No scalps for Donohue, says John Edwards:
The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwan’s posts personally offended me. It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word. We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.
And if you ask me, he did the right thing. You can tut-tut about whether or not he should have hired them in the first place- sure, it would have been safer to hire people with a less controversial past, but he chose them, they are qualified, and he is sticking with them.
If you ask me, that is admirable. Giving people a chance, taking people at their word, and standing by people who are willing to go to great ends to help you succeed is the right thing to do, especially two younger people who picked up everything to move across the country to help your campaign. Andrew Olmsted made a lot of sense with this post:
I’ve stayed away from the whole Edwards-bloggers fiasco because, to be blunt, I really don’t care. But I do concur with Ezra Klein about the larger picture: what should matter to the Edwards campaign is not what stupid things these two bloggers have said in the past, but are they qualified for the jobs Edwards needs them to do. And he’s right. If Edwards hired these two to help with drafting policy, their intemperate words would probably be somewhat relevant. But since he’s paying them to do non-policy related jobs, their particular positions on issues say precisely zero about what Edwards believes.
I’m not a fan of Edwards, and I hope he goes down in flames during the primaries. But the fact he hired two people who have a habit of saying silly things on their blogs shouldn’t reflect on his campaign, and the bloggers shouldn’t have to face the threat of being fired from jobs they seem eminently qualified to perform for unrelated issues.
Exactly. I am no fan of John Edwards and am, at this point, not inclined to support his candidacy, but this action, while perhaps risky (who knows what they will say in the future), shows a lot of character. It is also clear that I was very much enjoying the whole scenario as it unfolded, if for no other reason than the past viciousness of Amanda. But loyalty matters to me, and I think people who are willing to stick their neck out to defend their employees, particularly younger ones, deserve some praise and some credit. John Edwards has also done every blogger a favor- your past comments will not be a litmus test for your ability to do your job in an unrelated field. We all should support that.
My opinion of John Edwards is a little higher today than it was yesterday.
See also the Carpetbagger.