With the news today that John Edwards was acquitted on one count and the jury remaining hung on the remaining counts, the focus shifts on Edwards and where his now-tattered career is heading.
I can admit this, at the age of 16-17, I supported John Edwards 2008 campaign. I believed his words on the importance of poverty and the raising of the minimum wage to combat the rising cost of basic necessities. I bought (and want to believe still) his compassion on those who continue to be unheard.
So the sting of the last few years as Edwards personal and political life crumbled still burns strong. But it would be quite selfish of me to act like this case affects me in any way. I am not related to Mr. Edwards nor have any positive inklings toward him anymore. For all it’s worth, I found his existence from 2006 to 2011 to be disgusting, narcissistic, arrogant & condescending.
But it seems there is one thing that John Edwards is not and that’s politically corrupt.
Now what happens to John Edwards? Politicians have survived extramarital affairs (Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, David Vitter) and corruption acquittals (Edwin Edwards) but a combination of both? I’m not one to toss guarantees around, but there is no plausible way John Edwards ever sees public office again. No one is going to want his endorsement and no one will want to be on the same stage as him.
What about TV? Elliot Spitzer has had two shows since his sex scandal took him out of office so there is a template. Edwards does have a face for TV and certainly a big enough name to avoid something like The Celebrity Apprentice. However, it’s going to have to take a really struggling network, that’s going to be around in 5 years or so when the taste out of our mouths of this episode.
Edwards first step is obvious. He has to be a father to his children from Cate to Quinn. He has to be there for his children who otherwise had to live with the shame of being his child and also the fear of their father going to jail. If Edwards wants to at least be at peace with himself, this is the first logical step.
But Edwards needs to make a living. I’m sure we’ll see him floating around as a speaker from time-to-time. Edwards can talk and ask for forgiveness by the public as he talks about his discretions. I’m sure a book will be involved too.
However, if Edwards wants to do something good. Pure good and not for his own gain? He’ll go down to areas like the Mississippi Delta or Camden, New Jersey or even the Native American Reservations in South Dakota and help people who need help. He has money on him, I assume and he’ll have some resources to his name as well. His message of “Two Americas” should stay the same and he should focus on these people.
John Edwards doesn’t need to run for office to do some good. He should not be forgiven as well because I consider him a political and personal pariah. But he can still do a lot of good for people. He’s ruined his life, career & image so why not do some good for others as opposed to yourself?