Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

John Edwards Admits Affair

The truth comes out:

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extra-marital affair with a novice film-maker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.


Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test. Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.


According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience. Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa. Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.

So he denies being the father based on the timing of the affair. Even if that’s true–and frankly, it’s besides the point–his political career is finished. People who have affairs while their wives are dealing with Cancer are unlikely to be forgiven by the public.

In the context of his presidential run: Given that it was unlikely that this story wasn’t eventually going to see the light of day, you have to wonder why he decided to run for president in the first place since the affair was uncovered by his family in 2006. He didn’t declare his candidacy until December 28th of 2006, well after the time of this affair (I doubt it happened between the 28th and the 31st). That to me is the most perplexing part of this sordid story. In any case, a very sorry situation for all involved.

As to how this could affect Senator Obama, I don’t see how it does in any way. Edwards is not the VP nominee, and he isn’t going to speak at the convention. His endorsement of Obama in Michigan, while nice at the time, has been mostly forgotten. So this will be fodder for the cable talking-heads (conveniently timed as Obama will be on vacation for the next week, giving them something to chatter about), but not much else.


August 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. This is really all that should be said about this. It is a news item, and all sorts of hypotheticals could be bandied around about what would have happened if he was the nominee. But the truth is he’s not the nominee, he’s not running for anything, and he’s not an elected official currently holding office. So while this will be something the tabloid pundits run with, I don’t think it’s something we need to focus much time on.

    Comment by smashartist | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. Very sad. 😦

    Poor Elizabeth…

    Comment by jenontheshore | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Agreed smashartist. This is all I’ll have to say on the subject. Frankly, there isn’t much else to add.

    Comment by turneresq | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. All we can say is thank God Edwards is not the nominee! Smashartist is right that this is of no consequence to us as things stand now. Edwards is out of office and not running for another.

    But there is one more real life consequence in the future: Edwards can forget about becoming the next Attorney General. And that’s too bad because he’d be a good one. But it’s as political an appointment as any, and Edwards can’t survive public scrutiny now.

    Comment by DCCyclone | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. Turner, well said all around, but your portion about his running for president knowing this baggage was out there is the key section.

    I’m sorry to say this, but because of that one fact I’ve essentially lost whatever respect I might have had for Edwards.

    Not because of his personal life, I don’t care about that. But knowing how critical it is that a Democrat win the White House this year, putting your personal ambition first with this type of story hanging out there is unacceptable.

    And with that, I’m done.

    Comment by dansac | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. More to the point, Republicans are much more adept at making any personal mistakes by Democrats sting much greater. They’re just more comfortable with their hipocricy.

    What bothers me is that The National Enquirer broke this story. Ugh.

    At least, Obama’s on vacation. Great timing, I’d say!

    Comment by Suzie Q | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. I don’t think he told Elizabeth about this in 2006.

    Comment by slinkerwink | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  8. Huffington Post has an article on Why is Edwards Affair Different Than McCains? After all John McCain slep around with several women during his marriage and finally Cindy, who he married right after his divorce was final.

    Remember McCain’s first wife waited for him and raised 3 kids while John was in the Hanoi Hilton and had a bad car accident and didn’t even tell John because she didn’t want to have him worry. JOHN McCAIN IS THE BIGGER SCUMBAG. I THINK WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THE STORY IS TOLD WIDELY ON THE WEB AND HAVE ONE OF THE 527’S MAKE AN AD FOR TV. I’d sure contribute to that effort. John McCain gets away with faking integrity of which he has none.

    Comment by SharonAustinTX | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  9. What I find disturbing is that both John and Elizabeth had to have decided that he should go ahead with the campaign. Did they both think this wouldn’t get out? I keep wanting to keep Elizabeth out of any involvement in the decision making, but she had to be a part of the decision.

    Comment by Michael | August 10, 2008 | Reply

  10. Michael: Yeah, since she stated that John told her in 2006 (presumably before he announced, since said announcement was on December 28th), that leaves only two options:

    1) She knew about the affair, they discussed it, and decided to go forward.

    2) She didn’t know before the presidential announcement and is now covering.

    Comment by turneresq | August 10, 2008 | Reply

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