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John Edwards Tiptoes Back Into Public Eye

POSTED: 11:32 AM ET, 11/12/2008 by Derek Kravitz


John Edwards (By Michael Conroy / AP)

Three months after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal involving a campaign worker, former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat and one-time presidential candidate, is coming out of hiding.

He showed up last night at Indiana University, where he was paid $35,000 to make a speech entitled "The Land of Opportunity," according to the Indiana Daily Student. Edwards focused on Barack Obama's presidential victory last week.

"The result of last Tuesday was not an accident," said Edwards, speaking of president-elect Obama. "Americans want change and they wanted something different."

The former vice-presidential pick made no mention of his affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter while his wife, Elizabeth, was in remission after a bout of breast cancer. The National Enquirer broke the story and Edwards later went public with the transgression, telling ABC News that he made "a serious error in judgment." However, he denied being in love with Hunter or fathering her child.

After the affair became public, Edwards canceled a planned appearance with his wife at Salem State College in Massachusetts, as well as speeches at Hofstra University and the University of Illinois. And he was noticeably absent from the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August.

Last night's speech will be followed by a public appearance today in San Francisco and a planned debate with former Bush strategist Karl Rove at the Commerical Finance Association's annual convention.

Observers say Edwards is trying to slowly ease himself back into the political landscape.

"He needs to figure out what the Democratic Party needs post-Obama election and step back and think, 'Well, what can I bring to the table?' " James Spellman, a professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, told CNN. "It can't be all about him and his resurrection."

By Derek Kravitz |  November 12, 2008; 11:32 AM ET
Previous: Obama's Transition, Interrogation Battle, Cyberthieves Mine Corporate Data | Next: Foley Speaks Out, Apologizes for Page Scandal

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I think the Democratic party does not need him. There are enough decent people available without someone who would cheat on a wife with cancer.

Posted by: silverspring25 | November 12, 2008 12:04 PM

Hmmm... all those rumors about his wife not wearing her wedding band and had thrown him to the curb are just that - rumors. The guy is still wearing his.

I think Elizabeth is strong enough to control the situation. Who knows, she may outlive her husband!

Posted by: candida1 | November 12, 2008 12:12 PM

Just when you thought it was SAFE to read the news again, John Edwards emerges from the slime. Perhaps he can road show with Eliot Spitzer, Gary Condit, Gary Hart, Larry Craig, and the rest of the public servantocracy who are more concerned with sexual conquest than they are with acting like adults.

Acting.

Thanks much. HLB

Posted by: HLBeckPE | November 12, 2008 12:23 PM

The title of this article SHOULD be, "John Edwards SLITHERS Back Into Public Eye."

Who cares about this sleazey "never was?"

Posted by: MamaBama | November 12, 2008 12:43 PM

This puritanical national obsession with the romantic lives of our leaders is so incredibly silly. Frankly, I'm more interested in his health plan than whom he has slept with.

There is no reason why this smart, capable man should not participate in the Democratic Party. Same goes for Eliot Spitzer. We have all made mistakes in our personal lives; politicians, like us, our just human.

Posted by: Zigan1 | November 12, 2008 12:58 PM

The discomforting thing about this story is the fact that Indiana University would pay $35,000 as a speaker fee to someone who adds very little in the way of relevance, expertise, prestige, or academic enlightenment. Are these public funds??

Posted by: hilary1 | November 12, 2008 1:47 PM

Can't we just ignore him? Maybe he will go away.

Posted by: randomsandythoughts | November 12, 2008 1:56 PM

The Edwards' personal travails are none of my business, and I am not interested. I am interested in creative ideas that could be helpful to the US and the world.
All the folks who are judging Edwards for his affair might do well to look in the mirror. Are you above reproach?

Posted by: mtnmanvt | November 12, 2008 2:13 PM

P.S. I have noticed that in the US people are quicker to judge a politician for his or her extramarital activities than they are to judge them for presiding over torture, murder, deception and theft. Americans tend to be more concerned with their pocketbooks than with the death and destruction their tax dollars create here at home and around the world. What kind of values do these people have??

Posted by: mtnmanvt | November 12, 2008 2:16 PM

For me, as imperfect as I am, Edwards has joined a long list of politicians that I believe are hypocrites at best, and outright dishonest crooks at worst.

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 12, 2008 4:13 PM

why would Indiana U pay $35,000 for this sleazy character, they should be ashamed, and who came to listen to him? I hope Elizabeth goes for a divorce

Posted by: carol217 | November 12, 2008 4:52 PM

The good news, I suppose, was that the Indiana University Union Board (or Students ... can't remember who brought him) was originally going to pay him at least twice as much.

The bad news is that he was still paid as much as I make in a year working there. Not bad for an hours work.

Posted by: yepthat2 | November 13, 2008 11:56 AM

All those calling us puritanicals...shove it. Why cant we just call a guy for what he is ...a sleazeball. There are hundreds of people who have good health care plans, and I dont have to listen to someone waxing eloquent about poverty after milking a public university $35k. he should be grateful they called.
Geez, when has calling a spade a spade become "puritanical"? At this rate, we shouldnt be judging anyone including pedophiles. After all, dont we all make "mistakes"?

Posted by: shoana1 | November 13, 2008 12:18 PM

Well, John Edwards has gone down to New Orleans, already, several times and rolled up his sleeves and helped out. I believe, now, it is time for others like Paulson, and his friends on Wall Street, to whom he is giving billions of U.S. taxpayers' money, to go down and help out.
They can all fly over and float down using their "golden parachutes". Also the AIG Insurance company,the US Auto Executives, and all of the other "secret people" getting the US government bailout should join John Edwards in New Orleans. Go to this url address and see John Edwards helping out in New Orleans:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DaofQCkbA8

Posted by: Cherubim | November 17, 2008 10:05 AM

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