Mika: Edwards's Turn to Cry?

This space has not served as an unmitigated cheering section for Mika Brzezinski. But kudos to the Morning Joe panelist for the well-deserved shot she took at John Edwards today.

Perhaps it was the Edwards's lack of candor that incited Mika's ire. It's been widely reported, as in this ABC News blog, that the former NC senator tried to exploit Hillary's now-famous emotional moment of yesterday:

Edwards offered little sympathy and pounced on the opportunity to question Clinton's ability to endure the stresses of the presidency.

"I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business," Edwards told reporters Laconia, New Hampshire.

But when Brzezinski asked Edwards at 7:10 AM ET today whether he had indeed criticized Clinton for tearing up, Edwards brazenly replied "absolutely not." When Edwards went on to proclaim his own machismo, Mika saw her opening and went for it.

View video here.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I want to ask you about something you said about Hillary Clinton yesterday. It was a response to her, I guess, tearing up a little bit. It seemed that you might have been criticizing her. Were you, and was it fair?

JOHN EDWARDS: Absolutely not. I respect anybody who goes through this difficult, grueling process. It is hard, I mean it is really hard. And she deserves enormous respect for that.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You ever tear up on the campaign trail?

EDWARDS: Not that I can remember.

SCARBOROUGH: Really? Because Buchanan even admitted that he teared up.

EDWARDS: Not that I can remember.

BRZEZINSKI: Uh-uh, you're getting nothing, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH [laughing]: The Granite State's candidate!
That's when Mika slipped in the shiv.
BRZEZINSKI: That's good to know. Because it looks like it could be a tough night ahead. What do you next? I mean, you get through New Hampshire. Potentially you come in third, maybe you come in second. Does the campaign continue and how do you somehow regain momentum, especially against what is happening with Barack Obama?
Edwards gave an answer full of bluster and bragadaccio about continuing his campaign "to the White House. I intend to win."

Maybe so. But should Edwards get misty along the way, don't look for Mika to wipe away the tears.
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.