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Stand by Your Man ... or not

If there's a breath of fresh air in the latest stinker about yet another politician who can't keep his fly zipped, it's this: Elizabeth Edwards didn't sit loyally by her husband's side when John Edwards publicly confessed that he cheated on her.

In case you missed Edwards' televised admission, which coincided with the opening of the Summer Olympic Games on Friday evening (good timing, asshole), the former presidential wannabe was conspicuously solo when he told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff that he "repeatedly lied during his presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice film-maker." Edwards confessed he diddled – but didn't daddy – a love child with former NYC party girl Rielle Hunter, as reported by the National Enquirer.

By now we shouldn't be surprised that some self-inflated vote chaser has yet again confused power with sexual privilege. What I found refreshing, however, was the fact that the little lady back at home didn't materialize behind her husband of 31 years to face the cameras with him in his moment of public shame. No, Elizabeth Edwards, 59 and battling incurable breast cancer, left his tight little Ken-doll butt dangling out there on its own – as it should be. It's asking a lot just to stay married to the dude. Do you have to sit there, pretending to be proud and supportive while he talks about his infidelities with the rest of the world?

Mrs. Edwards addressed the issue in a Daily Kos blog (http://dailykos.com/story/2008/8/8/193337/7354/473/564989) and told everybody to bug off. She bucked the trend set by the likes of Mrs. Bill Clinton, Mrs. Gary Hart, Mrs. Newt Gingrich, Mrs. Bob Livingston, Mrs. David Vitter, Mrs. Gary Condit, Mrs. Larry Craig, Mrs. Jim McGreevey, Mrs. Eliot Spitzer and the countless other wronged wives who all faced the press by their man's side to confront his randy behavior because, as Tammy Wynette opines, "after all, he's just a man."

When asked why his wife wasn't at his side during the interview, Edwards said: "I have seen these public figures who bring their wives along when they say they've done something wrong; confessing some wrong and the wife -- they bring their wives to stand beside them I guess, to show support…Elizabeth didn't do anything wrong. I…didn't ask for her to be here. I asked for her not to be here. Uh, this is my responsibility; my alone. I have to be the man and take responsibility."

Uh, how big of him.

Elizabeth Edwards has always been the more progressive member of this political family. She clearly opposed the Iraq war and took a stand in support of same-sex marriages. I'm relieved ole John is bowing out of the Democratic National Convention later this month, but if you put Elizabeth up there on stage, I guarantee she'll get a standing ovation.

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