We don’t want to make it seem as if we’re piling on someone when he’s down, but frankly, we always thought John Edwards was a bit sleazy -- and we’ve said that before. Even prior to revelations about his affair and child with videographer Rielle Hunter, Edwards always seemed just a little too slick, a tad too holier-than-thou. He was, to sum it up in a word, smarmy.
Edwards now faces an indictment for funneling campaign contributions to Hunter in an attempt to keep his affair secret while he was running for president back in 2008. News reports indicate that he and federal prosecutors were close to a plea agreement and the feds were willing to drop a felony charge in return for a misdemeanor violation, but Edwards balked at serving any prison time at all. Negotiations broke down, and an indictment was issued.
Though most legal analysts believe prosecutors don’t have a slam-dunk case, recent revelations of emails between Edwards and a staffer don’t paint a pretty picture. In them, Edwards discussed his culpability in the entire affair and considered going public with it. But that never happened, and he continues to deny he did anything illegal. Through the entire mess, of course, Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer -- she has since died -- and that hardly helps his stature with the public.
Edwards, who became rich as a plaintiff’s attorney and a very good one, always pictured himself as an underdog fighting for the common man. He tried to place a patina of righteousness on himself. As the truth has come out, that patina has indeed become tarnished, and not in a attractive way.