I Have A Lot Of Things To Be Thankful For

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on January 21, 2010

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One of them is that John Edwards isn’t President:

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has finally come forward to admit that he fathered a child with a videographer he hired before his second White House bid. “It was wrong for me to ever deny she was my daughter,” he said Thursday.

Edwards confirmed this in a statement released to The Associated Press, after initially denying that he’d fathered a child during an affair with campaign aide Rielle Hunter.

“I am Quinn’s father,” the former senator declared in his statement, as the second birthday of Frances Quinn Hunter approaches.

A former Edwards aide, Andrew Young, initially claimed paternity of the child shortly before the 2008 presidential primary contests began. Young is scheduled to release a book on Feb. 2 that details the scandal

Frances was born Feb. 27, 2008, indicating that the child was conceived in the middle of 2007, several months after Hunter stopped working for Edwards. John and Elizabeth Edwards renewed their wedding vows in July of 2007 to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Elizabeth Edwards, whose cancer returned in an incurable form in March 2007, has stood by her husband despite the affair. She has said that it does not matter to her whether her husband fathered a child with Hunter, saying, “that would be a part of John’s life, but not a part of mine.”

Since admitting the affair in August 2008, John Edwards has largely gone into seclusion. He has acknowledged a federal investigation into his campaign finances while both Young and Hunter – with her child – have made appearances at a federal courthouse in Raleigh.

In the statement Edwards released Thursday, he said, “I will do everything in my power to provide her (Frances) with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.”

Edwards also said, “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.”

I disagree with Barack Obama over a lot of things. But Barack Obama would never have put himself in John Edwards’s position. Moreover, even if he had, he never would have taken two years to own up to his responsibilities.

It is shocking that someone as irresolute as Edwards actually sought our vote, and shocking that he was ever taken seriously. I know that the concept of politicians caught in sex scandals is not a new one, but Edwards makes Bill Clinton look positively saintly by comparison. May the ignominy that attaches to him forever remain.

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