Elizabeth Edwards is, obviously, more or less the most sympathetic woman in the world, as a cancer survivor married to an asshole who cheated on her with some hippie freak. But no one likes her.
The problem is that Elizabeth has long had, quietly, a shitty reputation as a complete horror to work with or for. And frankly no one (where "no one" means "no one in the DC establishment, especially the women of the DC establishment") ever much liked her. Which is sort of why Maureen Dowd wrote that bizarre column on how Elizabeth Edwards is a bitch for promoting her book so much. The important code words in that column are "tough, smart women"—which means evil frigid bitches married to charming rakish men—and "Saint Elizabeth," which means "uppity self-important drama queen." It is a remarkably catty, terrible column, about a woman whose crime was marrying and therefore castrating a self-important womanizing politician who basically represents Maureen's ideal, except that he's a bit fruity.
So today Elizabeth submitted herself to the brain-damaged banality junkies of morning television, with a trip to Today. She has a book out! About cancer but also mostly about how John Edwards is a complete dick! And this woman could die basically any day now (or she could live another couple years) and here she is shilling a book on survival because her loser husband is so reviled and someone's gotta take care of the kids.
And the entire thing, top to bottom, is embarrassing and depressing. Elizabeth is forced to tell slick idiot Matt Lauer that she loves her miserable cheating husband, because last time she was on TV she accidentally sounded too honest about the bargaining involved with staying with a narcissistic dick, and she's selling a crappy book about "resilience," which just means "justifying your biological urge to keep going despite the fact that everything sucks," though she is rich and she does live in a fancy house, so it definitely could be worse.