Ed Driscoll

Edwards' Modified Limited Hangout?

The undernews finally floats over the top, as ABC News reports, “Edwards Admits to Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate” Lionel Hutz a liar? Say it ain’t so, Homer!

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extra-marital affair with a novice film-maker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 42-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.

So is this enough to get his speaking slot at the Denver convention reinstated, or will he still be considered toxic in a couple of weeks?

Note this element in the ABC story:

A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he was the father of the child.

According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience.

Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa.

Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.

Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife’s cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards has since been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.

When the National Enquirer first reported the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair last October 11, Edwards, his campaign staff and Hunter vociferously denounced the report.

“The story is false, it’s completely untrue, it’s ridiculous,” Edwards told reporters then.

He repeated his denials just two weeks ago.

Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.

At this point, the spin that currently puts the story in the best possible light for Edwards is that, as Allah writes, “Rielle Hunter is his lover–but the kid is not his son. Er, daughter.” And as the ABC article notes, “A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he was the father of the child.”

This sounds more like behavior more at home with a rock group on tour passing a favored groupie from musician to musician than (presumed) adults trying to position their man to run for the most powerful office in the land.

Mickey Kaus will–very safe to say–have more on this story; for our interview last week with Mickey on XM Satellite Radio, click here.