There are no second acts in American lives. ---F. Scott Fitzgerald
Apparently writers Nicole Allan and Niraj Chokshi of Atlantic Magazine wish to hold open the possibility of a second act for disgraced John Edwards as they speculate about Is John Edwards Done Forever? Yes, all Sarah Palin has to do is read a few notes from the palm of her hand and this is enough to set off MSM liberals into a group hate rant about the former vice-presidential candidate. However, if you are a liberal the door is always open to you for a possible political comeback even if you cheat on your wife while she suffers from a deadly disease, make a sex tape with a mistress, lie about the paternity of your own child, initiate an elaborate coverup plan involving an aide falsely claiming paternity of the child, oh, and generally lie over a plethora of other issues while piously lecturing the country about "two Americas" as John Edwards has done.
So interested is the inadvertent comedy team of Allan and Chokshi in finding the possibities for a John Edwards comeback that they interviewed several experts on this subject. Stifle your bellylaughs as you read their findings:
Go on Oprah: "This whole notion of whether you're damaged goods or not has really changed in the last four or five years," said Peter Mirijanian of Mirijanian PR. " The public used to count people out and you wouldn't hear from them again. That's not the case anymore. There are so many ways to rehabilitate yourself ... The American public likes a feel-good story, they like a story of redemption." Five years ago, the well-trod path was to go on Larry King; today, it begins on Oprah. Edwards has "got to do the one interview. And I think it has to be a visual medium. I don't think the full-page story in the New York Times cuts it."
Ah yes, Oprah has now become the patron saint of comebacks for the sleazy...unless you happen to be the author of "A Million Little Pieces."
Do Good: "This sounds so cheesy, but find your personal journey," said Steven Rubenstein of Rubenstein Communications. "Try to do something good and not focus on your public profile, and then if the opportunity to do something public presents itself, consider it then ... If all you're thinking about is your return, I don't think you're going to get there. You're trying to cure the symptom, not the problem."
Well, that pretty much explains why John Edwards went down to Haiti after the earthquake. However, I am sure that Edwards is most definitely thinking about his return.
Give Something Back: "I think there's an awful lot of good John can do," said consultant Tad Devine of Devine Mulvey, who worked on Edwards' 1998 Senate campaign. "He's gifted, he's got a lot of talent and passion. I think the best possible thing he could do would be to give back to people -- give his time, his expertise. At the center of his presidential campaigns was to do something about the pervasive poverty in America. The way to do that would be to build on what he's already done and try to find some things that would work in the real world and to go out and fund them. And then on the basis of that good work, redeem himself."
Does that mean Edwards will be giving back his North Carolina palace mansion/faux barn combo to the other America? Don't count on it but perhaps he could at least spring that PlayStation 3 he bought on the sly from WalMart which he was officially boycotting at the time:
Focus on Fatherhood: Edwards has “an opportunity to come across as an outstanding and doting father in a way that most other men who stray don’t. And I do believe the American people like and respect people who are good parents,” said David Heller, president of Main Street Communications.
Hey, Edwards did win a Father of the Year award at right about the same time that he was impregnating his New Age mistress so this does have some possibilities.
And now a suggestion that goes from the merely cynical to the downright cruel:
Outlast Your Ex: One prominent PR consultant voiced what others were too polite to say (but only, of course, on the condition of anonymity): John Edwards will have a hard time venturing back into the public eye as long as his wife is present to remind Americans of the scope of his betrayal. "I honestly don't believe he can make a true comeback until well after Elizabeth has passed away," the consultant said. "As long as she is alive, his comeback chances are dead."
Also dead is the slightest hint of any conscience on the part of John Edwards. However, not all the suggestions were so "upbeat." There was also this downer that seems to close the door on any possibility of an Edwards comeback:
Give Up: "Can he start a charity or do something in academia? Of course, but this guy didn't tell lies, he was lies," said Eric Dezenhall of Dezenhall Resources. "And I think in the political sphere, outside of maybe years from now doing something on the local level, he's done. I've never seen anything quite like this ... In almost 30 years of doing this, I have never been in a client situation where there was a quixotic and completely immoral and pre-meditated program to lie about virtually everything all the time."
Sniff! Does this mean the end of John Edwards in politics?
Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye!
UPDATE: Will this newly revealed allegation of infidelity on the part of Edwards' mistress earn the former Democrat vice-presidential candidate some sympathy and help to place him on the comeback trail?