As the world is now aware, former North Carolina senator, vice presidential nominee and two-time Presidential candidate John Edwards was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on six counts of conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements.
Edwards pleaded not guilty in federal court in North Carolina to charges that he spent more than $925,000 to hide his mistress, Rielle Hunter and their love child from the public during his 2008 White House campaign. Edward’s wife Elizabeth died of cancer in 2010.
One could obviously argue that John Edwards brand was already “dead” so why bother with this “buster alert?” His wiggly, wormy, worthless post-court press conference sealed the deal. Sure, he tried to win brownie points for admitting (finally) that he caused pain to his family by stepping out while his loyal wife battled cancer. It is a buster because every word he uttered was parsed and as usual disingenuous. What a sad, last-ditch effort to convince us he didn’t play fast-and-loose with campaign contributions. Just reminds you how so many voters were fooled.
The indictment not only makes you want to take a shower, it makes you remember all over again how relatively close Edwards came to the White House. It isn’t just that he’s a slime ball. Affairs in politics are hardly a news flash. That a candidate is able to conceal the behaviour from so many, for so long, is scary.
Here’s why it’s interesting — the press has faltered in vetting certain candidates. Whether they are blinded by charisma, short on resources to do real investigative reporting, or inclined to look the other way due to political leanings, the result is the same. You can’t tell me that SOMEBODY on that campaign bus didn’t see John and Rielle holding hands.
Prediction: A lot of network airtime will be spent debating whether Edwards will beat the system. To me the law seems clear. You cannot direct campaign funds for your own benefit, period. It’s one or the other- either the check was made out to HIM, in which case he owes taxes, which as a savvy trial lawyer he would certainly know; or that check was made out to his CAMPAIGN, in which case he is not only a liar and a hustler but a soon-to-be-convicted jail-house criminal. Ironic, isn’t it, that a guy who made a fortune in the legal system is ensnared by his own machine?
There are few times I would ever argue a brand is dead, dead, dead, forever but this one is. No talk show for you. Even in America, where the comeback story rules; where stupid, idiotic people find redemption; there’s no return from this conviction in the court of public opinion
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