Opinion

Commentary: Behavior of cheaters' wives is perplexing

I don't know if I'm more disappointed by the latest revelations about Gov. Mark Sanford or more disgusted by what we've been learning about S.C. native John Edwards.

I'm also perplexed by the choices made by their wives.

It's not simply about their marriages.

It's about the thought processes of those who clamor to lead us.

Jenny Sanford revealed to Barbara Walters during an interview to be aired tonight that her husband refused during their vows to say he would be faithful.

"I questioned it, but we got past it," she said. "We were very young; we were in love."

Sanford knew from the day he walked down the aisle infidelity was as much in his future as politics.

He knew he was building his political career — as a morally correct family man — upon a lie. It's one thing to fall into a mistake. We all do. It's quite another to calculate misconduct.

I don't get why a man knowingly takes those demons into a career during which his judgment would affect the lives of millions.

Jenny Sanford's statement sheds light on why she was publicly saying she didn't care about her husband's future while privately calling political heavyweights to help him keep his job. She ignored the damage his continued presence would cause.

She didn't almost cost us a Boeing plant, make the state a laughingstock or abandon gubernatorial duties. He did.

But I don't get why such an intelligent woman would put up with so much while knowing what was at stake.

Which brings me to Elizabeth Edwards. Why would she fight for her husband to become president knowing what she knew? That he was a two-faced liar who had an affair while she was fighting cancer and had an aide take credit for a child he fathered with a mistress?

Did she not realize the damage he'd have caused had he been successful?

And John Edwards ... it's hard not to wonder when he lost his soul. At what point did his thirst for power override his humanity?

He didn't care about his wife, his girlfriend or his child. He didn't care about the Democratic Party. As hypocritical as Sanford's actions have proven to be, they pale in comparison to Edwards'.

I'm hoping what they have isn't contagious. I have major differences with Sen. Jim DeMint and don't always agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham, but neither man has brought the shame to South Carolina that Sanford and Edwards have.

Here's to hoping it remains that way.

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