the confessional style of politics

The style of evangelicalism has influenced American politics indirectly as well.  Confession and repentance lead to forgiveness and new (political) life.  Look at Pres. Bush who freely acknowledged previous misbehavior, but who could hold it against him if it was in the context of his own religious renewal.  

Consider John Edwards and John McCain.  Edwards had an affair but confessed it to his wife and chose to remain in the marriage;  when it came out later it ended his public career.  McCain began his relationship with Cindy before leaving his first wife, who had been disfigured in an accident while McCain was a POW.  Why would one case lead to failure and the other not?  What conditions the public to condemn one and not the other, a process guided by the news media.

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