As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga
by Charles Lemos, Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 10:07:51 AM EDT
The New York Times is reporting that former Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards is considering declaring that he fathered a child with a former campaign aide, Ms. Rielle Hunter, on the eve of his run for the Presidency. The attorney for John Edwards, Wade M. Smith, said in a statement that "there may be a statement on that subject at some point, but there is no timetable and we will see how we feel about it as events unfold."
I could care less. Either John Edwards is the father or he is not. A DNA test would resolve that matter or Mr. Edwards might simply opt for the truth that he has long eschewed. Whatever the case, John Edwards is a persona non grata in the Democratic party. This sad and sordid episode continues to devolve simply because John Edwards cannot admit to the truth. Instead, Mr. Edwards choses willfully to save whatever grace he may yet possess. It is not as much the affair nor the child out of wedlock, though there is that, but the hubris with which Mr. Edwards has acted since the allegations were proven to have a certain validity. Moreover, how does one even contemplate a run at the Presidency given a personal life in disarray?
In the New York Times story, there is this rich snippet:
According to people familiar with the grand jury investigation, prosecutors are considering a complicated and novel legal issue: whether payments to a candidate's mistress to ensure her silence (and thus maintain the candidate's viability) should be considered campaign donations and thus whether they should be reported. When Mr. Edwards was running for president, and even later when he still held out hope of a senior cabinet position in the Obama administration, two of his wealthy patrons, through a once-trusted Edwards aide, quietly provided Ms. Hunter with large financial benefits, including a new BMW and lodging, that were used to keep her out of public view.
The notion that Mr. Edwards is the father has been reinforced by the account of Andrew Young, once a close aide to Mr. Edwards, who had signed an affidavit asserting that he was the father of Ms. Hunter's child.
Mr. Young, who has since renounced that statement, has told publishers in a book proposal that Mr. Edwards knew all along that he was the child's father. He said Mr. Edwards pleaded with him to accept responsibility falsely, saying that would reduce the story to one of a political aide's infidelity.
In the proposal, which The New York Times examined, Mr. Young asserts that he assisted the affair by setting up private meetings between Mr. Edwards and Ms. Hunter. He wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.
Geez, John no promise of a White House wedding? You're dead to me John Edwards.