Is God through with John Edwards?
Edwards thinks not. “I don’t think God’s through with me,” he said on the courthouse steps after being acquitted one one count in his trial for breaking campaign finance laws. (A mistrial was declared on five other counts.) “I think he thinks there are still things I can do.”
Edwards, spoke in biblical terms as he stood next to his daughter Kate who he said had been with him every day of the trial. “If I want to find a person to blame for my sins all I have to do is look in the mirror. “
We have all been riveted by the shocking and scandalous revelations each week during this trial. The most shocking of all has how sleazy Edwards was throughout much of his political career. The slimiest details have been revealed for all the world to see.
“I did an awful awful lot that was wrong. There is no one else responsible for my sins,” he announced after the jurors were dismissed. Indeed.
What seems to have been overlooked is that there were two trials going on: One about campaign laws; the other about his private life.
I don’t believe there ever should have been a trial. With billionaires today filling the campaign coffers of Super PACs and the creation of fundraising organizations like Citizens United, it is ludicrous to take Edwards to trial for taking a comparative pittance from friends to hide an affair.
This said, he was found guilty and convicted and sentenced spiritually by many who followed his trial. He seems to understand this. He knows he’s going to have to live in his own private Hell from now on.
“I want to devote my life to being the best father I can,” he said, and teared up when speaking of his children, particularly the youngest three, including Quinn, his daughter by his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Can he redeem himself? Television pundits and late-night talk-show hosts have been wisecracking about his plans now that he’s a free man and skeptics assume he will once again try to run for public office.
In fact, one religious group is holding a “White House Vigil of Hope for John Edwards family,” Monday at Lafeyette Park, across from the White House. A press release from the group calls him, “a spiritual role model for (President) Obama and (Governor Mitt) Romney.”
It goes on: “With prayer and God’s help, John Edwards could be a presidential candidate in 2016. Remember when man says no, God says yes. All Edwards needs is faith the size of a mustard seed.”
Calling Bob Shrum!
It can happen.
We have only to look at the post prison career of Chuck Colson, Richard Nixon’s “hatchet man.” Colson was born-again after having been imprisoned for 7 months for obstruction of justice during Watergate and devoted the rest of his life to helping prison inmates. He became an evangelical leader and spokesman, writing books and hosting a radio show. Members of the clergy who worked closely with him say that he was the real deal. And you have to have something driving you to do what he did.
Or take Michael Deaver, who fell from grace after having been Ronald Reagan’s closest adviser and one of the most powerful and feared men in Washington. Convicted on three counts of perjury, Deaver got three years probation, a $100,000 fine and 1,500 hours of public service. A recovering alcoholic, he devoted his life to mentoring and sponsoring alcoholics.
As for Edwards, this trial is over and he can devote himself to his three small children, particularly the two born by his late wife, Elizabeth. And he can reconnect with poor Kate who stood by his side every day, listening to the horror that was his relationship with her dead mother, once fleeing from the courtroom in tears.
He talked after the trial about how he wants to save the children of the world. That would be a fabulous. John Edwards should spend his life helping children. He has a lot of energy and vision and could turn his considerable talents to doing good.
I think that’s the only way he can redeem himself.
The idea that he may reenter politics is obscene. Even if he could raise the money and even if he could get supporters and voters (consultants would not be a problem in this town), the additional pain it would cause his already damaged children would be inconceivable. Think of the continuing horrible publicity and the time spent away from his family. If he really cares about them, as he says, he’ll keep his word.
If there is a God, and if he is not through with John Edwards, that’s what he’ll have him do.
Sally Quinn | Jun 2, 2012 11:44 AM