The worm turns for John Edwards

by Jim Longworth

Ever since the National Enquirer broke the story that John Edwards had a child with his campaign mistress Rielle Hunter, the senator turned presidential candidate spent the better part of two years denying the affair. Confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, however, Edwards finally came clean (if that’s possible) and admitted a sexual indiscretion, but denied that he fathered baby Quinn. Now, faced with revelations and fallout from an upcoming book by former aide Andrew Young, Edwards last week owned up to being the little girl’s daddy. Young is best remembered as the loyal minion who fell on his sword for Edwards by claiming he, not John, was the father of Hunter’s child. But in his tell-all book, The Politician, Young now says Edwards asked him to take the fall, and even arrange for a fake paternity test.

And so, the worm has turned on a worm of a man, whose own worm got him into big trouble. Meanwhile, Edwards’ long-suffering wife Elizabeth has herself become insufferable. Last year when hubby wanted to move mistress and child to North Carolina, Liz freaked out. She embarked on a pity-party tour, and aired all of her family’s dirty laundry in public. At first we felt sorry for her, but her scorned wife act grew tiresome, and her true colors began to show. Appearing on “Oprah,” Elizabeth repeatedly referred to Hunter’s baby as

“it.” Now baby “it” is officially an Edwards, and Liz has just shut down her Facebook page, announcing, “My marriage shouldn’t be on anybody’s radar screen except mine.” Sorry Liz, but that train left the station when you paraded your family and your marital problems in front of the whole nation.

Rumors are circulating that John and Elizabeth are splitting, but that might be the least of little John’s problems. Federal prosecutors here in North Carolina are still probing Edwards’ campaign finances, looking in particular at the $100,000 he paid to Hunter for supposed video production. And then there are the regular monthly checks for $17,000 that Hunter received via Edwards’s attorney.

If any of these expenditures were made improperly, Edwards will spend time behind bars.

For now the artful dodger has escaped to Haiti in what’s Katie Drummond calls a “fortuitously timed humanitarian effort.” It seems ironic, though, that the guy who has created so many man-made disasters now offers his assistance with a natural one. Maybe his act will play well in Haiti, but I’m not buying his motives for one minute. The trip to Port-au-Prince is just his way of escaping the kitchen because he couldn’t stand the heat. And if ever there was a man who needed to stay out of heat it’s John Edwards. Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).