The Train Wreck That is the Life and Career of John Edwards

September 20, 2009

(ChattahBox)–John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator, candidate for vice-president and a presidential hopeful for the 2008 Democratic nomination, was once a rising political star and highly respected for his efforts on behalf of the nation’s poor. Today, because of his efforts to cover up an extra marital affair, which took place during his presidential primary campaign and lying about it to the public; John Edwards has become a social and political pariah, and he is facing federal charges for campaign fraud.

The New York Times has a devastating look at the unseemly mess of Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter, a former videographer for his presidential campaign, who has a 19-month old daughter, said to be Edward’s child, despite his denials.

While Edwards engaged in an affair with Hunter, his wife Elizabeth battled terminal breast cancer. After Edwards finally admitted to the affair in a Nightline interview in August 2008, Edwards was vilified for cheating on his very ill and very devoted wife, as well as lying about it to his supporters and staff.

Since that time, Edwards’ former aide Andrew Young has been peddling a tell-all book about Edwards’ affair with Hunter, detailing the lengths he went to cover it up, including pressuring Young to falsely claim paternity of Hunter’s child. Young now denies he is the father of Hunter’s child and reportedly claims in his book that Edwards once told Hunter that, as soon as his wife died, “…he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.”

According to the NY Times, Edwards is close to finally admitting that Hunter’s baby girl, Quinn is indeed his daughter.

Edwards’ abrupt fall from grace, has been fast and steep, but his fall has not yet reached bottom.

In the background of all of the salacious details that continue to leak out about Edwards’ affair, is the ongoing federal jury investigation in Raleigh, North Carolina, tasked to determine if federal campaign laws were broken in payoffs of campaign funds to Hunter to keep her quiet.

The funds given to Hunter came from two wealthy Edwards’ supporters, Fred Baron, a wealthy trial lawyer from Dallas who has since died and Rachel Mellon an elderly heiress known as Bunny. Edwards has denied knowledge of the payments made to Hunter. And before Baron died, he made a statement saying, that he helped Hunter financially without Edwards’ knowledge.

However, Young asserts in his book that Edwards not only knew of Baron’s financial payoffs to Hunter, but even once asked Baron “…if he could find a doctor who would falsify a DNA report.”

To date, both Rielle Hunter and former aide, Andrew Young have testified before the grand jury, but Edwards has not. Hunter was recently photographed entering the federal courthouse holding her daughter, Quinn, turning the child’s face to the cameras.

The grand jury is investigating payments made to Hunter from two wealthy Edwards’ supporters, as well as $114,000 paid by the Edwards’ campaign to Hunter for her video work, some of which was transferred to Hunter after she left the campaign.

As noted by the NY Times piece:

blockquote>”While violations of campaign finance regulations are not necessarily crimes and may be punished by fines from the Federal Election Commission, they can also break criminal laws if there is evidence of willful deception.”

But, Joe Sinsheimer, a former Democratic consultant, believes it would be difficult to make a criminal case against Edwards, as “the law probably doesn’t anticipate payments to a mistress during a campaign.”

Meanwhile, Hunter plans to move from New Jersey to North Carolina, which would exert additional pressure on Edwards to claim paternity of her daughter.


One Response to “The Train Wreck That is the Life and Career of John Edwards”

  1. emma on September 20th, 2009 9:30 pm

    edwards and hunter deserve each other. they’re both equally sleazy and self centered. he’s going to tire of this woman real fast if he really does move her to figure 8 island in nc. she’s a con, always has been, always will be…just like her father james druck. she always wanted to have a rich lawyer take care of her. guess she got her way. i wondered why she brought the girl to the courthouse. so the press could get photos obviously. she’s got no shame at all. when elizabeth is gone eventually, john’s going to regret ever meeting a scumbag like rielle who will ask for more and more and miss the sophisticated honest elizabeth. i mean dave matthews? really. how childish.

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