Everyone from Maureen Dowd to Allessandra Stanley have speculated as to why Elizabeth Edwards would endure the pain to go public with how she has dealt with her husband John's infidelity.

But there is one key motivation yet to be discussed: Elizabeth's book and publicity tour may in fact be a brilliant communication strategy to repair John's image and to enable his political future.

Last August, I remarked on just how perfectly choreographed Edwards' appearance on Nightline had been, suggesting that it was clear that the skilled trial attorney had solicited direction from crisis communication experts. Elizabeth's book may be phase 2 of the strategy.

In order to be forgiven by the American public, John can't appear to get off too easy. In fact, to repair his image, he has to make amends and pay his dues to his wife, the person hurt most by his transgression. Consider the perceptual fix that might be in the works: If after a public flailing, Elizabeth finally forgives John, why shouldn't also the American public?

There's also a secondary benefit of the Elizabeth Edwards' publicity tour, namely that everyone is talking about Elizabeth and not about the criminal investigation into the campaign funds paid to Edwards' mistress.