Successful trial lawyer. Senator. Vice-presidential candidate. Two-time presidential candidate. National joke.
That sums up John Edwards. Edwards is arguably the most disliked politician in America. He no longer has a future in politics. What politico would ever want to associate himself with Edwards? Who, besides Bunny Mellon, would contribute a dime to any cause with which he is associated?
The only good news for Edwards over the last few years is his acquittal on one count of violating campaign laws. The other five were deadlocked. Most observers felt that the Justice Department prepared a case without much evidence. When it is not possible to convict someone as despised as Edwards, then that is one lousy lawyering job. It was not even as if one or two pro-Edward jurors were holding out in a tide against conviction. It was the other way. It was a minority that could not bring themselves to let someone as scummy as Edwards get off on all counts.
When billionaires can set up their own Super PACS and drop tens of millions into campaigns to influence voters, a couple of wealthy benefactors spending a million or two on shuttling a mistress and love child around the country almost sounds quaint.
Yet the seriousness of what Edwards did must not be overlooked. He was a major presidential candidate. If he had been elected president, the opportunity to blackmail him and the nation would be enormous. It takes a special kind of hubris for a man to believe that he can hide an affair and a child while seeking the world’s most public job.
Fortunately, Edwards is through with politics. He deserves a lifetime achievement award for foolishness because his scandal stands out above all others. He revealed himself as a liar — a major liar.
His relationship with Elizabeth Edwards appears to have been difficult for some time. That seems not to have been entirely his fault. Yet that in itself is not America’s business. It only became America’s business when Edwards ran for president and took up with Rielle Hunter while his wife was dying of cancer. If there ever was an incident that revealed someone’s character, then this was it.
Unlike Bill Clinton or Elliot Spitzer, Edwards is not rehabilitatable. No news show will put Edwards on as a spokesman. He may be articulate, but his track record of lying makes Clinton and Spitzer look like schoolboys trying to hide pranks.
John Edwards is about to drift away into the dustbin of history. It can’t come soon enough. Good riddance.