John Edwards, Sex Victim

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
May 6 2009 11:55 AM

John Edwards, Sex Victim

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Hanna , I hear what you say about moxie. What interests me about Edwards is that she doesn't fit any clear mold. She seems at once very strong and very vulnerable. One almost feels that in the very fact that she has lived with advanced cancer for such an extraordinary length of time. On the other hand, Susannah's close reading of the passage about Rielle Hunter is spot-on, to my ear. In this description of how the affair began, Edwards uses language that implicitly depicts Rielle as a fierce, amoral hunter (her last name, after all), and John as little more than biological silly putty; if Elizabeth doesn't quite make John out to be an innocent pup, she does suggests he is merely too pliable. The agency is all the Huntress's.

Meghan O'Rourke is Slate's culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother's death, is now out in paperback.

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