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Rehabilitating John Edwards
Can the former presidential candidate revive his political career after confessing to an extramarital affair?
J

ohn Edwards is tip-toeing back into the spotlight, said Andrew Malcolm in the Los Angeles Times online. He spent months in seclusion after admitting to an extramarital affair during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination, but an appearance at Indiana University this week is probably the start of a "public relations rehab." Sex scandals have ended plenty of political careers, but maybe these personal betrayals have become routine enough that America will take him back.

"I doubt that rehabilitation is in the cards for Edwards," said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. "He failed at two attempts to run for president without the Rielle Hunter scandal dogging him." Besides, he's "a raging hypocrite" for running on his wife's illness while cheating on her, and other than a single term in the Senate, his only experience is as an ambulance chaser.

There are two reasons Edwards' comeback won't pan out, said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly online. First, he doesn't have as much of a political career to fall back on as, say, Bill Clinton, or Gary Hart, or Rudy Giuliani. And, second, "everyone loves Elizabeth Edwards, and Elizabeth Edwards has cancer."

Edwards would indeed be done for, said Robert Stein in the blog Connecting the Dots, via The Moderate Voice, if the "concept of shame" had not already disappeared completely from politics. But if Karl Rove can be instantly reincarnated from "Bush's smear-master" to political pundit, John Edwards can recover from his "weasel-worded admission of adultery."

Democrats might take Edwards back, said Mary Katherine Ham in The Weekly Standard online, it they needed him. After all, they were angry at him for endangering their electoral prospects, not for cheating. But they have no need for a "sullied Southerner" to win the Bubba vote in the Age of Obama.

 

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