In Elizabeth Edwards' new book, "Resilience," she scorns her husband's former mistress (Rielle Hunter, whom she refuses to name). But she brushes another former campaign worker with the same brush, calling them both "pathetic."
Edwards compares the mistress with a young man who first volunteered in John Edwards' 1998 Senate campaign. She describes him as "John's obsessed fan."
"I will call him Jim," she writes.
Jim "volunteered for everything," drove the candidate around, washed his car, took care of his dry-cleaning. "There was no job too menial for Jim," she said.
Jim and his wife, who worked a late shift, would leave McDonalds breakfasts outside the Edwards' door until Elizabeth told her to stop. Jim's obsequiousness got to Elizabeth until a lie on his part finally forced his departure from the campaign. But he hung around. He tried to vacation where they vacationed and sent daily emails to the Edwards' friends.
"The existence of a Jim made it easier to accept the existence of this woman," Elizabeth wrote. "...My life at some level is tragic. Theirs is worse; theirs is pathetic."
Campaigns, particularly those as intense as John Edwards', are close-knit communities. A lot of people who worked on the campaign probably know him. Wherever he is, he may be as unhappy with Elizabeth's description of him as Rielle Hunter is.