One might posit that it was only natural, which is to say a matter of evolutionary adaptive advantage that John Edwards should have fallen for Rielle Hunter. It was unnatural for him to lie about the affair, and for her to pretend adultery had anything to do with truth as we know it.

            After they met in a bar, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards hired Rielle Hunter as a campaign videographer in 2008. Her job was to make him look good, so it would not be surprising for her to find him attractive personally. Edwards had charm, a charismatic smile, the thrill of power, and a wife with cancer. Hunter offered a certain charm and physical appeal of her own. She also presented the prospect of fertility and an illusion of availability without the “burden” of marriage.

            That biochemical or genetic force, whatever it is, that cycles people out of intimate relationships often prompts them and their paramours to grasp at rationalizations for despicable conduct. Hunter, in Oprah’s spotlight on April 29, 2010, offered “truth” as her defense; but there was nothing particularly truthful about Edwards attempting publicly to deny the relationship and the illegitimate child.

            Societal pressure to justify bad behavior cannot always be effectively diffused with words. We saw this when Oprah inquired whether Hunter was still seeing Edwards, and she answered, “That’s private.”   Hunter’s trite subterfuge certainly suggests that she is.