In an Interview that will air on ABC’s Nightline tonight, John Edwards admits that he lied about an extramarital affair during his 2008 presidential campaign, but stands by his statement that he did not father a child with his mistress. Is this the end of Edwards’s political career?
Edwards admits in the ABC interview that he lied to reporters about having an affair with Rielle Hunter who is a novice filmmaker that was paid $114,000 to make documentaries about his campaign. Edwards pointed out that the affair happened while his wife’s cancer was in remission. He also said that he can’t be the father of Hunter’s baby, because the baby was born long after the affair ended.
I prefer to leave who’s the baby daddy stuff to the tabloids, and focus on what this does to Edwards’s political career. My first instinct is to say that he is probably done, and that it is obvious now why he did not get serious consideration to be on the ticket with Barack Obama. I also think that an Edwards appointment as attorney general in a potential Obama administration is unlikely now. Edwards may make a fine attorney general, but as a far as moral issues are concerned, Obama appears to run a very clean ship.
It is disappointing that Edwards got himself caught up in a scandal like this, but politicians and affairs are like peanut butter and jelly. This type of moral stupidity knows no partisan boundaries, and is caused by the extreme amount of ego required to be involved in national politics. Edwards may not have much of a short term future, but these scandals tend to blow over. He may resurface one day, but for now, I wouldn’t expect to see him out on the campaign trail for Obama any time soon.
Update: Edwards released a statement, which you can read about here.