For instance, take Elizabeth Edwards. There’s no denying that her battle against breast cancer was an inspiration. That it finally took her life after seemingly being fought into remission made the story tragic. Add in the way she was treated by her husband and the tragedy takes on entirely new proportions.
In contrast, if you read the stories associated with John Edwards’ two presidential campaigns, Mrs. Edwards doesn’t come out looking so nice. By all accounts she was a fire-breathing bag of hate and pity the fool who looked at her the wrong way or decided to disagree with her. Although this wasn’t the public face she chose to show, it became the new paradigm following the publication of these stories.
I guess that in my analysis, I’d call Mrs. Edwards the Gary Sheffield of politics. There’s no denying that she added something special to the team. She was pitch perfect under the lights and seemed to be nothing but an asset. But off the field, when no one was around except for the team, the issues came out and affected those around her. Yeah, sounds a lot like Sheff to me.
Like Sheff, she wound up facing a fair amount of controversy and having her tactics and decisions called into question. The difference is that Sheffield still has a chance to redefine his paradigm. Hopefully for him, he won’t have to wait for a tragic death to re-contextualize his life.