Telling the Truth Slowly

9 August 2008
Statement of Senator John Edwards By John Reid Edwards

I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established.

All right, now:

  • If Edwards is not the father and ended the affair in 2006, then why did he surreptitiously visit Ms Hunter subsequently?
  • If Edwards is not the father, then why did he feel the need to publicly admit to the affair, since his supporters and the mainstream media would have taken a negative paternity test for him (or a positive test for Mr Young) as pulling the rug from under the more general claim of an affair?
I think that Edwards is telling the truth slowly, which is to say that he has planned to admit to the affair and to paternity, but is now deliberately doing so in stages. I don't know how coherently he had previously thought about what he would do, but my guess is that at various times he has told himself that the affair and paternity could be indefinitely concealed, that they could be revealed after his wife dies, or that they could be revealed after he'd achieved greater acclaim in the office of President, of Vice President, or of Attorney General.

Meanwhile, spare a tear for Chet Edwards; his chances of being chosen as running-mate have been gravely injured simply because Obama will understand that there are a fair number of people who would confuse Chet Edwards with the guy who had that affair. (Obama would have been foolish to choose Chet Edwards in any case, but he might have been foolish.)

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