As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga

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.

And this:

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.

Tags: John Edwards (all tags)



Re: As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga


by vecky 2009-09-19 10:19AM | 0 recs
Brilliant Commentary

Just Brilliant!

by eddieb 2009-09-19 11:38AM | 0 recs
well, you can't make that up

after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.

by John DE 2009-09-19 10:46AM | 0 recs

Don't believe everything you read. Besides this stuff belongs in the pages of the "National Enquirer". I can only imagine what JFK said to Marilyn Monroe but it doesn't chnage my opinion of him.

by eddieb 2009-09-19 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Fool!

JFK was a a tremendous boon to our nation.  Edwards is a snake oil salesman.

Thanks for the patriot act and for AUMF, John.  Burn in hell.

by lojasmo 2009-09-19 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Fool!

I for one have no respect for JFK as a person, but I respect his service as a politician and President.   I feel the same way about Bill Clinton.

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:18PM | 0 recs
Hunter may have told Young that

but unless Young observed it directly, we don't know whether all the details are true.  

by desmoinesdem 2009-09-19 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Hunter may have told Young that

Fair, but you have to admit, its extremely plausible that he said this.

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:19PM | 0 recs
The rightous treatment of Edwards

It is a very sad and odd fact that Dems and Progressives are able to turn on one other so easily and with such virulence! I has amazed me to read the nasty attacks of Clinton,Eliot Spitzer, Move ON, Acorn and now Edwards from Their own side. In strong upright contrast the Right Stands up for, protects forgives and rewards it's transgressors. For me Edwards deserves understanding and forgivness just as I forgave Clinton and Spitzer. We certainly could benefit from their Voices in these troubled times. I am outraged at how quickly the Dems in congress turned on Move On and Acorn. No wonder the repigs scoff at Dems and Progressives we seem unable to stand up for our own. Pathetic.

by eddieb 2009-09-19 11:20AM | 0 recs

This man justified the timing of his infidelity and romps with Rielle by claiming that they coincided with a "remission" in his wife's cancer.

Sorry...that's a special kind of scum, in a class by itself.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

Judge not, lest ye be Judged. You have an ugliness in you that will eventually consume you.

by eddieb 2009-09-19 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

Since you seem to like defending the indefensible, there may be a PR job waiting for you at ACORN.....have at it! They need help from people like you.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 01:06PM | 0 recs
With friends like you

progressive political forces need no enemies.

by Thaddeus 2009-09-20 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: With friends like you

While I don't think ACORN as a whole should be condemned, you can't honestly be defending the actions of those individual branches?     There's video tapes of the workers at the branches advocating FRAUD!!! They made have destroyed the reputation of the entire National ACORN group

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:31PM | 0 recs

I'm not perfect, but I would rather die than do something like this.

by DTOzone 2009-09-19 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly

you'd rather die than have an affair and inadvertently father/mother a child?  I find that hard to believe.  I guess there was a time when I would have agreed with that view, but not in the last decade or so.  People have affairs.  Edwards didn't invent it.  He isn't even the first presidential candidate (nor president) to do it.

by slynch 2009-09-19 01:44PM | 0 recs

I'd rather die than have an affair and father a child out of wedlock and then keep it a secret and run for my party's nomination for President knowing what happened to last President from my party when it came to infedility.

Lets face it, if Edwards was President, we wouldn't be talking about healthcare right now, we'd be fending off impeachment.

by DTOzone 2009-09-19 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: No

Maybe for the campaign stuff, but the wedlock and affair offer no grounds.  However, we'd be facing a bloodbath in 2010 and 2012.

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

Pfft.  Keep your bible, please.

by lojasmo 2009-09-19 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

I have no problem with an affair. If he is going to have an affair, that would be the time. Would it be more justified to have one when is wife is healthy and willing to have relations?

My problem is with the fathering of a child AND the fact that he would not recognize his own child. The child is an innocent party in all of this and does not deserve some rich lawyer using his rich network of friends to mislead everyone about this issue.

by Pravin 2009-09-19 11:44AM | 0 recs
you can't be an advocate against poverty

and publicly deny paternity to your child who was born to a single mother. It's just not possible.

The whole Andrew Young saga bothers me deeply as well. What a message to send to his children--he's going to lie publicly and uproot his family in order to protect someone who's more important.

Although I never donated to the One America Committee (only later to the Edwards for President campaign), it bothers me that OAC money was used to hire Hunter to be a videographer. It's not the first  time a candidate gave a mistress a job, but that money should not have been used to make it easy for him to carry on an affair.

by desmoinesdem 2009-09-19 12:51PM | 0 recs
An an event in NH

My son played with his on a playground while Edwards spoke.

What an increadible betrayal.  It bothers me on so many levels.

by fladem 2009-09-19 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

I have only a slight problem with the affair itself.  Many have had affairs (including me once, but that's a long long story, as is everyone's), but it's still wrong (yes, that's right, I can believe I can do wrong).  The fathering of a child from it I have less of a problem with--it happens.  If you have sex, you run the risk of having a child.  Period.

I'm more in agreement with you about denying the child.  The child is an "innocent victim" of the whole thing.  But, I'm not so sure most of us wouldn't do the same thing if we found ourself in that very same situation.  Sometimes it takes time to own up to our doings, and I'm sure Edwards will.  In the meantime, this child isn't suffering.  Rielle isn't the typical single mother and doesn't have the typical father who completely shirks his responsibilities.  Give it some time.

by slynch 2009-09-19 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The rightous treatment of Edwards

Clinton and Spitzer publically admitted the full extent of their transgressions... Edwards has not.  What's worse and I think the reason so many people are pissed at Edwards is he SELFISHLY ran for President in an age where it is DAMN NEAR impossible to keep stuff like this a secret.    Furthermore, he tried to hide a secret love child while being a major contender for the nomination (before Iowa) and then tried to secure a cabinet position.   His name was floated for VP.  Can you not understand how much he could have damaged the party and the country?  Had he won the nomination and this got out, we would have had the most crushing defeat in years.  I'm honestly not sure if the Candidate who cheats on his wife who has terminal cancer and fathers a child with his mistress would even win a state.   Had he been the VP nominee, he would have badly damaged Obama.  

That's why people are pissed.  At this point in time, most of us want him to go away.  I don't care if he admits to it or not.   He needs to go away for a few years, he needs to go be a FATHER to his kids and a husband to his terminal wife instead of trying to claw his way back into the limelight.

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga

On top of all of this, he will probably end up pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor...and that's if he's lucky.

My heart goes out to two his two small children, not to mention the grown daughter and this infant child by Ms. Hunter. Their mother is waging a battle against cancer, and their father is being revealed in the media as one of the most craven people who ever lived. If you believe in prayer, say one for these poor kids.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 11:22AM | 0 recs
Get a grip.

Craven? I tend to think the unnessary deaths of over 4000 Americans soldiers and Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis deserves the term Craven and better befits a certain X President named Bush, don't you.

by eddieb 2009-09-19 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Consider the source, ighter/comments

and then consider how you want to engage it.

by QTG 2009-09-19 11:38AM | 0 recs
There you go again.

As others around here have noted, you're always trying to change the subject at hand. Very predictable.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: I just present the evidence

now it's in the hands of the jury.

by QTG 2009-09-19 12:01PM | 0 recs
"Present the Evidence" ???

Juries have 12 people, QTG. There are probably four or at best, five people here reading your little comments. Get over yourself.

Most people come here to rant or blow off steam. Or occasionally, to do a good deed, such as tutoring people like yourself in economics. You're welcome, btw, for the lessons earlier this week....maybe your comments will start to become a little more lucid.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: tutoring people like me in economics

do you really want to compare financial statements with me? You better be an A+ student.

by QTG 2009-09-19 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: tutoring people like me in economics

Any time.....I spend one-third of the year in Southern Arizona, half in DC, and the rest in P-Town. Will meet you in any of the three venues.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: how about

Patagonia? I'll be there from Thanksgiving until New Years Day.

by QTG 2009-09-19 03:11PM | 0 recs
Didn't you get the memo?

The left-wing loons are organizing a boycott of Arizona....I'm suprised you haven't heard. Arthur Frommer---who decided that we're all a bunch of meanies because some guy carried a gun to a political rally---is advising people not to travel to this horrible red state anymore.

Given that knee-jerk liberals like yourself think and act according to a pack mentality, I have no doubt that you'll now cancel your travel plans. Although a full six weeks in Patagonia sounded a little strange, I've gotta say.....

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 05:00PM | 0 recs
I concede

You are RICH.

by QTG 2009-09-19 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Didn't you get the memo?

Honestly, you both are acting like douches.

by 30000Fine 2009-09-20 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm acting,

he isn't.

by QTG 2009-09-21 05:20AM | 0 recs
Can't argue with you.

The blogosphere doesn't always lead to enlightened debate.

On the other hand, this particular diary was a fairly pointed critique of John Edwards, which I and others commented on....when all is said and done, most reasonable people believe that the guy is fairly loathesome.

That said, it's hard to understand what QTG is upset about, and where he's going with all of this.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-21 08:18PM | 0 recs
Gosh--you sound like an arrogant jerk/nt

by Thaddeus 2009-09-20 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Gosh--you sound like an arrogant jerk/nt

Yeah, well, guess it takes one to know one.

Follow the thread if you want to understand how it often works around here: centrists offer criticism of a public figure---like President Obama or in this case, John Edwards---and then liberals go into apoplexy over how, well, we're just so mean! After which, they attack the person making the comment in petty, personal terms. Fairly predictable, and actually, somewhat entertaining when they occasionally vary their bs.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-20 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: And then

the centrists, visiting from RedState and similar cesspools of centrism, whine about how ill treated they are when someone calls them out for their rudeness. Take the P-Town reference above, which was bait, not truth. I see BJJ and his ilk for what they are: completely shameless pretenders and provokers. I feel obligated to engage them.

by QTG 2009-09-21 05:26AM | 0 recs
"Obligated" ???

Between these heavy obligations you bear, not to mention your time "presenting the evidence", I guess all of us here at MyDD are in your debt. You carry a heavy burden, Q.

That said, you really need to get over yourself. You act as if we're trying to find the cure for cancer here. It's a political blog, dude...nothing more, nothing less.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-21 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: "Obligated" ???

I'm not looking to cure cancer. I'm merely diagnosing a case of hemorrhoids.

by QTG 2009-09-22 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: "Obligated" ???

Somehow, I'm betting that you're uniquely qualified to work with anything related to rectums.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-22 06:24PM | 0 recs

Thus your P-Town reference?

Go protest another military funeral.

by QTG 2009-10-05 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Consider the source,


by lojasmo 2009-09-19 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Ew,

 Sorry. I know that was not very savory.

by QTG 2009-09-19 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Get a grip.

Talk about apples and has nothing to do with the other. Bush's misdeeds don't make Edwards' any more or less reprehensible.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-09-19 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Get a grip.

How'd Edwards vote on AUMF.  I think craven fits his general MO.

by lojasmo 2009-09-19 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Get a grip.

The wrong way.

I did find it odd that the ostensibly most progressive of the three major candidates spent the primaries apologizing for every single vote he ever cast.  No one's mentioned "bankruptcy reform" yet - that one was pretty awful too.

by Jess81 2009-09-19 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga

Edwards made a mistake, one that he must atone for. However, the man must be looked at in full. Unlike all the Rw miscreants, exs. ex senator Thurmond, current senator Vitter with his diaper romps with prostitutes, ex senator Craig with his bathroom sex with men, current governor of S. Carolina, the current Repub senator from Nevada, he championed the cause of the powerless - the lower half of the population that living on the economic edge. I hope he realizes he made a terrible mistake. I don't understand how he could be considered for criminal charges when Vitter consorts with prostitutes & there's no prosecution in the horizon. Ditto the Repub senator from Nevada where illegal use of funds to hush up his affair with a staffer & misuse of National Republican Committee money for a payoff to the son. Something fishy here.

by carter1 2009-09-19 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Something fishy here.

Sorry. Really. I apologize.

by QTG 2009-09-19 11:51AM | 0 recs
I do agree with eddieb

that there is something weird about Edwards being the target of more hatred than people who have committed worse crimes.

But he should not have run for president with this hanging over his head.

by desmoinesdem 2009-09-19 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I do agree with eddieb

I agree with you on both your points.  However, he was running for president before the affair began.  I can imagine being on the national stage and getting sucked into an affair that ultimately results from the narcissism that being on the national stage can produce.  It happens, and Edwards isn't the first one to have it happen to.  

I can also imagine that, once you've slipped up, it's awfully damned hard, ESPECIALLY being on a national stage, to immediately own up to it rather than try to cover it up.  Your instinct is self-preservation.  Not just self-preservation, but also family-preservation.  Admitting to a national audience that you cheated on your spouse hurts not just you, but your spouse and children.  So, I think things turned out ok, and they'll continue to unfold in an ok fashion.

by slynch 2009-09-19 01:57PM | 0 recs
he had any number of ways

to gracefully back out of the campaign during 2007. Instead, he continued the affair and continued the campaign after learning she was pregnant. He should have known that it would come out and be devastating to everyone.

What I find interesting is that Edwards is hated so much more than Bill Clinton, whose affair probably cost Al Gore the presidency. Clinton's actions also prompted Gore to choose Lieberman as a running mate, elevating a horrible person to a much more prominent position.

by desmoinesdem 2009-09-19 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: he had any number of ways

I don't know whether he had "a number of graceful ways to back out..."  There's a lot of timing issues that neither you nor I are privvy to, and frankly, my only knowledge of the timing/timeline is what I've seen from the national media.  But, whatever.

I agree that Clinton's improprieties led to Gore's pick of Lieberman, and I agree that Lieberman's pick was a (and still is--geez, he's a total disaster) disaster for progressives.  At the same time, I think it says more about the society we live in and the difficulties with which progressives have to contend than it says about our political candidates.  Our society is f-d up when we, as progressives, think we need a candidate who is free from error/sin while simultaneously espousing a multicultural, multi-morality that we progressives do.  The whole Edwards thing, in my view, is ridiculous.  Aren't we, as liberals, supposed to be more understanding/empathetic?  Not to say we're amoral or totally morally-relative, but geez, this is a relatively trivial thing in the grand scheme of life.

by slynch 2009-09-19 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I do agree with eddieb

For what it's worth, I think it was the likelihood of all this coming to light that caused Edwards to drop out when he did, making it possible for Obama to fight Hillary to a draw on Super Tuesday.

by SuperCameron 2009-09-19 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I do agree with eddieb

That and losing South Carolina.  It's hard to figure out exactly what his motives were.

by Jess81 2009-09-19 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I do agree with eddieb

My friend who works in white collar crime often discusses how people view wrong behavior. He says the more close to what we can image crime is, the easier it is to convict someone. The harder crimes are those that require a sophisticated understand of balance sheets and billions of dollars. Peo can not understand that as much.

So, it is easier to understand a specific affair rather than the amorphous question of how our system of politics is a system of legalized bribery.

When you look at health care, that's one of the tools to making the sell of health care hard. Make the situation more complicated than it is. Use words that the average American really do not understand. Do not talk until it is almost too late about the number of deaths related to poor private coverage although this latest study is only the latest study- there were more studies last year and the year before and the year before about the deaths under private insurance care.  But that's harder to pin down because we are dealing with not one person's morality, but that of the whole system.

At its core, I believe some of this grows out of the Christian protestantism that defines much of the U.S. It is one of personal moral responsibility, but not really much systemic responsibility at all. So Edwards is understandable, but health care not so much, in terms of morality. This is sad because the systemic morality is the part that is really meaningful. It is true that Edwards should not have run, but he lost, and thus, the question is what should be important now? The also ran, or the issues on the table right now?

by bruh3 2009-09-19 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I do agree with eddieb

by the way- the reason why it is easier to assign personal blame for things like affairs rather than a systemic breakdown is because the latter is designed to avoid assignment of blame and moral judgment because we are told we can not identity the causes of the systemic moral breakdowns.

by bruh3 2009-09-19 05:30PM | 0 recs
regarding Andrew Young's book

I assume that the overall narrative is accurate, but I wonder if some of the details he reports reflect what he observed directly, or just things Reille Hunter told him. For instance, did he hear Edwards promise the rooftop wedding w/rock concert? Or was that something Hunter told him?

The way Edwards had Young take the fall for him before the Iowa caucuses has always been one of the angles that bothered me the most about this sad story.

by desmoinesdem 2009-09-19 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga

Alright, then.  My two cents for whoever wants to read it.

I've never known anyone who cheated on a spouse who gave it up good and frequent-like.  My bet was that Mr Edwards hadn't gotten laid more than twice since the twins were born.  The only reason he didn't divorce Elizabeth years ago is because he didn't want to write a bunch of big fat alimony and child support checks.

Fuck that.  If your wife, husband, life partner or whatever quits acting like one, make your plans and move on.  Patch it up if you can, but chances are that you can't.  They don't find you attractive anymore and it feels good to them not to.  They're true to their feelings, and you damn well need to be true to yours right back.

Sorry, Johnny, you signed on the dotted line.  You wed.  You fucked-up.  Write her the check, include a little extra for a mutual STFU agreement.  You deserve to get laid, get a little head every now and then and enjoy life, just like every other responsible man and woman does.  So act like a responsible man, get a divorce decree, give her 2/3rds of your fortune and move the hell on.

It's better to have 50 cents and get laid than be a millionaire in the sexless wastes.

by SuperCameron 2009-09-19 04:14PM | 0 recs
I'll say it.

Moreover, how does one even contemplate a run at the Presidency given a personal life in disarray?

Ask Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton's example doesn't excuse Bill Clinton, so it doesn't excuse John Edwards, either; but it does show that you can fuck around before you become president, be exposed as having fucked around when you run for president, fuck around while president, and be exposed as having fucked around while president, and nevertheless continue to be considered royalty within the Democratic Party.

Because it isn't about fucking around.  It's about winning.  Clinton won; Edwards didn't.  That's the difference between them.  

And that's why this post exists.  It isn't because Edwards fucked around.  It's because he fucked around, then lost.

Of course, it isn't exclusively that, either.  It's also because the poster has to prove his place in the moral hierarchy.  Which he has, but I don't think he's landed where he hoped.

by Drew 2009-09-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
And you just nailed it/nt

by Thaddeus 2009-09-20 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga

Greatest hits

by aexia 2009-09-20 07:52AM | 0 recs


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