John Edwards is preparing a comeback. The Associated Press reported this week that Edwards has reactivated his legal license in North Carolina and accepted a speaking gig on June 6 at a "private retreat" for a law marketing firm's lawyer clients.
Returning to the spotlight after public disgrace is a timeless political tradition. Edwards' return to the public spotlight would come over a year after his hawkishly watched campaign-finance trial last summer. He was cleared from all charges because of a mistrial and doubts remained about his campaign finance abuses. Even after the trial he still faced the aftermath of the tell-all memoir by his mistress Rielle Hunter. The salacious revelations of the book decimated his golden-boy reputation even more than when the affair first surfaced and pushed him out of the 2008 presidential race.
Edwards is hardly the only promising but troubled politician to have wandered off the straight and narrow, and is in unfortunately celebrated company with Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner, David Petraeus, and most famously, former President Bill Clinton. All of them made slow and calculated repairs to their image after their missteps and have rebounded to varying degrees of success.
It will be something of a guilty pleasure to watch the road to redemption that Edwards embarks on as the 2016 races start to pick up. However, his decision to re-emerge in the public eye should not come as a surprise to anyone.
During a press conference after his mistrial was announced Edwards hinted at that all-too-omniscient endorsement of God for his future political ambitions: “I don’t think God’s through with me. I really believe he thinks there’s still some good things I can do.”
What do you think? Will John Edwards work his way back on to the presidential candidate roster?
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