John Edwards’ Bad Hair Year.

"D'oh!"

"D'OH!"

You won’t find too many liberals on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” list, but the sleazy misadventures of John “Baby Daddy “Edwards makes him a strong contender for the list.    Edwards admitted to being the father of his jump off’s baby, his wife Elizabeth separated from him and a new book by a really disgruntled aide, rips him a new hole as a totally unprincipled horndog. 

The only person to have a worst week that Edwards was…scratch that….NOBODY had a worse week.  

Regardless of political affiliation, every American owes a debt of gratitude to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for knocking Edwards out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.   One can only shudder in horror at how big of a debacle it could have been had Edwards had slimed his way into the standard-bearer for the Democrats and the revelations of his affair and later impregnation of Rielle Hunter come out during the general election. 

Let’s put it this way.  We’d be talking about President McCain’s first State of the Union speech and the permanent Republican majority Karl Rove liked to fantasize about, okay?  

The New York Daily News has a timeline of how everything went sideways for Edwards.  

It’s easy to forget now, but for a time in 2007 Edwards looked like the go-to guy for the Democrats.  Obama was still a relative newcomer, mired far behind Clinton and Edwards in the polls without so much as a pulse in Iowa.   Hillary was both well-known and deeply unpopular with many voters who were wary of the prospect of a Clinton sequel.   Edwards was the only one in the race talking the sort of populist, progressive rhetoric that makes Democratic hearts flutter.  

The man in the middle saved the Democrats from a debacle.

He also had hair like John Kennedy, a nice family and a smart wife bravely battling an untreatable cancer.  What was there not to like about John Edwards? 

Plenty if one is to believe the stories Edwards staffer Andrew Young tells in The Politician.   Young details a series of elaborate ruses and schemes Edwards employed to keep his two-year affair with Hunter going while deceiving his wife.   It’s interesting to note that following the National Enquirer outing the Edwards affair, Young says both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton placed s calls to Elizabeth Edwards to express their sympathy.   Bill Clinton also called John Edwards but to ask, “How’d you get caught?”  

The really sad thing about the whole sorry mess is there are no truly good guys in the whole mess.  Only bad guys (John Edwards, Rielle Hunter) and somewhat tarnished good guys (Elizabeth Edwards supposedly knew of her husband’s infidelity yet continued to stand by her man throughout the 2008 presidential campaign).  

To give credit where it’s due, conservatives had tweaked Edwards for his preening vanity as evidenced by the $400 haircuts and his hollow pretense of populist politician while chilling in a 30,000 square foot mansion.   They derided him as a slick attorney who had enriched himself by suing doctors and hospitals. 

Had Edwards been able to win the nomination he might have put his midnight booty calls to Hunter on hold and placated her with the prospect of moving his mistress into the Lincoln Bedroom at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  More than likely, some operative in the McCain campaign or the Republican National Committee would have looked for the fire behind the smoke of allegations of Edwards’ extra-marital affairs.   

How would the electorate respond to a presidential candidate not only cheating on a wife dealing with a second bout of cancer, but fathering a child with his bimbo mistress?   Probably not at all well to a scandal that would make Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky look like a tacky one night stand in Las Vegas.

Young claims to have in his possession a sex tape of Hunter and Edwards.   Hunter is demanding its return.  Stay tuned for it’s availablilty as a digital download or streaming live on the net at some point.   If that wasn’t enough humiliation for Edwards, a grand jury is investigating whether he funnelled campaign funds to Hunter to keep her silence.   Things just keep getting better for John-Boy.  

America loves second acts and redemption stories, so I wouldn’t think it impossible for John Edwards to one day be more than just a punchline for late night comedians.   After two years of one toxic headline after another his problems go beyond a trip to Oprah Winfrey’s couch confessional.  But even if  his presidential aspirations are about as appealing as cold pizza, if he does decide to go for it again,  Tiger Woods would be a perfect running mate for Edwards   At least they’d have fun swapping whore—errr…war stories.  

A possible slogan for the "Edwards in 2012" campaign.

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