.

I’ve had conversations over the years with John Edwards’ former law partners, neighbors and former neighbors, rival lawyers, political operatives of both parties and reporters covering Edwards’ campaigns. I have NEVER heard the word “smart” used to describe John Edwards. Clever….. charismatic….. charming….. magnetism….. and synonyms of that stripe sure; but never “smart”. One could argue that to bamboozle a jury takes “smarts” and Edwards certainly has had that talent but a jury is basically another focus group audience responding to primal urges.

Jury consultants will tell you the least desired quality in selecting jurors is “the ability to discern truth on their own” – i.e. “a smart juror”. The “smart” jury prospects are the first ones sent home. There’s a reason why.

JFK, Bill Clinton and Johnny Reid Edwards all share the distinction of being presidential candidates “in heat”. All three had the well-documented morals of alley cats. Kennedy and Clinton were also legitimately “smart” as well as being charismatic and having good hair. Yes, all three were Democrats. I figure you had already made that connection. You had, right?

Historians might debate just how shallow a human being can be and still be able to flim flam his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. An excellent case in point lives there as we speak. Barack Obama’s sexual appetite might be the only aspect of his being that has not been called into question. Questions that somehow never get straight answers ???

He is considered “smart” because his handlers and a fawning media say he is. “Saying so” while carefully concealing any evidence that might easily refute the claim.

Unlike those other charismatic Democrats, Obama’s hair has not been termed “presidential” (yet). But who knows what will happen between now and November.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x