Friday, August 08, 2008

Can Edwards Recover
From Affair Scandal?

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards’ dreams of being Barack Obama’s vice president are shattered after he admitted to having an affair with 44-year-old novice filmmaker Rielle Hunter, reported ABC News today.

It has been speculated that meetings with Obama and then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a few months back after dropping out of the race that Edwards would be their choice for vice president. That speculation was further fueled when Edwards endorsed Obama this past May.

While Edwards’ experience in the Senate and in politics in general would have made him a very attractive candidate for the VP position, having an affair on his terminally ill wife would turn down even the most morally challenged politician. Granted, Edwards told ABC News that his wife’s cancer was in remission during his affair, but that isn’t how some people are going to see the 2006 fling.

And when the National Enquirer first reported on this recently, it was reported that Edwards fathered a child with Hunter, but Edwards’ former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has stated that he is the baby’s father.

Now, what does this really mean for Edwards’ political career? It will hurt him, but he can recover from it like Bill Clinton. Clinton had numerous alleged affairs, not including the Monica Lewinsky one, and he’s approval ratings were still quite good. America still loved him.

With Edwards background of helping the lower class and the poor, he is basically a media darling in that regard. Whatever political faults he may have, Edwards’ heart is in the right place when it comes to people in need. Many might easily forgive Edwards for his affair and say he was under stress of losing his wife Elizabeth before hand. Some might see that as a “noble” and understanding cause of running into another woman’s arms.

By no means is this an excuse for Edwards to cheat on his wife, but merely how some will see it. Besides, Edwards is no Eliot Spitzer, the former New York Democratic governor who was caught with a call girl earlier this year.

However, there seems to be more to this than meets the eye. Hunter, who was hired in 2006 to film campaign videos for Edwards, had been living under false names while she was pregnant and lived in expensive homes in North Carolina and California, according to ABC News. Her baby girl was born on Feb. 27 of this year.

And Edwards claimed that he has not paid any money to keep Hunter silent about their affair, “but said it was possible some of his friends or supporters may have made payments without telling him,” ABC News reported Edwards as saying, a former North Carolina senator.

(Editor's note: It an updated story, ABC News has reported that Edwards' 2008 national finance chairman Fred Baron stated that he gave "assistance" to Hunter without the former senator's knowledge, according to an e-mail sent by him to the news network late on Friday.)

And Edwards also told ABC News that he did not tell his wife of the famous Beverly Hills Hilton meeting with Hunter last month.

It is only a matter of time before the whole truth comes out. Edwards just has to take his medicine that the media onslaught and his wife will give him before he even considers entering politics again.