Group Dynamics and the Public Sphere

Psychology in the Public Sphere

What did former preidential candidate John Edwards say about his own narcissistic attitudes?

After the 2008 presidential election, John Edwards, a serious contender in the Democratic presidential primaries, was revealed to have had an extra-marital affair. In a television interview on ABC News, Edwards attributed his behavior to narcissistic attitudes that had mushroomed during his very high-profile campaign. “In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness…. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.” He stated that his experiences on the campaign trail “fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe you can do whatever you want. You’re invincible. And there will be no consequences.”

(Note: Quotes are from the New York Times, August 8, 2008, and the New York Post, June 19, 2009.)


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