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Indecent proposal--The John Edwards story

LaToya on the campaign trail with former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards.
LaToya on the campaign trail with former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards.
LaKeisha Walker, Keilan Fotography

So here's the life you always wanted. You're surrounded by powerbrokers. You're the right hand man to a leading candidate in the most exciting Presidential race of our time. You're being whisked away by private jets, living in lavish homes all over the country. Money is not an object. But....

There's always a string attached.

In exchange for the money, the power and the prestige, you've been asked to accept paternal responsibility for a child that does not belong to you to conceal the true identity of the father, a powerful man who could potentially become the next leader of the free world.

There's more. His pregnant mistress has to reside with you, your wife and your three children indefinitely.

It gets better. All of the interested parties consented.

No ladies and gentlemen, you cannot catch this at your local theater or on demand.

This became the life of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards and his campaign aide and author Andrew Young.

Young's newly released, tell-all bombshell book "The Politician" has even political junkies like me feeling a little uncomfortable after reading excerpts.

This book was inappropriately titled. The tell-all should have been titled "Indecent Proposal."

The controversial 1993 movie has nothing on this tangled web that's been woven by former Presidential candidate John Edwards, his mistress Rielle Hunter, and his campaign aide Andrew Young.

John Edwards recently admitted what the country has known for close to two years---that he is in fact the father of Frances Quinn Hunter, whom he fathered with his mistress.

We all recall the interview that ABC's Bob Woodruff conducted with the former presidential candidate in August of 2008. Edwards made it crystal clear that he was not the father of Rielle Hunter's baby, even after his chances of becoming the President of the United States had dissolved.

But Edwards quest for power and prestige continued, hoping that he had a shot at becoming President Obama's Attorney General.

So the lie continued.

I can recall the day that John Edwards endorsed then Senator Obama for President. Obama and Edwards had a strong presence that made quite a statement on stage. Young, attractive, a new theme of change and a son of the south could have made a very interesting ticket. They gave new meaning to a handsome power duo. Rumors began to swirl around where Edwards would land in the Administration once the dust settled, if Obama was elected.

Unfortunate for Edwards, he had to learn a valuable lesson that my grandmother used to recite repeatedly during my childhood days---"whatever you do in the dark will always come out in the light."

And true to form, Edwards was busted in a hotel lobby bathroom after visiting with Hunter and baby Frances Quinn. Even after that infamous day, Edwards stuck to his story.

Edwards and Hunter could have easily appeared on Maury's show.

Author Andrew Young admitted that he finds it interesting that the former Presidential candidate admits paternity only days before the book is released.

What I find more interesting and disgusting is how Edwards denied that he was the father of Frances Quinn after losing his son Wade in a car accident in 1996. I can't imagine any grief comparable to losing a child. Who loses a child and years later denies a child for selfish, ambitious motives?

And if the allegations are true that Edwards had sex with Hunter in the home that he shared with his cancer-strickened wife Elizabeth, this story just got even more despicable. That's comparable to having sex in a church pew. Some things are just off limits.

People criticize the Salahis for allegedly crashing the White House State Dinner because they wanted to be seen as perceived as powerful and connected. The Salahis have nothing on this story. This story makes the Salahis look like a short story out of the Little Golden Books.

Clearly John Edward's actions are unacceptable. However, Young, by far, is not innocent. Though I am a huge supporter of loyalty to those close to you, you can't pay me to believe that when Young agreed to live this lie he wasn't looking at the big picture.

This was a meal ticket to the top. An opportunity. A one-way ticket out of a boring life in the middle-class to the lavish life of the wealthy two percent.

I'm going to take a guess that because he was so "enamored" with the presidential candidate that he was flattered that Edwards trusted him and chose him for the task.

Don't get me wrong, Young may have felt slightly compelled to help his friend John Edwards. Maybe. My question is, would he have done the same for his friend John Doe?

Young depended on Edwards for a salary and health benefits for his family, but Edwards also depended on him to keep his secret. Fair exchange was not robbery in this story. Young always knew that he had a trump card that he could pull when necessary. Young played his position, and reaped the benefits provided by Edwards and his supporters and now as the author of what will definitely become one of the best-selling, non-fiction books of 2010. Now that's what you call having multiple sources of income.

Young stated that he had to write the book because he had no form of income after being cut off of Edwards payroll. I'm not convinced that if Edwards had given him a seven-figure lump sum that this book still wouldn't be hitting the shelves.

So what are the greatest lessons from this story?

Whatever you do in the dark will certainly come out in the light and the best kept secret is the one never told.

LaToya Foster is the host of the Washington, DC based talk shows “The Washington Insider" and "In The Know.” She is also a political commentator, sports and entertainment journalist, and motivational speaker. She resides in Washington, DC and is currently working on her first book. Learn more about LaToya at www.latoyafostertalks.com. Email your thoughts to latoya@latoyafostertalks.com.

 

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