If Elizabeth Edwards snapped a few times on the campaign trail, her friends understand, because they also knew John Edwards, who finally confessed this week to being the father of a love child, after leaving the country to help the poor and wounded in Haiti.

Elizabeth Edwards was depicted in the recently released book Game Change as a condescending, angry woman, who called her husband “hick” and pitched temper tantrums in front of staff.  “I think what was going on in her head is a struggle with every fiber in her being to believe her husband and hold on to whatever hope she could that he was telling her the truth,” Jennifer Palmieri, a confidante of Mrs. Edwards who served as spokeswoman for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’s presidential campaign, told Politico.com. “It created unbelievable turmoil in her that came out in lots of different ways.”

Elizabeth Edwards defended her husband’s trip to Haiti, just as the love-child news broke, telling the Charlotte Observer that  “John actually cares about poverty issues.”  Then, she zinged him:  “He’s been doing work outside of this country where his errors in judgment don’t have any bearing on work.”

Another way to look at it: While Republicans hailed the election of Scott Brown of Massachusetts as a win over the deal-making that produced the U.S. Senate health care bill, Sen. Mary Landrieu depicted it as a $300 million loss for Louisiana.  That’s the deal the moderate Democrat cut for her vote on health care bill.  The way she explains it, the money was to be used to help fill a gap Louisiana faces in Medicaid funding because its per capita income rose artificially during the infusion of insurance and federal money to help rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Tempest in a Tea Party: Controversy is swirling around the national Tea Party convention scheduled for February 4-6 in Nashville, Tennessee, with new Fox commentator Sarah Palin as keynote speaker.  A key volunteer and webmaster for Tea Party Nation, Kevin Smith, pulled out his troops, saying the chief organizer, Judson Phillips, was trying to profit from the grassroots movement.  Phillips already had drawn fire for his plan to limit media access to the convention to five right-leaning outlets:  Fox News, Breitbart.com, Townhall.com, The Wall Street Journal, and World Net Daily.

But what if you just want to get drunk and shoot somebody? The Nashville and Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureaus have joined restaurant and bar owners across Tennessee in declaring that the state’s guns-in-bars law is killing tourism.  “It’s probably the single biggest issue people write and talk about when they’re considering coming here,” said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, told The Tennesseean.  Added Kevin Kane, head of the Memphis convention bureau,  “Other cities have used it as ammunition against the state of Tennessee, namely Memphis and Nashville, talking about how unsafe it is.”

Dew Droplets: Georgia’s peanut industry has sent five truckloads of peanut butter to help feed the victims of Haiti’s earthquake … Nissan plans to begin test-marketing its all-electric Leaf in Tennessee in December … Confluence Solar Inc., based in Hazelwood, Missouri., became the third major solar power manufacturing investment in Tennessee in recent months with announcement it will put a plant in Clinton … Strom Thurmond’s son, Paul, a Charleston, South Carolina, attorney, announced that he is running for a U.S. House seat as a Republican … A Screven County, Georgia, father made two young men pray at gunpoint after catching them in his house with his two daughters … Charlie Daniels is recovering from a mild stroke … Georgia educators planned to rally at the state capitol Saturday against education budget cuts.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.