As Edwards’ Political Career Comes To An End, Is He Also Ending Anti-Poverty Measures?

While many on the left have been fans of John Edwards, the more cynical or realistic of us (depending upon your perspective) have always been skeptical of his efforts to fight poverty as being nothing more than a political ploy. The manner in which he used his anti-poverty organization to keep his campaign staff on his payroll while avoiding elections laws just smelled too fishy. Maybe there is some other explanation, but now that his political career is effectively over, unless he can offer a sensible explanation as to why he was visiting the hotel of his alleged mistress late at night and then ran and hid, it is hard not to remain skeptical of his motivations here:

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is pulling the plug on a scholarship program he started at an Eastern North Carolina high school — a program he once promised would be a model for the nation under an Edwards presidency.

Edwards’ presidential hopes have evaporated. And he recently informed Greene County officials that he would end the pilot program at Greene Central High School.

This is only one program so we will have to see if Edwards continues other anti-poverty measures to be certain if he is giving this up now that he is unlikely to ever become a presidential or vice-presidential candidate in the future.

Meanwhile the story is starting to get more attention from the mainstream media. After describing the allegations, The Mercury News writes:

So far, there has not been a denial from either Edwards or the woman, who once produced videos for the Edwards presidential campaign, about the alleged escapade in Beverly Hills.

And if it’s all a simple misunderstanding, if John Edwards was dropping by a hotel suite at 2 a.m. to say hello to a former campaign worker, then maybe someone should suggest to the politician that he come out and say that. Maybe it was his $500-a-cut hairdresser, for goodness sakes! In which case, money well spent. In any case, it doesn’t seem like this is the kind of story that is going to fade into the mists of time. Especially in the slow-news days of August.

McClatchy has also picked up the story. Conservatives have often dismissed McClatchy as a biased liberal story for often being the first to carry stories regarding abuses of the Bush administration and their lies about the Iraq war. I wonder how being among the first to pick up the Edwards scandal will affect their view of McClatchy. With McClatchy picking up the story today I suspect that the rest of the mainstream media will follow.

While supporting someone as new to national politics as Barack Obama remains something of a gamble, events of the last several months have verified that he remains a far better choice than either McCain or his two major Democratic rivals for the nomination.

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