2008-08-09 16:49:23 UTC
August 9, 2008
by Ed Morrissey
How badly did John Edwards blow his confession last night on ABC? He
managed to infuriate the family of his paramour, Rielle Hunter, into
challenging Edwards to a paternity test:
In the first reaction from Hunters family, her younger sister
Melissa told ABC News that Edwards should immediately follow through on
his pledge to take a paternity test.
I would challenge him to do so, the sister said. Somebody must
stand up and defend my sister, she said. I wish that those involved
would refrain from bad-mouthing my sister.
In his interview with ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff
acknowledging the affair, Edwards said he knew the child was not his
because of the timing of the pregnancy and the affair.
Edwards attempt to salvage some shred of his personal reputation at the
expense of Rielle Hunter has caused this blowback. Lets consider
Melissas wrath for a moment. It springs from the notion that Edwards
and Hunter didnt have anything more than a physical affair and that
Rielle slept with his campaign manager at nearly the same time which
certainly paints Hunter as something less than a virtuous woman.
Now, why would Hunters sister publicly challenge Edwards to take that
paternity test? It certainly isnt to encourage him to clear his name,
as the rest of the article makes Melissas hostility plain. Melissa
apparently has some knowledge of her nieces paternity. This strongly
indicates that Edwards indeed fathered the child, and that Edwards is
Why would he do that? If Edwards fathered the child, it means that the
affair continued into May 2007, rather than ending in 2006 as Edwards
claims. Edwards and his campaign announced the recurrence of his wifes
cancer months before May 2007, which means Edwards continued his affair
with Rielle while his wife was seriously ill.
All Edwards had to do was either admit to the whole thing at once, or
treat Rielle Hunter as something better than a frat-house groupie in his
confession. Unfortunately, once again he proved himself so
self-absorbed that he couldnt see the honest way out.