But the key takeaway from Edwards’ national political career is this: he rose to prominence among the Democrats for no good reason – he was a one-term Senator of no real accomplishment – based on his pretty face and an ability to package left-wing red meat in an appealing, “two Americas” speech. That’s how easily the “reality-based community” was snookered into believing in a transparent phony – a guy central casting would send over to play a huckster – who also turned out to be a despicable person.

Conservative Republicans have been mocked, not entirely without justification, because they embraced Sarah Palin for basically the same reasons. Palin too is attractive and does “red meat” well. But, though Palin was a flawed candidate for Vice President, there isn’t anything phony about her and she is by no means a train wreck of a human being.