Can John Edwards rehabilitate his image?

The former presidential candidate was acquitted of one count in his campaign fraud trial; the judge declared a mistrial on the other five counts after the jury deadlocked.

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As of this writing, it is not clear whether or not the prosecution will attempt to try those five counts again.

If Edwards is not retried on the five unsettled counts (or if he is and is acquitted on all of them), he can begin to restore his reputation. But it won’t be easy, as Edwards is in O.J. Simpson territory in terms of public disdain.

How John Edwards can begin to rehabilitate his image

I’m a contributor to Politico’s The Arena, which published my thoughts about Edwards’ image rehabilitation on Thursday afternoon. Here’s what I wrote:

“Mr. Edwards will likely claim that although he’s guilty of committing unfortunate personal sins, he hasn’t done anything wrong in his professional duties. That’s the same line of defense used by similarly scandalized politicians such as Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer. I’m skeptical that the same approach will work in Edwards’ case—not only did he cheat on his wife, but he cheated on his dying wife while running for president, fathering a child with another woman, and lying about it on national television.

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