PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
No Comeback in the Cards for Edwards
by Patty Briguglio on 06/18/2012
Can John Edwards make a comeback? In a word, no. Stick a fork in him—he is done.
Do I think he cannot come back because he was guilty of breaking laws? Again, no. My opinion is that he did not do anything illegal. In his own words, he did “an awful, awful lot that was wrong.” But as morally wrong as it all was, nothing he did really violated federal law.
Keeping an affair hidden from his wife was wrong, but you can understand his reasons. His behavior was indefensible, but it is understandable. And just because someone is a horrible human being does not mean that he should be prosecuted under federal law.
If he is not guilty of breaking any laws, then why is a comeback impossible? Other politicians and public figures who have made horrendously bad mistakes have managed to recover and recreate themselves. They now have wonderful lives and careers. Why will Edwards fail to follow that model?
The difference is his daughter. It is not her fault, but Edwards’ daughter with Rielle Hunter will always remind the public of her father’s sordid affair and the scandal that followed. When people think of her, they will think of corrupt politicians, cover-ups and a cancer patient abandoned by her husband who happens to be the same man as the little girl’s father. I cannot imagine Edwards hoping to overcome that legacy.
Frankly, their relationship will probably always be a bit sticky. He will be hated if he reunites with her mother, his former mistress, and tries to give her a “normal family life.” However, staying away from Hunter and his daughter is not a solution either, because what kind of father does that? In short, this is a no-win situation for him.
Apparently, Edwards disagrees with my prediction that he cannot come back. As he stated on the courtroom steps, “I don’t think God’s through with me. I really believe he thinks there’s still some good things I can do.” Maybe he is right. Perhaps there is a place for him in pro bono work or even going back to his trial attorney roots.
However, his days as a high-profile politician and policy influencer are over. He can try to figure out the “good things” left for him to do, but really, John Edwards only has one option at this point: forget any hope of a comeback, and fade quietly (please) into the background.
What do you think of Edwards’ chances for a comeback? Feel free to share your comments below.
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