Great news: The long rehabilitation of John Edwards begins

posted at 9:50 am on November 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

After months of seclusion, noted philanderer — er, philanthropist — John Edwards made his first public appearance last night in Indiana University.  His Bloomington speech focused on the poor, and specifically avoided the peccadilloes that forced his exit from the front lines of the Democratic campaign this summer:

John Edwards didn’t have to dodge tough questions from an Indiana University audience Tuesday, when the former presidential candidate returned to the stage three months after admitting to an extramarital affair.

The Democrat’s 30-minute speech covered politics, poverty and his hopes for America and the world and he later discussed President-elect Obama and other topics from the audience.

But the half-hour question-and-answer period featured only written queries that had been submitted before his speech — and the affair he has acknowledged with filmmaker Rielle Hunter didn’t surface.

Can John Edwards rehabilitate himself?  As Andrew Malcolm notes, Americans tend to forgive, if not forget.  Bill Clinton managed to get past his serial infidelities to win the Presidency.  Even after more revelations and nearly getting booted from office by Congress over his perjury in connection with his philandery, Clinton manages to remain popular, and while one can argue that he did more harm than good to Hillary’s campaign, it wasn’t his infidelities that did the damage.

Edwards, though, has other problems.  In the first place, he’s a raging hypocrite.  He ran on his wife’s illness as a martyr while cheating on her at the same time.  He talks about sacrifice for the poor while building a 28,000 square foot mansion.  Besides serving one term in the Senate, Edwards has done nothing other than chase ambulances as a personal-injury lawyer.  Edwards makes Obama look experienced.

I doubt that rehabilitation is in the cards for Edwards.  He failed at two attempts to run for President even without the Rielle Hunter scandal dogging him.  His greatest accomplishment has been to avoid committee meetings and to run against what little record he compiled in his single term in political office.  Other than the freak-show vibe coming from his public appearance in Bloomington last night, no one really cares about Edwards.  You can’t rehabilitate apathy.


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Compelling. And rich

vinman on November 12, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Just Go Away!!! And take that lego hair with you.

MDWNJ on November 12, 2008 at 9:56 AM

he’s lookin for a new woman to ride the..
Silky Pony

blatantblue on November 12, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Prick

PappaMac on November 12, 2008 at 9:57 AM

I’m thinking he’d be great on “Jerry Springer”

uncivilized on November 12, 2008 at 9:58 AM

No forgiveness for the Breck Man. Not only did he have an affair (like Clinton), he also had a out of wedlock child while his wife is battling for her life. That’s a little tougher to forgive than a Lewinski in the Oval Office.

bopbottle on November 12, 2008 at 9:59 AM

given the Chutzpah of the left, I’d say some appointment by Obama to Edwards isn’t that far fetched.

jp on November 12, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Edwards doesn’t have to worry about election on a national scale again. What the people of North Carolina do with him is up to them. But don’t I recall reading about a meeting between Edwards and Michelle-my-belle? Favors (throwing Hillary under the bus) must be re-paid. He’s not going away.

Marcus on November 12, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Camille Paglia on Palin:

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the State University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don’t know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology — contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice…

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee — what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry’s nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama’s pick and who was on everyone’s short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin’s. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

Camille is Spot On About Palin

Mr. Joe on November 12, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Good lord this country makes me want to puke . . . it just keeps resurrecting these worthless pieces of dog crap. No wonder we’re plunging into the abyss.

rplat on November 12, 2008 at 10:02 AM

‘raging hypocrite’ – I like that!

Just go away John, good riddance.

Of course, as an egomaniac lawyer-politician, he’ll be back, again and again.

rockbend on November 12, 2008 at 10:02 AM

The way the electorate went this year, he could’ve been the VP nominee and still have gotten in. The people obviously have no self-respect, so why wouldn’t they vote for him?

JammieWearingFool on November 12, 2008 at 10:04 AM

specifically avoided the peccadilloes that forced his exit from the front lines of the Democratic campaign

His peccadillo got quite a workout.

whitetop on November 12, 2008 at 10:04 AM

There are two Americas: One where husbands are faithful to their wives…

Akzed on November 12, 2008 at 10:05 AM

What has John Edwards ever done? Bill Clinton was a two Term President of the United States.

John Edwards couldn’t get relected to the Senate, from his own home state. Rehabilitation works if you are known for doing something more, then just flapping your lips. This is a Trial Lawyer who lined his own pockets..this guy used class warfare to get elected, and he wasn’t that competent at that, look what happened to him. Again Rehabilitate WHAT?

Dr Evil on November 12, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Dude, your 15 minutes are up. Just go away.

rockmom on November 12, 2008 at 10:07 AM

He runs around giving speeches on college campuses at 50k a pop. As far as charity goes, he, like most democrats, is a cheap bastard.

Blake on November 12, 2008 at 10:09 AM

We have an affirmative action-elected president why not allow a two-timing ambulance chaser back into the mix?

We, as a country, have given up all our previously held values so why should we be suprised at any of this?

Hurricanes on November 12, 2008 at 10:09 AM

And since Fred Baron died, who’s footing the bill for Edward’s little indiscretions?

Blake on November 12, 2008 at 10:09 AM

And yet another reason to never ever ever write another check to I.U..

I’m also dangerously close to burning all my I.U. clothing.

Tim Zank on November 12, 2008 at 10:13 AM

“I heard about some of those issues,” Warner told the student newspaper. “It happens more than you realize it. I didn’t make any character judgments.”

Of course he doesn’t make character judgements, he simply doesn’t know what character is. Makes you wonder who his hero was when he was growing up. Do feel sorry for the person who marries this loser, infidelity is built right into a relationship with him. Oh-well, he’s in college. Probable has lots of friends with benefits.

P.S. Hey college student, you don’t need an extra “it” in the second sentence.

Tommy_G on November 12, 2008 at 10:16 AM

John Edwards = Gary Hart, except without the gravitas

indythinker on November 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM

EGads!!! Cannot believe it…… yes, he must want a job with The One.

sheebe on November 12, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I think the fact that his wife was dying of cancer while he was cheating on her is what makes his comeback impossible. Americans are forgiving of garden-variety adultery, but cheating on a dying wife is beyond the pale.

Illinidiva on November 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Gary Hart had better taste in floozies.

Mr. Joe on November 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM

I doubt that rehabilitation is in the cards for Edwards. He failed at two attempts to run for President even without the Rielle Hunter scandal dogging him. His greatest accomplishment has been to avoid committee meetings and to run against what little record he compiled in his single term in political office. Other than the freak-show vibe coming from his public appearance in Bloomington last night, no one really cares about Edwards. You can’t rehabilitate apathy.

Given the focus of this site, it is an understandable omission but what you really ask is if John Edwards can POLITICALLY rehabilitate himself.

The answer to that question is irrelevant if Edwards doesn’t deal with the underlying character flaws that brought about his downfall. Sometimes I think we all get too hung up on politics as if Edwards the politician can stage a return to the public stage without ever dealing with Edwards the hypocrite and unfaithful spouse.

highhopes on November 12, 2008 at 10:20 AM

I hope that he gets himself checked out for STDs.

That chick he was dating, and who fathered his child, is some kind of skank.

molonlabe28 on November 12, 2008 at 10:20 AM

on a side note…

The Men’s Hair Grooming Retail Association of America is elated.

kingsjester on November 12, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Edwards makes Obama look experienced

understatement of the day..

DaveC on November 12, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Ah, we still have Edwards to kick around. That’s fantastic!

t.ferg on November 12, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Ed could’ve run this as an update to the cabinet post – after he’s rehabilitated I’m sure Obama will find a use for him.

EnglishMike on November 12, 2008 at 10:23 AM

There was a lot of scuttlebutt in the PUMA world that Edwards’ campaign was actually bankrolled by Obama in order to force Hillary into a third-place finish in Iowa. If so, Obama owes him a hell of a lot.

rockmom on November 12, 2008 at 10:24 AM

Election is over, and the turds float to the top.

Wade on November 12, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Edwards is a lightweight and a moron regardless. He has no real achievements to speak of and is a total phony and a liar. He has no political future, if the Dems are smart. Of course they aren’t.

echosyst on November 12, 2008 at 10:26 AM

John Edwards = Gary Hart, except without the gravitas

indythinker on November 12, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Or a boat named “Monkey Business.”

hoosiermama on November 12, 2008 at 10:26 AM

John, you’re rich. Enjoy your slop and just go away.

robblefarian on November 12, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Stick a fork in him. Yup done. Yawn. Move on.

Chewy the Lab on November 12, 2008 at 10:28 AM

The audacity of hope!

Sowell Disciple on November 12, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Is this assclown still around?

iceman1960 on November 12, 2008 at 10:29 AM

THAT haircut cost $400?

What a fag.

leetpriest on November 12, 2008 at 10:29 AM

Remove Rielle Hunter and the baby from his story. Pretend it never happened. Would he not be the lead candidate for Attorney General? A possible Supreme Court appointment with a filibuster proof Senate? You won’t go far arguing “well, he hasn’t done anything but….” , and when the media gets it’s instructions to white-wash the Rielle Hunter inconvenience, whoa-boy… I have no faith in the sanity of the MSM or the public anymore.

Marcus on November 12, 2008 at 10:33 AM

For a Dim an affair is one of those things you gotta do in order to be eligible for higher office. Sort of a ticket punching experience. No rehab needed here. Only Republican careers are ended by affairs.

sdd on November 12, 2008 at 10:38 AM

I love having John Edwards around. He’s a constant remind of the vacuous, shallow, and substance-free nature of Democrat voters.

Rarely has there been someone of so little substance and experience who gets as much press as this douchebag.

Oh, wait…

Jaibones on November 12, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Puppy dog face.

Bishop on November 12, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Hair style over substance…

kingsjester on November 12, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Edwards can try to rehabilitate his image all he wants, but with Elizabeth suffering from a severe form of cancer, all the scandal stories and the fact he cheated on his cancer-striken wife come roaring back into the public eye if she dies (she could stage a miraculous recovery or she could hold a public news conference and absolve Edwards of not just having an affair but fathering a child out of wedlock, but even the latter would be at least a temporary setback in Silky Pony’s rehab effort).

jon1979 on November 12, 2008 at 10:51 AM

That ain’t rehab, that’s the Lib’s fellatio-as-usual. I hope they all give each other a raging case of the crabs.

Liberty Girl on November 12, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Too bad the National Enquirer didn’t follow Obama around like they did Edwards.

Then again, Edwards is a total POS.

SmallGovtGuy on November 12, 2008 at 10:57 AM

The amazing thing to me is that their egos drive them to think we actually need to know their opinion about anything. They are hooked on the limelight and can’t quit.

Several years ago after a debate here in Phoenix, I saw Jesse Jackson and his entourage at the Phoenix airport. They were sitting at a table in the food court. No one noticed him except me that I could tell. When they were finished eating. He got up and stood out in the main walkway. He had his cell phone out but he kept looking around to see if anyone noticed him. No one did. It was pathetic.

Mr_Magoo on November 12, 2008 at 11:00 AM

What woman?

fogw on November 12, 2008 at 11:06 AM

He is the poster child for the Democrat Party.

He is a selfish narcissist complaining about how damaging the selfish narcissists are and how they must be punished (taxed).

Elizabetty on November 12, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Not a mention of the poopy diaper? I wonder if he drank out of a cup or anything? What trash he is.

bloggless on November 12, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Step one: Edwards will appear in self-mocking ads for Planned Parenthood.

Canadian Infidel on November 12, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Maybe he should wait until Elizabeth allows him back home, before he thinks of making a comeback..

Pam on November 12, 2008 at 11:40 AM

With the kind of policies that will come out of Obama and Energy Czar Al Gore, (here’s Algore’s 5-point, $400B plan – Fedspeak for at least $1.2T) that should be able to bring unemployment up to about 14%.

At that rate, Two Americas is back. And it will all be the fault of those evil rich people moving their businesses off-shore to avoid paying their Fair Share. A prime breeding ground for a rehabilitated Silky. Heck, things might be so bad, The One may need to eventually make Silky AG to go after those rich miscreants.

eeyore on November 12, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Yet another limousine liberal. Do as I say, not as I do.

DJ from MA on November 12, 2008 at 11:55 AM

…but that Hair!

catmman on November 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Both he and Elizabeth need to go away – she was just as complicit in his lying. She admitted she knew of the affair before he announced for president and still she stood in front of cameras and told America what a wonderful husband and father he was. Cancer or no cancer, her lying is more despicable than his philandering, IMO.

PatMac on November 12, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Will be a Supreme. America has a short memory and Barry will put this Flim Flam Man on the bench.

Limerick on November 12, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Great news: The long rehabilitation of John Edwards begins

For what purpose?

drjohn on November 12, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Why did no prominent Republicans simply cite the VP candidacy of this floofter as the ultimate demonstration of hypocrisy, while the Donks and the media were savaging Governor Palin? Sure, it would have been unseemly for Palin herself to do so, but why didn’t someone else step up to the plate and knock that softball out of the park?

The idea that Palin was a drag on the campaign is laughable. On the contrary, she would have been perfectly justified in asking “Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?!”

drunyan8315 on November 12, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Liberals love to claim that they care for the poor.

The problem is that the only people who have EVER benefited from a liberal program, are the liberals that run them.

MarkTheGreat on November 12, 2008 at 1:10 PM

What woman?

fogw on November 12, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Excuse me, y’all, but he did not have sex with that woman, not once!

repeatedly, maybe, but once? No sirreee, bobby!

dmh0667 on November 12, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Putz. Go away.

Badger40 on November 12, 2008 at 2:01 PM

“son of a mill worker”

joey24007 on November 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

I do not believe that Lady McEdwards had an affair with any woman. If it had been the guy who he supposedly had the affair with I would believe it. If the lady had his baby I will always argue that it was not thru sex that it was concieved. John Lady McEdwards is a walking talking metro sexual fag.

Irvin88 on November 12, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Just what this country needs: another ethically-challenged politician to be in a position to tell the rest of us how to live.

How do they look themselves in the mirror and not scream, “hypocrite!”??

redfoxbluestate on November 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM