“If I were John Edwards, I’d try to concentrate all the bad news at once,” says Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Kellogg School of management. “Get it out of the way. And then focus on replacing it with good news.” When Tiger Woods starts to play good golf, his transgressions will fade from memory. Unlike Woods, however, Edwards doesn’t have any public venues he can easily hop back into.

Politics is out. Dancing with The Stars only takes politicians, like Tom DeLay, that are mildly loathed. He probably can’t even do a book. “I would not be at all interested in him or his story,” says one publisher who has had success with celebrity memoirs. “I can’t imagine — and I have a good imagination — what he could possibly write about that people would pay money for or that would be credible.”