My mistake as a journalist was in making an assumption of a baseline of decency in public officials that it is not my job to make. My job is to assume nothing and to trust nothing until verified.
This is a good rule of thumb whether you're a journalist or simply a citizen. I am finding that too often I and many of my peers are assuming far too much about our politicians. Beyond just basic human decency I think we are assuming a passion and commitment to our issues that rarely is shared by the political class. That's not so much a value judgment on the pols as it is a reminder to us to remember that causes and issues go on, they are bigger than any politician.
Sullivan concludes his post with this comment about Edwards and I think that it nicely sums up my feelings as well,
We assumed that he wasn't one of the biggest assholes on the planet.