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JOHN EDWARDS Printer Friendly Page

When Shame Yields to Resilience
By Suzanne Fields
May 15, 2009

Women Weren't Edwards' Only Problem
By Roger Simon
May 15, 2009

The John and His Enablers
By Jack Kelly
May 14, 2009

Morality and Liberalism, John Edwards Style
By Star Parker
August 25, 2008

Why Are Democrats Treating John Edwards so Differently?
By Fred J. Eckert
August 19, 2008

The Jerk Factor
By Myrna Blyth
August 15, 2008

Lessons from Literature
By Suzanne Fields
August 15, 2008

Even by Trial Lawyer Standards, Edwards a Real Sleazebag
By Ann Coulter
August 13, 2008

America’s New Newspaper of Record: the National Enquirer
By Brian Fitzpatrick
August 13, 2008

John Edwards Unmasked
By Phil Perrier
August 13, 2008

Edwards, Obama, and the Perils of Narcissism
By Michael Medved
August 13, 2008

Our Sick Edwards-Excusing Media
By Brent Bozell
August 12, 2008

‘Mamma Mia’ without the Music
By Cal Thomas
August 12, 2008

The Not-So-Pretty Boy
By Debra J. Saunders
August 12, 2008

An Affair to Remember
By Chuck Norris
August 12, 2008

John Edwards Poverty Committee Funds Mistress's Videos
By James Hirsen
August 12, 2008

Edwards Scandal Raises Tough Questions for Obama
By Carol Platt Liebau
August 11, 2008

Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate
By Rhonda Schwartz and Brian Ross
August 8, 2008

The Edwards Scandal and the Agony of the MSM
By Byron York
August 8, 2008

Only His Hair Dresser Knows for Sure
By Ann Coulter
August 7, 2008

John Edwards: The Picture of a Scandal
By Byron York
August 7, 2008

The Real Victims of John Edwards' Adultery
By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
July 31, 2008

A Baby Daddy for Both Americas
By Ann Coulter
July 30, 2008

John Edwards' Scandal Ignored by Media
By James Hirsen
July 29, 2008

Dems Offer Thrills n' Chills
By Kathleen Parker
May 16, 2008

Liberals Rally Around Obama
By Susan Jones
May 15, 2008

A Whole Wide World Beyond Obama
By Kathryn Jean Lopez
May 15, 2008

MoveOn, Liberals, and Edwards Unite to End Iraq War
By Josiah Ryan
February 26, 2008

John Edwards Quits Presidential Race
By NewsMax.com
January 30, 2008

Losing Ugly
By Charles Krauthammer
January 25, 2008

The Terror Apologist in the Edwards Camp
By Steven Emerson
January 15, 2008

What Is Edwards So Mad about?
By Roger Simon
January 2, 2008

The Hater
By Rich Lowry
January 2, 2008

Above the Law
By George F. Will
November 20, 2007

Edwards, Prevented from Speaking His Mind, Must Resort to Code
By Roger Simon
November 13, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Sends Campaign Into Oblivion
By Lisa De Pasquale
October 11, 2007

John Edwards’s Tax Muddle
By Nicole Gelinas
July 31, 2007

Edwards Campaign Is Imploding
By Carl P. Leubsdorf
July 27, 2007

Hillary Owes Elizabeth Big Time
By Dick Polman
July 27, 2007

Another One Rides the Bus
By Lloyd Billingsley
July 24, 2007

Unpresidential Catfight
By Myrna Blyth
July 23, 2007

Remembering the "Forgotten Man"
By Suzanne Fields
July 19, 2007

John Edwards and the Prevailing Winds
By Steve Chapman
July 19, 2007

Club for Growth Gives Edwards’ School Plan Grade of F
By Club for Growth
July 17, 2007

Edwards Wins MoveOn.org's 'Global Warming' Poll
By Nathan Burchfiel
July 11, 2007

Edwards Reportedly Plans to Hire Anti-Wal-Mart Unionists
By Patrick Goodenough
July 6, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Favors “Rage”
By Brent Bozell
July 3, 2007

That Was No Lady -- That Was My Husband
By Ann Coulter
June 28, 2007

John Edwards Cares
By Stephen Spruiell
June 25, 2007

John Edwards's Inner Hawk
By Karen Hanretty
June 19, 2007

Political Money Could Dilute Edwards' Populist Message, Analysts Say
By Fred Lucas and Matt Purple
June 14, 2007

John Edwards -- "Violent, White, Heterosexual, Christian Male"?
By Jon Sanders
June 7, 2007

Democratic Third Man
By Robert D. Novak
June 7, 2007

John Edwards' Bumper-Sticker Liberalism
By Ben Shapiro
June 6, 2007

Edwards' Peculiar Brand of Patriotism
By David Limbaugh
June 5, 2007

John Edwards' Poor Scam
By Jonah Goldberg
May 30, 2007

John Edwards' War on the "War on Terror"
By Alan Nathan
May 25, 2007

John Edwards's Irresponsible and Revealing Address
By Peter Wehner
May 24, 2007

Edwards Encourages Memorial Day Protests
By Lisa De Pasquale
May 22, 2007

John Edwards Says Celebrate Memorial Day the Anti-War Way
By Lorie Byrd
May 18, 2007

Brave John Edwards Ran Away
By Jon Sanders
April 9, 2007

Edwards' National Health Care Kills
By Michael Reagan
April 9, 2007

John Edwards Will Give You Free Health
By William F. Buckley
March 28, 2007

John Edwards Political Stunt
By Lars Larson
March 26, 2007

Memo to John Edwards: Jesus Was Not a Leftist
By Dennis Prager
March 13, 2007

The Gospel According to Edwards
By P. Gardner Goldsmith
March 9, 2007

Hollywood in Search of Purpose
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
March 8, 2007

Always a Woman to Me
By James Taranto
March 8, 2007

Reparations for Coulter
By Jon Sanders
March 7, 2007

NBC Ignores John Edwards' Christian-Bashing Bloggers
By Media Research Center
February 22, 2007

More Thoughts on the Edwards Blogger Scandal
By Dan Gerstein
February 20, 2007

Hate Bloggers, Death Threats and Apologies Abound
By Matt Barber
February 16, 2007

The Martyrdom of John Edwards' Anti-Christian Bloggers
By Kristen Fyfe
February 15, 2007

John Edwards Maligns Faith
By Brent Bozell III
February 14, 2007

Christians Critical of Provocative Blog Posts by Edwards Staffers
By Monisha Bansal
February 13, 2007

Edwards' Integrity “Blogged” Down by Internet Gaffes
By Kathryn Lopez
February 13, 2007

Stick a Fork in John Edwards . . . He’s Done
By Doug Giles
February 13, 2007

Edwards Stumbles Out of the Gate
By Sean P. Trende
February 13, 2007

Blogging Bigotry
By Nathan Tabor
February 13, 2007

John Edwards- Stuck on Stupid
By Dean Barnett 
February 10, 2007

Now Is the Time for Wishy-Washy
By Wesley Pruden
February 9, 2007

Beware of the Golden Boy
By William Rusher
February 8, 2007

Reckless Caution
By James Taranto
February 8, 2007

Barack Obama and the Making of a VP
By Vincent Fiore
January 8, 2007

Breaking News: John Edwards Is Running for President
By Kathleen Parker
January 3, 2007

Tugging at the Walls
By Shawn Macomber
January 3, 2007

Edwards Still Doesn't Get it
By Lawrence Kudlow
December 30, 2006

EDWARDS!
By Mark Steyn
December 29, 2006

The John Edwards Evasion on Poverty
By Rich Lowry
December 29, 2006

Heart Patient Outruns Ambulance Chaser
By Ann Coulter
October 7, 2004

Morris: Edwards Was a Deer in Headlights
By NewsMax.com
October 7, 2004

John Edwards: Hypocrite-In-Chief
By Jean Pearce
September 1, 2004

John Edwards: A Workingman's Nightmare
By Lowell Ponte
July 28, 2004

Edwards & Co.
By Walter Olson
July 18. 2004

Robber Baron?
By Ramesh Ponnuru
July 15, 2004

The Millworker's Son
By Ann Coulter
July 8, 2004

Over His Head
By Ben Johnson
July 7, 2004

Taking Liberties
By Ann Coulter
July 17, 2003

Silliness and "African Uranium"
By Bill Murchison
July 15, 2003


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  • Served one term (1998 to 2004) as a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina
  • Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 2004
  • Successful and immensely wealthy trial lawyer



John Edwards was born in June 1953 in Seneca, South Carolina. The first in his family to attend college, he earned an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University in 1974 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977. He began his career as an attorney by defending record companies accused of selling illegal copies of Elvis Presley recordings.

After moving to Raleigh in 1981, Edwards became a personal-injury lawyer, eventually specializing in cerebral palsy patient lawsuits that blamed doctors for causing this medical condition by waiting too long before performing caesarian sections to give birth to Edwards' clients. In one famous case, Edwards swayed a jury and won a multimillion-dollar judgment by dramatically channeling the thoughts of the unborn child struggling in the womb.

During 20 years as a trial lawyer, Edwards was involved in 63 cases and secured more than $152 million in verdicts and settlements, pocketing a third or more of that money himself and amassing a fortune of as much as $70 million. He was welcomed into the Inner Circle of Advocates, a society of 100 personal-injury lawyers who had won cases of over $1 million.

In 1998 Edwards himself, along with Inner Circle members and other trial lawyers, put up 86 percent of the more than $9 million that Edwards used to narrowly defeat incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth (of North Carolina) by a 52-to-48 percent margin. Prior to his election, Edwards had shown little interest in politics, not even bothering to vote in many elections.

In 2000, despite having only two years' experience in political office, Senator Edwards was almost chosen to be the running mate of Democrat presidential candidate Al Gore.

In 2001 Edwards launched his New American Optimists (NAO) Political Action Committee, a "527" Leadership PAC whose mission was to aid "Democratic candidates who support a reform agenda for giving people a greater control over their futures." More than 70 percent of NAO's contributions came from trial attorneys and their law firms or family members.

In fact, with rare exceptions such as Hollywood impresarios Steve Bing and Haim Saban and the investment firm Goldman Sachs, virtually every penny of Edwards' political contributions from 1998 through 2004 came from trial lawyer-linked sources. (Contributors included low-paid staffers in law firms, one of whom admitted that she had been promised a $2,000 reimbursement for her donation to Edwards -- an apparent laundering of an illegal campaign contribution by her bosses.)

In 2004 Edwards made a bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Failing that, he ultimately ran for Vice President on the ticket headed by Senator John Kerry.

While campaigning in 2003 and 2004, Edwards flew almost every day using the private corporate jets of six wealthy trial-attorney law firms. Campaign laws required Edwards to reimburse this customized luxury travel at only the cost of a first-class airline ticket for each flight. Even at this greatly reduced price, his campaign reimbursed a single law firm $138,000 for the use of its jet aircraft. That law firm was Baron & Budd P.C. of Dallas, Texas, whose founder Fred Baron was President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in 2001-2002. Baron also chaired the finance committee for Edwards' political campaigns and became co-chair of the Kerry-Edwards Victory '04 Committee.

In the November 2004 presidential election, the Kerry-Edwards team lost to Republicans George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Edwards, who had retired from his Senate seat after just one term, now set his sights on preparing for another run for President in 2008. Toward that end, he maintained an active schedule of personal appearances and public commentary on various issues.

In 2005 Edwards spoke at events organized by ACORN, the NAACP, and the Service Employees International Union. Among the topics he most commonly addressed were taxes, mortgage lending, housing integration, and education. In April 2006 Edwards and Senator Ted Kennedy spoke together at a rally for raising the minimum wage.

In September 2007 Edwards unveiled a universal health-care proposal which he proposed to fund with tax revenues derived from putting an end to President Bush's tax cuts to people earning more than $200,000 per year.

Edwards' 2008 presidential run failed to gain any traction, and he dropped out of the race on January 30 of that year.

In the summer of 2008, it was learned that Edwards had maintained an ongoing adulterous affair with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter. After initially denying the allegations, the former senator, confronted by the media with irrefutable proof, ultimately acknowledged the affair. However, he denied speculation that he had fathered the woman’s one-year-old child.

During his legislative career in the Senate, Edwards voted:

  • in favor of a 2003 bill to ban oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • against major tax-cut proposals in 1999, 2000, 2000 (again), 2001, and 2003;
  • in favor of an October 2002 joint resolution to authorize the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against Iraq;
  • against a 2004 proposal to make it an added criminal offense for someone to injure or kill a fetus while carrying out a crime against a pregnant woman; and
  • against a 1999 bill designed to ban the late-term procedure commonly known as “partial-birth abortion.” (When the issue again came before the Senate in 2003, Edwards cast no vote.)

In June 2011 a federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted Edwards on four counts of illegally using more than $900,000 in contributions he had received for his 2008 presidential campaign, to cover up his affair with staffer Rielle Hunter and the pregnancy and birth of their daughter. Edwards was further charged with conspiracy and false statements. A criminal trial was scheduled to begin in October.

In a matter unrelated to the criminal case, in July 2011 the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ordered Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign to repay $2.3 million in federal campaign money which it had received from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which matches funds privately raised by a campaign. According to an FEC audit, the Edwards campaign had received more than it should have because of accounting errors. All told, the Edwards campaign had taken in $57 million, including $7.4 million in matching funds.

 

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