Stand By Your Man plays out yet again but now with a twist in our American social story: the guy stands alone. The plot has variations in this scenario and more complications and is now writ different in the political playbook: 1) the guilty guy denies being a baby daddy elsewhere; 2) the wife stands by her man in writing, not in front of the cameras, puffy downcast eyes, playing the supportive role of being there, pumping the party line, even though... The National Enquirer, not the mainstream media, put the question out there originally when he was still in the presidential race and didn't let up when the mistress became pregnant.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards' wife Elizabeth, who comes across as a genuine lady, didn't humiliatingly stand by her man in front of the cameras when he admitted to his guilt for having an affair. She didn't stand by The Man, as other political wives have done, most recently Mrs. Spitzer (see MotherPie's Wife, Thy Name is SUPPORT), gruelingly demonstrating public political/marital loyalty and put on the public face for all to visually see. Maybe because Edwards has nothing left to lose, politically, his suffering wife who has devoted the last years of her life to his political amibitions can pen her note to the world and forgo letting the world see her stoicism, yet again, when facing terrible things? "Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now," Mrs. Edwards wrote about her husband, "when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him."
Mothers, we ponder these things. What factors would lead to a line crossed with no point of return? Note Mrs. Edwards said that he 1) stands alone and 2) has his family waiting for him. Deconstruction: Family is defined as a mom and dad with the father listed on the birth certificate line. Very calculating as he pushes the line that he is not the father of his mistress' child (and would gladly do the DNA test to prove it) while she, supposedly getting payments from somewhere, then says she won't do the DNA test. All lawyers, wives and husbands both, in these stand-by-your man cases that I think of: Spitzers, Clintons and now (baby is born to this mistress, though) Edwards. Lots of word public word parsing in such political lawyer-esque caculated statements. Truthiness. Two women stand by a storyline.
He preened on his hair video (Hair Matters) and Maureen Dowd writes about the narcissistic factor of the Ken doll candidate. "Even when confessing to preening, he was preening," she wrote. Ken had a straight expression which makes Ken-the-doll more trustworthy.
About a year ago I wrote about Uneven Expressions, Neurology & Politics and how uneven facial expressions lead to distrust. Edwards and his unbalanced exaggerated expressions? A perfect example of the persona putting forth stories that stretch or paint a truth. His realness is masked. He admits he lied about the affair. Even Edwards Neuroscience can show us that true emotions play on one side of the face and masking on the other. Mrs. Edwards wrote her position. Her face, in expressions, generates trust. Interesting, then, isn't it, that we don't see that supportive wife face in this situation and she stands by her man in writing and he "stands alone"?
I wonder about the long-suffering wife and the stress of it all and what mothers will do for the sake of their children.