For the definition of CRINGE, one truly must watch his 'confession' on nightline. As an attorney observing a VERY skilled attorney (Edwards), I found his statements fascinating for both what he said but mostly for what he didn't say. The following are excerpts from his interview transcript along with my bolding certain parts for emphasis and italicized comments of his most blatant "double-speak" which gives all lawyers everywhere a worse name indeed. .
BOB WOODRUFF: Is this affair completely over?
JOHN EDWARDS: Oh yes, it's been over for a long time. Long time is subjective, it could be two hours ago it could be two years ago, technically its up to the speaker what they consider long time.
WOODRUFF:… How long did it last and when exactly did it end?
JOHN EDWARDS: Well, here's the way I feel about this Bob. I think that my family is entitled to every detail. They've been told every detail. Elizabeth knows absolutely everything. I think beyond the basics, the fact that I made this mistake and I'm responsible for it and no one else. I think that's where it stops in terms of the public because I think everything else is within my family and those privacy boundaries ought to be respected. I will not answer the question you asked, I will just answer one that makes me feel good. If I don't tell you when it ended then I technically did not lie when I said its over. I could have ended it two minutes ago to go back and resume ten minutes from now, so by simply saying ITS OVER, and hedging WHEN it ended I can be safe in my bubble that I technically have not lied.
WOODRUFF: I know this is a very difficult question, but were you in love with [Rielle]?
EDWARDS: there is only one woman I love....There is a deep and abiding love that exists between Elizabeth and myself. It's always been there, it in my judgment has never gone away. Its only my judgment because Elizabeth thinks I'm one degree below dog poop.
EDWARDS: Here's what, can I explain to you what happened? First of all it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer, that's no excuse in any possible way for what happened. I mention this and the fact that it happened in 2006 approximately 20 times to make you think what I did wasn't that BAD! This is what happened. It's what happened with me and I think happens unfortunately more often sometimes with other people.… Ego. Self-focus, self-importance. Hallelujah. Now, I was slapped down to the ground when my son Wade died in 1996, in April of 1996. Please let me pause here to remind you for no apparently reason that my child died. Maybe now you will stop pestering me with mean questions because look I've had a sad life, feel sorry for ME and lets take attention away from the scum I am.
WOODRUFF: I need to ask about probably the most controversial allegation. Which is that a report has been published that the baby of Ms. Hunter is your baby. True?
EDWARDS: Not true. Published in a supermarket tabloid. That is absolutely not true. The same tabloid which broke the news of your affair which you admit to now? Also what are you denying? Are you denying the baby? Or are you denying that its a report because its in a supermarket tabloid and they couldn't possibly have a report. This one might make your head spin a little but if you read carefully, you can see he did not come right out and deny that this was not his child. He easily could have. He didn't because technically he can wiggle out of this when the baby winds up being his.
WOODRUFF: People say they are in contact with her, have told us that you have met her out in California several times. True? (i.e. yes or no)
EDWARDS: I met her this last time when I was in California for the very purpose that you and I just spoke about. i.e. I have met her several times, since I didn't deny it, the last of which was in California.
WOODRUFF: And that picture is absolutely you and you are holding that baby.
EDWARDS: The picture in the tabloid. I have no idea what that picture is. I dont know what the picture is, is it a giraffe or a hippo? I did not say that I don't know WHO is in that picture. I just don't understand what it is.
WOODRUFF: But you've seen it right?
**EDWARDS: I did see it and I cannot make any sense out of that. When I went to this meeting you've already asked me about, uh, I was not wearing a t-shirt, I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. But after I was at the meeting for a while I might have taken my long sleeved shirt off and could have been wearing a t-shirt underneath the long sleeved shirt like the majority of men do. Which the picture shows not a polo tee but more like an undershirt anyways, but again you are not lying because when you WENT to THE MEETING you wore the long sleeved shirt, this is after the supposed meeting while you played with your child. I don't know who that picture -- I don't know if that picture is me, it could well be, it looks like me. Flustered and now admitting its you? someone who is denying does not do so this way.
WOODRUFF: But are you saying you don't remember holding that child of Miss Hunter?
EDWARDS: I'm saying you asked me about this photograph, I don't know anything about that photograph, I don't know who that baby is. So yes, I held the child of Miss Hunter since I am not really answering the question you asked. I don't know if the picture has been altered, manufactured, if it's a picture of me taken some other time, holding another baby -- I have no idea. It could be tons of things as you pointed out, yet you curiously dont emphatically deny that its not you. I was not at this meeting holding a child for my photograph to be taken I can tell you that. We know you did not hold the child for your picture to be taken. This is whats freaking you out the most. You REALLY didn't want your photo to be taken.
WOODRUFF: You did say you did meet her at a hotel in California.... But you don't remember a baby being there?
EDWARDS: No. No, I did not say I met her in a hotel in California but I don't remember a baby being there. I said something else similar perhaps, but you asked me if I said those words, so, no I did not.
WOODRUFF: There are reports that you have tried to cover up. They call it alleged hush money. That there was money paid to try, to cover up this affair. Was there?
EDWARDS: Uh, this is what I can tell you. I could've said no but instead I'm gonna see how I can say this in a way that I can later say I was not lying here. I've never paid a dime of money to any of the people that are involved. I've never asked anybody to pay a dime of money, never been told that any money's been paid. Nothing has been done at my request. So if the allegation is that somehow I participated in the payment of money -- that is a lie. An absolute lie, which is typical of these types of publications. "If the allegation is..." him redefining the simple question into one he's comfortable with. Participating does not mean physically handing it to her, though I'm sure that is how he settles it within himself.
WOODRUFF: I do need to tell you though through ABC investigation there has been evidence, or we've been told that there, about $15,000 a month has been paid to Miss Hunter, so that she could actually live out in California. In fact that money was from Fred Baron, who was your national finance chair. Is that correct?
EDWARDS: I don't know. I told you just a moment ago, I know absolutely nothing about this.
WOODRUFF: You never even heard about that before?
EDWARDS: I've heard about it from reporters like you just in the last few days. It's the first I hear anything about it. I thought it was someone else who was paying it. I thought it was $10,000 a month. So technically saying I dont know is true.
WOODRUFF: So when you see this now and you see the reporting about it and you see the information about it, are you going to try to look into this? That this is somebody doing this to cover up what happened with your affair?
EDWARDS: If you're talking about Fred Baron, I do know Fred Baron. Let me avoid your question some more and dodge for time. I also know that Fred Baron knows both of these people who are involved and has worked with them for years. So he has the relationship with them independent of me. So what he chose to do or not do, I can't explain, he'll have to explain. I don't know what he did or why he did it. And what his reasons for, were, for doing it. Is it possible that he wanted to help them because they were in a difficult time? Of course. Is it possible that he was worried that in fact something had happened with me, and he wanted to help? Of course that's possible. I think all these things are possible. This is so twisty turny dodgy that I dont think I need to point it out.
WOODRUFF: Do you think it's possible he was trying to protect you?
EDWARDS: Do I think it was possible he was trying to help me? Who likes Dodge Ball? I do! I do!
EDWARDS: Yeah, of course I think it's possible. Gah! Lets be as evasive as we can be, Whee!
WOODRUFF: Do you think your political career is completely over?
EDWARDS: I'm not sure I had a political career for the future anyway. I'm not sure that politics was what I wanted to spend my life doing. Now that everyone knows I'm scum.
WOODRUFF: In terms of the Beverly Hilton, did Elizabeth, your wife, know you were visiting the Beverly Hilton?
WOODRUFF: That was a secret?
EDWARDS: You mean did I tell her before I went?
EDWARDS: I did not. So yes after all the hedging, the answer is, my wife did not know I was going on an innocent meeting to the Beverly Hilton.
WOODRUFF: Did she find out after the recourse?
EDWARDS: She found out the next morning; I called her and told her. Yeah, I had to tell her because National Enquirer folks were chasing me around the hotel and I locked myself in a bathroom stall for 15 minutes, I knew pretty soon this would explode so had to tell her then!
EDWARDS: I'm not a scientist -- I don't know what the various methods of proving it are but that's certainly one way to prove it. I mean I know right now it's not possible and she does too. Its not possible because I will pay her enough to make sure she never agrees to testing.
So does he peeve me? Yeah, a little!