As a card-carrying member of the Betrayed by John Edwards Alumni Association, I’ll admit that my initial response to his federal indictment for violating campaign laws was skepticism. Yes, Edwards was an egocentric, lying, baby-denying cad who betrayed his dying wife. I doubted, however, that he had committed a crime. But now that the Edwards trial is getting started—opening statements will be heard today in Greensboro, North Carolina—I have begun thinking that things are a bit more complicated.
“Being a jerk is not a felony”—this was the consensus among pundits within days of John Edwards’s indictment for violating campaign finance laws by inducing two political donors to pay the living expenses of his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child, while a former campaign aide posed as the child’s father. It’s still hard to absorb the magnitude of Edwards’s moral offense, and “jerk” hardly does it justice, but let’s assume that Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, quoted above, and election law professor Rick Hasen are right that funneling money to a presidential candidate to cover up his
On Saturday night, April 24, 2010, five days before John Edwards’s mistress Rielle Hunter sat down with Oprah to talk about the by-then-infamous sex tape and other embarrassments that had destroyed his political career, the former presidential candidate showed up at the West End Wine Bar in downtown Durham, North Carolina. It was around ten o’clock, and Edwards wanted a glass of wine after finishing dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant. When he got to the door, Edwards was disappointed to learn the bar was closed for a private event.
Politico is spotlighting a long piece about the pathos of Andrew Young, the former John Edwards staffer who made the ultimate sacrifice for his beloved boss: publicly claiming to be the baby daddy of Rielle Hunter's child, only to be later kicked to the curb by his idol. The piece paints no one in a positive light, conveying the sense that Young is a creepy loser and both Edwardses creepy users.