What a fall it's been for the former Democratic wonderboy, whose preternaturally good looks and heartfelt anti-poverty message catapulted him from a one-term North Carolina senator to the party's vice-presidential candidate in 2004 and then a top-tier presidential candidate in 2008. And then, like many famous men, he was brought down by his penis and its wayward interests. As the whole world now knows, during his 2008 presidential campaign, Edwards had an affair with videographer and Overboard floozy Rielle Hunter. He fathered her baby. Due to the work of the National Enquirer, he was exposed as a liar, a cheater, a fraud, and a terrible husband to a cancer-stricken wife. And today, it's expected that, after a two-year federal investigation, Edwards will face charges for campaign-finance violations related to the affair.
Those officials have approved criminal charges; they decided that the hundreds of thousands of dollars that two Edwards donors gave to help keep his mistress in hiding were contributions that should have been reported publicly by his campaign fund because they aided his bid for the Democratic White House nomination. Edwards' lawyers have argued that the funds were gifts from old friends intended to keep the affair a secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who died of cancer in December.
A plea to a felony charge involving campaign finances could strip Edwards of his law license and end any hope he could work as an attorney for the poor. And a trial would mean more sordid stories about his campaign affair and the child he fathered during it, further battering his reputation.
Let this be a lesson to all would-be philanderers: Always do the right thing and report your hush money.
Updated: As expected, Edwards was indicted by a grand jury today on six counts, "including conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements."