John Edwards To Admit Fathering Child with Rielle Hunter

Not surprising I suspect in the grand scheme of things but former two-time Presidential candidate and a former Senator from North Carolina John Edwards is to admit fathering a daughter, now 18 months old, out-of-wedlock with his ex-mistress Rielle Hunter as he was preparing his second Presidential run.

The story from WRAL-Raleigh:

Sources have told WRAL News that they expect former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to admit that he is the father of his former mistress' 18-month-old daughter.

Edwards, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate, confessed last August to having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who served as a videographer on Edwards' 2008 campaign. He has denied fathering her daughter, saying his relationship with Hunter ended before the child was conceived.

The name of the girl's father isn't disclosed on her birth certificate.

Andrew Young, a long-time Edwards aide, initially claimed to be the father of Hunter's child, but he is reportedly writing a book in which he will claim Edwards is the father.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Edwards' campaign funds were illegally paid to Hunter to keep quiet about the affair.

Hunter spent nine hours last Thursday at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, where the grand jury was meeting. She brought her daughter, Frances, with her.

Young was at the federal courthouse in July when the grand jury was meeting.

Sources said Edwards' public admission could come before the end of the criminal investigation.

Edwards' attorney, Wade Smith, couldn't be reached Thursday for comment.

As a strong Edwards supporter, I still feel deeply betrayed that John Edwards had the hubris to run for the Presidency after engaging in such reckless behavior. I don't expect those who run for higher office to be saints but I'd appreciate it if they weren't scum either.

Tags: Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards (all tags)



Re: John Edwards To Admit Fathering Child, GREAT Diary!

by QTG 2009-08-13 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards To Admit

I have not changed my opinion about JFK because of the latest disclosures of his sexual pecadillos. Ditto LBJ and Gary Hart. Sex is beside the point. It has nothing to do with public integrity or governance. Clinton's presidency was derailed by his NAFTA campaign, not Monica. Nixon was faithful to his wife and a serious crook. If Edwards had made it through to the end and was now President, we would be arguing over a single payer system and the insurance industry would be in a state of despair. Even after screwing the videographer.

by johnmorris 2009-08-13 03:58PM | 0 recs
you can't advocate against poverty

and then publicly deny paternity of your child, who is born to a single mother. As soon as she got pregnant he should have been making arrangements for a paternity test and child support, if necessary.

The whole sham pulled with Andrew Young bothers me deeply as well. What a lesson for his children to learn--their dad stood up and falsely claimed to have cheated on their mom in order to protect someone more important than their dad.

Edwards didn't advocate for a single payer system--he advocated for a strong public option that could have evolved in the direction of single payer. I agree, though, that the insurance industry would be in despair, because they wouldn't be getting any sweetheart deals from his administration.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-13 04:28PM | 0 recs
why would the insurance industry be in despair

anything his administration proposes would be DOA anyway. They'd be looking forward to the GOP controlling Congress in 2011 and forcing him into accepting a healthcare plan that favors them.

And, really, how do we know there wouldn't have been sweatheart deals from his administration, it's not like we can count on his word.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 04:51PM | 0 recs
It says something about character

that Edwards, knowing what something like this can do to a candidate, a President and his/her party, would still go for it anyway. This is a different time than when JFK or Warren Harding had their affairs.

If Edwards had made it through to the end and was now President, we wouldn't be arguing about single payer system, we'd be arguing whether or not we should impeach him, force him to resign, and whether or not the GOP can win back Congress on this issue, and how much damage it's doing to our agenda. Anything he would have proposed would be DOA in Congress.

Having said that, going back to character, Edwards was the only one who struck me as has to wonder if he, like the other candidates, knew what he was saying was unrealistic...we probably would be begging for Hillary or Obama right now if he was President.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: It says something about character

Why did he strike you as unrealistic?

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 04:56PM | 0 recs
I'm more cynical when it comes to

what's political realistic...I get it from covering national politics in the past seven years, being well versed in legislative history since the First Congress, and being all over last year's campaign. I got the sense that our party was more conservative than most Democrats realized and that a lot of what Edwards talked about just didn't mesh with the way legislation historically got through.

I felt that had Edwards gotten elected (I felt this about Obama too, but less so), illusions of grandeur would be replaced by political reality, the reality of the still relevant Republican Party, and large conservative contingent in the Democratic Party, and a population that is completely out to lunch when it comes to politics, a lot of what he was proposing would fly out the window whether he liked it or the end, his supporters would have been so disappointed, they would have disengaged, and he would have been left defenseless. (this is similar to what appears to be happening with Obama now)

Obama's campaign spoke in very vague terms, which I think we very effective because everyone wanted "change." The problem being everyone had a different definition of what that "change" would be.

I supported Hillary in the primaries for the mere reason that I saw her as the most realistic candidate...the netroots hated that because they labeled it as "DLC sellout" I saw it as reality.

Having said that, I'm defensive of Obama for two reasons...he's slamming headfirst into political reality and because I got the sense from meeting him a few times during 2007 and 2008 that when we think he's lost control of the situation, he actually is in total complete control. He, more than anyone, always had us in the media outsmarted. I'd be shocked if that wasn't the case right now.

In the case of Edwards though, he was very awkward with us, and very idealistic. It was as if he didn't know how Washington operated or did know and was presenting a false sense of hope. Either he would have been shell shocked to find out how Washington works or we would have discovered he was all an act. Edwards would have made enemies of just about everyone in American politics, except us, and we're not powerful enough to defend an embattled President, or he would have given in and disappointed us.

With Obama, he knew how Washington operated and dearly hoped he could change it...and in the event he can't, which, let's face, we know he couldn't, he would essentially govern as Hillary would for me Obama and Hillary were two sides of the same coin.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 05:18PM | 0 recs
To say it clearer

Hillary didn't really want to change the way Washington operates, she wanted to use it, instead, to her advantage.

Obama wanted to change the way Washington operates, but if that failed, he would use it to his advantage (govern like Hillary)

Edwards wanted to change the way Washington operates, but didn't have a backup plan in the event that didn't work.

I never believed one election, one candidate, can change the way Washington operates, so Edwards struck be as either idealistically naive, or a flat out liar...I think Obama struck some people this way too, I can see how.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: To say it clearer

Interesting. I see what you are saying.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: To say it clearer

I'm curious what Obama said that led you to conclude he had a contingency plan.

by Steve M 2009-08-13 07:31PM | 0 recs
Three stories from the campaign trail

before the primary there right after he won the Iowa caucus. He was in Salem talking to voters, and we were following him around shooting b-roll, and one of the voters he talked to told him he thought he would be "took weak" to stand up to Republicans and Hillary wouldn't be. He responded by saying something to the effect of it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to try to bridge differences because one way of changing Washington is to change the culture of partisanship and be the bigger person, but he admitted he wouldn't expect it to work all the time.

During the California debates...the only time I got to venture west of Austin, Texas on the campaign, I was trying to find someone to get spin from, and Valerie Jarrett was camera (on top of admitting that she had expected Obama to end up as Clinton's running mate), she and Charlie Gibson were chatting and he asked her a question about "their differences in governing" framing it to how one will deal with opposition (Charlie has a habit of asking the good questions off air). She mentioned that Hillary's style was "going in for the kill" while Senator Obama would "at least let them make their case as to why he should let them live" I thought that was striking.

After Super Tuesday, I got moved to following Hillary's campaign, which I did until May, but only on the East Coast as my grandmother was ill and I needed to stay close to home.

Which brings me to my third response to Hillary's comments in Rhode Island about "the light will come down..." I was in the room when she said that and immediately called our producer on Obama's press detail in Ohio warn him to get Obama's response for the evening news. I was on a conference call later that day in my hotel in Providence where David Plouffe was talking to reporters from Ohio. Plouffe, who actually rarely spoke to us during the campaign about anything other than strategy, defended Obama, but then in an off the record remark mentioned that Barack knew "the other side wasn't always going to be rational"

OT: I was in the ABC control room in Philadelphia during that disastrous ABC Pennsylvania debate. The stories I can tell you, oh Lord.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Three stories from the campaign trail

Thanks for sharing all this. It's very insightful.

The Valerie Jarrett quote is telling.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Three stories from the campaign trail

Those are revealing stories.  I still laugh when I think about that "light will come down" moment, btw!

by Steve M 2009-08-14 04:51AM | 0 recs
Clinton survived, because of NAFTA

You're the first person I've ever heard suggest that Clinton's Presidency was derailed by NAFTA. Most historians would agree that in the end, it was a fairly successful Presidency; let me suggest a few reasons that he generally gets a B+ instead of an A:

1. the Lewinsky mess

  1. the Hillary-care mess,
  2. the corruption in the Democrat Congress
  3. a clumsy start, saddled with bad appointments (Mack McLarty, Les Aspin, Stephanopolous-Myers, Warren Christopher....) as well as an ill-advised and ultimately failed Stimulus Package
  4. failed BTU tax.

In spite of all of this, he had many more successes. One was NAFTA, which helped fuel the economic expansion of the 90's; its passage was one of the last genuine examples of bipartisanship. Free trade lifts all boats.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-08-13 09:27PM | 0 recs
Here we go

BJJ is here to tell us how Bill Clinton was only reelected because he acted like a Republican and for Obama to be a successful President he needs to be the black Ronald Reagan.

You're the first person I've ever heard suggest that Clinton's Presidency was derailed by NAFTA

Fucking classic.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 09:34PM | 0 recs
You need a serious reality check.....

I responded to a wierd comment which asserted that Bill Clinton's support of NAFTA had a more negative impact on his Presidency than the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Wake up DTO...Clinton's affair with Ms. Lewinsky led to his impeachment. He became the second President in history to be saddled with this dubious distinction.....Andrew Johnson was the only other President to ever be impeached.

Now, maybe you really do believe that NAFTA is somehow a worse blight on the Clinton Presidency----most of us continue to believe that it was a major achievement----than his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and his subsequent impeachment trial. If so, well hey,...have at it.  But it just proves that you don't know shit about history, or politics.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-08-13 09:52PM | 0 recs
What caused a bigger dip in popularity?

NAFTA or Lewinsky?

I'll give you a hint, NAFTA happened in 1994, Lewinsky in 1998...his approval rating was in the 30's through all of 1994, but never dropped below 55% after 1997.

by DTOzone 2009-08-14 08:28AM | 0 recs
Check your history.

NAFTA went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, but had been signed into law in Sept. of 1993. After that point, it was off the news/public radar.

What DID happen in 1994 was the slow and corrosive drip of Hillary-care. It languished all year, until George Mitchell tried some last-ditch compromise in August....a few weeks later, he pronounced health care reform dead for the year.

Clinton's poll numbers bottomed shortly thereafter, and the GOP took Congress in November of 1994. The election was viewed by most as a referendum on big government, and specifically, the failed health care intitiative. NAFTA was only a tiny part of the calculus.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-08-14 10:07AM | 0 recs

oh yeah, that's right, people totally forgot about NAFTA after Jan 1, 1994.

No, it wasn't mentioned in like EVERY DAMN Democratic campaign in the Midwest for the next fourteen years.


by DTOzone 2009-08-14 11:20PM | 0 recs
I said my piece

about this whole unfortunate series of events, but what amazes me more than anything is that John Edwards really believed he and a few friends would be able to keep this under wraps.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-13 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I said my piece

what amazes me more than anything is that John Edwards really believed he and a few friends would be able to keep this under wraps.


In my life I have felt a deep connection to just three US Presidential candidates: Paul Simon, Paul Tsongas and John Edwards. Yes, I've supported others but those three stood a cut above. I worked my ass off for John Edwards. Yeah I supported Hillary Clinton after John dropped out but when she lost the primary contest, I wasn't devastated. I was beyond forlorn when John dropped out. Despondent. I know that he was right about much of our domestic politics. You cannot trust the GOP as a whole.

If John Edwards wants to have an affair, that's his and Elizabeth's business but this isn't France. Given all we face, the imperative of reversing a 40 year slide -it's not like John Edwards didn't realize what we are up against - and to risk the health and prosperity of the country is beyond reprehensible.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 04:53PM | 0 recs
psychic friends again

Paul Simon was the first candidate I was old enough to volunteer and caucus for. In fact, getting deprived of a third delegate at my 1988 precinct caucus strongly affected my view of the Iowa caucus system.

I also backed Tsongas in 1992, although I was living abroad and couldn't caucus (not that it mattered--everyone skipped Iowa that year).

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-13 05:00PM | 0 recs
First Law of Politics: All politicians of any hue

are bound to be disappointing.

by louisprandtl 2009-08-13 04:38PM | 0 recs
The Primary would have entirely different

If only Edwards had run as the stud!

by January 20 2009-08-13 04:51PM | 0 recs
The guy can go to hell

I never faulted Edwards for having an affair in the past or even for his efforts to keep it a secret. But I called him out last year when people were trying to deny he was the father of that kid. I wasn't born yesterday and I lost some major respect for him and even Elzabeth when they refused to give that baby the legitimacy of a father. When they came out with that ridiculous excuse that his mistress didnt want a DNA test and gave us some hilarious cover story about his associate being the real father??? Ha ha. What a joke. Sadly, this new revelation doesn't surprise me even in the slightest.

It was so obvious Edwards and his rich lawyer buddies were insulting our intelligence so badly with the idiotic denials and laundering of support money to shut her up. The guy who preaches the whole "i understand the poor" thing exhibited the same entitlement attitude when he felt he could use money and his powerful rich peers to get away with stuff. I didn't like Edwards in 2004. Felt his criticism of Clinton was self righteous during the lewisnky affair and he did not seem bright enough regarding the Iraq war. But then I grew to like him , mainly thanks to his wife in the 2005-2007 era. But now, i am just fed up with him.

I am not mad he had an affair or tried to keep it hush hush. But for him to deny the baby for so long was ridiculous and showed a serious lack of character.

It would be funny if the baby hired a lawyer to sue him for millions. or if he was sued by his mistress.

I also wouldnt feel bad for a person who made money litigating to get burned by the same legal system with respect to his campaign funds.

by Pravin 2009-08-13 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards To Admit Fathering ...

What bothers me the the insinuation by E. Edwards that her husband

What bothers me the most is not the out of wedlock child, which doesn't bother me at all. The problem that I have is that Edwards would basically try to start a new family, with a woman without cancer, while his wife with cancer would basically be left with two children. What position does that put a woman in--keep quiet about everything, or I'll leave you with the kids and start a new wife. What does that say about a person like this.

We all the time b'tch and complain about what Gingrich did. Did Gingrich have kids at the time when his wife was in the deathbed? Not sure about that one.

Well here we have a man who was willing to basically trash his life for a 'better' one, thinking that he had enough 'support' that it wouldn't really matter. The fear of him leaving would shut any wife up--especially if she had cancer.

When I heard Elizabeth say that she had to think about her know what that meant to me? It said 'what relationship would a father who has millions have with kids of an estranged woman with cancer.'

I know I'm probably blowing this up, but this is what it says to me...just how easily thrown out women with kids are in this society, and how acceptible it is. You didn't hear anyone asking about the social and economic straits that Elizabeth and the kids would be in, if John left her. And, you know he only stayed with her for the photo op. You know that's got to be true.

by johnrarch 2009-08-13 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards To Admit Fathering ...

I have no problem when a person of either gender who has a sick partner strays. Some people say that is worse, I say that is actually understandable since all they are looking for is a physical outlet and it does not say much about his or her love for the sick spouse. I think of it as a temporary divorce and remarriage. That is far better than Gingrich pretty much abandoning his wife on her sickbed without even giving her the option of staying or divorcing.

Elizabeth stayed not because she had no options. She had options. If she divorced John, she and her kids would be well taken care of. John did provide Elizabeth with emotional support for her cancer from what I can tell.

John showed serious lack of leadership here. Here is a guy who leads the country, yet had no discipline to use a condom? Yet he and his wife somehow wont mind saying sex education is important and say lower income fathers need to take responsibility of their kids born out of wedlock?  

by Pravin 2009-08-13 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards

Word!! My Wife and I are both recovering Edwards people what a complete Douche - Disappointment does not even begin to describe it. I wish it was just him I was angry about - I am equally as disappointed in Elizabeth for schilling for him after she knew so many of us liked him because of her and to have her go out day after day and talk about his great integrity makes me want to puke

by jeremylreed 2009-08-14 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards

Well, apparently, the news was premature.  The Miami Herald reports that Wade Smith, JRE's lawyer, says that no statement is planned. /AP/story/1186558.html

by benny06 2009-08-14 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards

I dont care if they shut him up. I think Edwards is the dad until he takes the damn DNA test. Man up, John.

by Pravin 2009-08-14 05:36PM | 0 recs


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