Is John Edwards finished?

The former Democratic presidential hopeful confesses to an affair he long denied.

“Thank heaven for small favors,” said Pejman Yousefzadeh in the blog RedState. The nation can finally see that John Edwards is not the moral leader he claimed to be now that the former Democratic presidential hopeful has confessed to an extramarital affair he repeatedly denied. Now at least we know we'll never have to listen to the preaching of a vice president, attorney general, or president John Edwards. He's finished.

Tell that to Edwards, said USA Today in an editorial. Yes, he admitted to a dalliance with a former campaign worker after calling National Enquirer reports on the scandal as “tabloid trash.” But his litany of excuses, including the line about how his transgression occurred while his wife Elizabeth’s incurable cancer was in remission, makes it clear that this former trial lawyer “believes he can dissemble his way out of this, à la Bill Clinton.”

If Edwards has a chance for political survival, said Michael Crowley in The New Republic’s The Stump blog, Elizabeth is the key. She adamanently supported his bid for his party’s presidential nomination even though he confessed to her in 2006. If she can forgive, maybe the nation can.

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Give Edwards some credit, said Jeffrey Weiss in The Dallas Morning News' Religion blog. At least he's telling the truth now, and he didn't wait for the publicity to catch up to him before telling his wife. More importantly, unlike other politicians who have been caught cheating, he didn't compound her suffering by asking her to sit by his side while the TV cameras rolled.

Politicians can survive sex scandals, said Gail Collins in The New York Times. “If Edwards’s political career is toast, it will be because he has always seemed to be less than a sum of his parts: the position papers, the 'Two Americas,' the photogenic grin, the supersmart wife. The only piece of the package that consistently disappointed was the man himself.”

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