Feature

Is John Edwards 'exploiting' Haiti?

After admitting he fathered a love-child, Edwards has jetted off (with a camera crew) to volunteer in Haiti. Are his motives pure?

Just hours after confessing that he'd fathered a child with his former mistress and campaign staffer Rielle Hunter, one-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards flew down to Haiti to assist with relief efforts. Reportedly, Edwards informed the White House of his intentions, but received no response. Is Edwards "exploiting" the Haiti disaster to rehabilitate his shattered reputation?

This looks like a cynical ploy: It's fitting that Edwards is in Haiti, considering the country's "in roughly the same shape" as his marriage, says John Tabin at American Spectator. "Helping on the ground in Haiti" is clearly "commendable," and I was initially ready to believe he's "genuinely seeking redemption." But considering that Edwards brought "a camera crew" with him, "it's just really, really hard to take him seriously.""Edwards in Haiti?"

Don't discount Edward's long history of helping poor people: Say what you will about John Edwards, says liberal blogger Jeralyn in Talk Left, but "given his trips to El Salvador to build houses last year," nobody should be surprised that he's "now in Haiti helping with relief efforts." And, in any case, you have to "give him credit for trying to redeem himself." "John Edwards admits paternity, heads to Haiti"

Edwards may be effective...when it comes to image rehab: "I would love to believe" that John Edwards "is a decent guy who just got caught up in bad behavior," says Lisa Derrick at Firedoglake. But after lying "for such a long time" about his affair, "it feels like" Edwards is just "showboating his guilty conscience" by going to Haiti. Then again, "America loves nothing more than a redemption.""After morning mea culpa, John Edwards heads for Haiti"

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SEE ALSO FROM "THE WEEK":

John Edwards’ sex tape rumor
John Edwards' confession: Why now?John Edwards: 'The most unpopular person' ever?
Video: John Edwards admits baby is his

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