Andrew Young, the once-loyal aide to John Edwards who preposterously claimed to have fathered the child of Edwards’ mistress, now admits that it wasn’t true, that he told the story at Edwards’ request.
Well, as that great American and Edwards’ fellow North Carolinian, Gomer Pyle, would say at such a moment:
“Surprise, surprise surprise.”
Because really? Who knew?
In a book proposal floated to St. Martin’s Press, Young claims Edwards promised to take care of him for life if he would take responsibility for fathering the child of Rielle Hunter. Young agreed, despite the fact that he had a wife and children of his own, which tells you something about his own moral compass and priorities.
The New York Times has acquired a copy of the book proposal, and reports:
“ ‘You know how much I love you,’ Edwards said. ‘You know I’d walk off a cliff for you, and I know you’d walk off a cliff for me,’ ” Mr. Young wrote in the book proposal. “ ‘I will never forget this. And I will always be there for you.’”
I don’t doubt that is true, or as close to true as most characters in this farce are capable of coming. However, I very much doubt Young’s additional claim that Edwards and Hunter had made a sex tape, and that Young had seen it. The stories are unclear about what may have happened to the alleged tape, but I’ll bet it has “disappeared” just as mysteriously as it “appeared.”
Edwards may be is a fool and a cad who makes Mark Sanford look like a moral giant. In a culture in which it is almost impossible to sin yourself into permanent banishment — see, the resurrection of Newt Gingrich — Edwards may have pulled the feat off. It is impossible to feel sympathy for the man.
That said, the sex tape business reeks of an invention designed to fatten the price of a book contract. But even that is oddly fitting, a detail of scurrilous fiction that nicely embodies the tawdriness of the larger tale.