Sex Scandals and Representation

Over at Post Partisan, I have a post on Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and representation; in particular, about the nature of “promises.” I’m arguing that the reason (former) supporters are so bitter about Edwards but not about Clinton is because the Edwards family was really central to his 2008 campaign, and so lying about the nature of the family meant breaking a promise that was central to his relationship with his supporters.

I think it’s a good piece. As longtime readers know, representation is one of my big interests, but I haven’t written about it for awhile. The way this one happened is that Ryan Lizza tweeted a comment about the different reactions to their seemingly similar transgressions, and I answered “Representation. Edwards broke an implicit promise to supporters; Clinton was semi-honest from the beginning”, and he said “???.” At which point I realized that I really needed to explain it, and it was going to take a lot more than 140 characters. So there you are.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.