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Opening Arguments

Free, but still slimy

Even those of us who shudder at the thought of how close John Edwards got to the White House can admire him a little for his straightforward nonflinching self-assessment that almost amounted to an apology:

Edwards said he did not believe he did anything "illegal" but acknowledged the affair he conducted while his wife, Elizabeth, was dying of cancer was "awful" and "wrong."

"No one else is responsible for my sins," he said. "I am responsible.

"If I want to find the person responsible for my sins, I don't have to go further than a mirror," he added. "It was me and me alone."

Translation: I'm still a slimebucket, and I know I'm a slimebucket. He did dull the luster a bit with his silly recycled Jesse Jacson puffery -- "I don't think God is through with me." That sounds delusional -- God may not be through with him,  but everybody else is -- but who knows? These days, almost anybody's public image can be rehabilitated.

Maybe Edwards wasn't being contrite but was merely stating his lawyerly conclusion (and quite accurately assessing the situation): What he did was awful but probably not illegal. As confusing and ambiguous as the evidence was, it's still surprising the prosecutors thought they could make a case. How 'bout those campaign finance laws, huh?


Fri, 06/01/2012 - 2:15pm

If I may be indulged a bit of immodesty, I believe one of us predicted this. I don't think it was Zank.

I hope that Edwards's statement was not meant to imply that he will return to politics. Given his courtroom skills, perhaps he was thinking of providing legal aid for the poor. At least I hope that's it.