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Posted at 04:08 PM ET, 05/25/2012

John Edwards and the alternate — flirtation with disaster


Look away! Look away! (Alex Wong/ - GETTY IMAGES)

There are some places where I strongly, strongly recommend against trying to Meet Someone.

In the self-help aisles of bookstores. In a police line-up. Speed dating. At STD clinics. On any reality television show dedicated to Meeting Your Soulmate that includes a hot tub.

One that didn’t make the list was At John Edwards’ Corruption Trial, specifically, sitting behind the table as the defendant.

This seemed to go without saying.

Is there any public figure so deeply and uniformly despised as John Edwards?

This is a rhetorical question. The answer is no.

Offered the choice of taking a cross-country road-trip with a human-sized cockroach or the former Kerry vice presidential candidate, most people, after a brief moment of internal struggle, would choose the cockroach. “Maybe we could discuss Kafka,” they would suggest, timidly.

John Edwards is the sort of person that if you found him on the bottom of your shoe, you would hold your nose and scrape him off. He has systematically ticked off every one of the Unforgivable Public Figure Offenses: He cheated on his dying wife. He tried to pass off his child as the work of a staffer — and used, it is suggested, campaign money to do so.

And his life has been duly ruined for it. There is a special circle of public Hell reserved for those who appear so promising and prove so disappointing, and he occupies it, alone. He will do so for the rest of his days, whether he goes to jail or not.

So I hope that ABC News got it wrong, reporting:

“Since the alternates were identified last Thursday, it has been impossible to ignore the dynamic between Edwards and one of the female alternates, an attractive young woman with jet-black hair, who seems to have been flirting with Edwards for days.

The juror clearly instigated the exchanges. She smiles at him.   He smiles at her. She giggles. He blushes.

The flirtation has become so obvious that even Edwards’ attorneys have to work to suppress their laughter at the absurdity of it all.”

This sounds pretty damning, but maybe there was something in her eye. And in her hair. And tickling her. Look, there are no video cameras in the courtroom, so I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Even if The Post’s man in the courtroom, Manuel Roig-Franzia, did say that “One of the alternates, an attractive young woman, has been spotted smiling at Edwards and flipping her hair in what seems to some to be a flirtatious manner.”

Besides, if there were cameras there, this would be just one more video of John Edwards I really have no interest in seeing.

Look, there are some times in your dating life when there is no shame in throwing in the towel and getting a cat. If your only options are, say, the Unabomber, an animatronic snowman, and John Edwards, you are better off without. “You know what?” you say, looking around at your options, “I may be alone, but dang it, I still have my dignity.”

How bad is this poor juror’s dating life? She’s had to sit through all the exhibits! She knows exactly what the deal is. She cannot plead ignorance. “I didn’t realize he was John Edwards. I had no idea that he’d done all those things!” will not fly this time.

I am willing to bet that if you told your mother that you were bringing home a psychopathic robot with a drinking problem, bad teeth and severe intimacy issues, she would beam and welcome him into the fold if the other option were John Edwards.

Seriously, lady. Venture out into the swamps and kiss some actual frogs before you start flirting with John Edwards. At least the frogs might turn into a higher life form.

By  |  04:08 PM ET, 05/25/2012

Tags:  John Edwards

 
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