He's in the dumpster, more or less, with quite a few other famous names.
We often throw out our heroes after we've put them high above us on pedestals, because of who they are, what they did, said, or accomplished.
John Edwards, before and after running for vice president with Senator John Kerry, has created and supported many important projects that helped people socially and economically. He was certainly someone to consider as we were looking over Democratic candidates, along with Hilary Clinton and Obama.
Despite the fact that Elizabeth Edwards, his wife, had cancer, she stood bravely, lovingly by his side. While they were campaigning -- and they were a powerfully sympathetic couple.
John had an affair. The details made salacious headlines. The woman got pregnant. He lied and said it wasn't his baby; later, he admitted it was. Meanwhile, wife Elizabeth, who'd published a first book about finding solace after the death of their son and her struggle with cancer, published "Resilience," about living with an incurable cancer, and becoming a victim of her husband's adultery.
What's the story behind her story? We'll probably never know, but maybe the years of sadness and woes parched John Edwards sexually, and made him vulnerable and desperately needy. Yes, clearly he lied about his love life, and also, he apparently, finagled with campaign financing. His selfish, recklessly irresponsible behavior devastated his dying wife, and their children, and hurt his mistress and their child.
At the moment, in Raleigh, N.C., Wade Smith, one of Edward's lawyers has withdrawn from Edwards' defense team because Smith himself has a conflict of interest. The trial is scheduled for January 2012 . Edwards could be fined $1.5 million for misusing funds, and could go to jail for 30 years. Also, heavy, heavy hanging over his head is what he did to Elizabeth and their family. .Now she's dead and their children live with their grandparents. Does he see them, I don't know.
What about his extraordinary record -- all the good deeds he's done for people with medical problems, money woes -- all the money he's donated, and money he's raised for those who desperately need it?
Can we, can the world, can you and I ever trust a man who has lied the way Edwards lied? No. I don't think John Edwards can return to politics, but he could be helping people as he did before he toppled off his pedestal. This man has skills and enormous knowledge, expertise -- like Tiger Woods, like Eliot Spitzer -- he does not belong in the dumpster.
What's my personal feeling about all this?
I am hoping that one of these days John Edwards will be out in the world, back in the world working -- working harder than ever -- helping people and redeeming himself.