Via the Politico:
“STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS
August 8, 2008
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99% honest is no longer enough.
I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.
It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up – feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.
I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say.”
It’s a rather candid statement — not just in admitting the affair, and in offering to take a paternity test, but in acknowledging that he “started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.” From Antonio Villaraigosa to Bill Clinton, it explains why public figures engage in such risks even though history shows the damage it can do to a career. And it perhaps explains why Edwards may have charged a $400 haircut to the campaign — a source of irritation for him throughout the fist half of 2007.
But I doubt that it will do much to allieviate any concerns about giving him a speaking role at the convention. And Edwards’ supporters and donors surely are reeling today.