After his announcement on WDIV-TV’s Flashpoint that he would not enter Michigan’s gubernatorial race (see examiner.com story) and following discussion of that decision and the governor’s race in general, attorney Geoffrey Fieger turned his attention to national politics, the John Edwards sex scandal and the sleaziness of the political process.
Addressing Edwards’ career and fall from grace, and responding to host Devin Scillian’s depiction of Edwards’ current political status as “scoundrel 1A,” Fieger called the Edwards episode “a human tragedy.”
“John Edwards not only destroyed his political life, which is, I would say in the scheme of things, rather unimportant,” Fieger said, “he destroyed his family AND he destroyed his ability to make a living. John Edwards is a trial lawyer, and he fulfills the image or the caricature that people have of trial lawyers.
“He can’t even practice his chosen profession because John Edwards can’t go in front of a jury and speak to them. They’ll spit on him -- literally spit on him -- and that’s unfortunate. He’s destroyed himself, and I had a lot of faith in him.”
Asked whether he was wrong to place such faith in Edwards, Fieger was unequivocal about his misplaced loyalty.
“Of course I was wrong,” Fieger said of his trust in Edwards. “He’s amoral.”
The sordidness of the Edwards affair led Fieger to an analysis of the political game as it’s currently played.
“I ran for the highest political office in the state and I have to tell you, just generally, people are wonderful,” Fieger said. “But there’s an industry that comes out of the woodwork -- I used to say ‘The woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks’ -- there’s an underbelly . . .
“When you run for office . . . they tell me, ‘We’re gonna get you votes here, we’re gonna get you the county there, you’re going to make me a political advisor, I’m gonna do your polling.’ They literally go from campaign cycle to campaign cycle, from candidate to candidate -- they are amoral.
“I thought people had a bad idea of lawyers. You should see the people involved in politics. I’m not talking about the politicians. I’m talking about this underbelly of people who want to feed the ego of the candidates and make money off those campaign contributions.
“Because where do all those millions go? You know where they go? To people who make false promises to the candidates that they’re gonna get them elected and they go, by and large, to these 30-second slots of time where they create an appearance of people who aren’t really those people.”
When Scillian closed the segment by saying, “I don’t think we’ve heard the last of you when it comes to politics,” Fieger flashed a mischievous grin.
“When’s the Senate (election)?” Fieger asked.
Whatever your political bent, Michigan politics is definitely more interesting with Geoffrey Fieger in the mix.