Monday is the first day of the John Edwards trial. The former presidential candidate is in a heap of hot water for allegedly using campaign funds to house (and hide) his mistress and their illegitimate baby from voters. Once a "family man" and model of good citizenship, Edwards has become a punch line and really a classic example of why one should never trust a politician.
As a Democrat who once believed in him and everything he stood for, I am especially angry at him. The issues he believed in -- helping the poor, supporting women, helping families -- are all still real, but because he couldn't stay faithful (or get divorced), all that is gone.
It's a complete sham (and shame) when politicians do things like this. Of course, he is not the first.
With Edwards, it's different. Sure, Bill Clinton was a philanderer, but we kind of always knew that. Even though he "lied(ish)" about his "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky, his lies didn't cut at the very fabric of his campaign and all that he stood for.
Edwards may or may not have known about the $1 million in campaign funds donated by Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron, which were used to help his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child. But it's kind of hard to believe he didn't. Even though the money wasn't considered campaign money, it does become so because it was given with the purpose of protecting Edwards' presidential candidacy.
Go ahead and wreck your marriage. That's your business. But don't lie about it and illegally use campaign funds in order to dupe the public into believing you are a "family man." He insulted every single one of us with this.
A CBS News/New York Times poll found that only 3 percent of Americans feel good about Edwards (how could anyone?). In addition, 41 percent of people aren't simply neutral. In fact, they actively dislike him.
It's such a shame. It's always a huge disappointment when someone you believed in turns out to be just like everyone else. But Edwards was worse. Those who believed he was good thought he might bring real change.
Now he might go to jail. How the mighty do fall.
Were you disappointed by Edwards?
Image via alexdecarvalho/Flickr