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Povich: Hi folks! Today on Maury, we have paternity disputes involving former Presidential hopefuls. Time to call in our guest!

John Edwards…you are the father.  Or so it seems:

Sources have told WRAL News that they expect former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to admit that he is the father of his former mistress’ 18-month-old daughter.

Edwards, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate, confessed last August to having an affair with Rielle Hunter, who served as a videographer on Edwards’ 2008 campaign. He has denied fathering her daughter, saying his relationship with Hunter ended before the child was conceived.

The name of the girl’s father isn’t disclosed on her birth certificate.

Andrew Young, a long-time Edwards aide, initially claimed to be the father of Hunter’s child, but he is reportedly writing a book in which he will claim Edwards is the father.

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Edwards’ campaign funds were illegally paid to Hunter to keep quiet about the affair.

Hunter spent nine hours last Thursday at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, where the grand jury was meeting. She brought her daughter, Frances, with her.

Young was at the federal courthouse in July when the grand jury was meeting.

Sources said Edwards’ public admission could come before the end of the criminal investigation.

Edwards’ attorney, Wade Smith, couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment.

Assuming this to be all be true (I believe it is), I want to be more forgiving of Edwards. Unlike the usual hypocrites espousing “family values” from their lofty perches while secretly messing around on their wives, Edwards didn’t build a platform based on moral piety. But John Edwards’ affair – while not wrapped with the same level of hypocrisy as some – was still nevertheless deplorable. What makes the Edwards’ affair reprehensible was that it took place while his spouse was sick. On top of that, Edwards’ sordidness could have damaged any political leverage he would’ve had if he was nominated as a Vice Presidential (perhaps even a Presidential) candidate. Could you imagine trying to get a progressive health plan passed while fending off the right’s criticism and simultaneous criticism about your First Mistress? Obama is having a hard enough time making headway with his initiatives and he’s been faithful to his wife (as far as I can tell, anyway).

In the scheme of things, infidelity doesn’t rank high on my concerns for politicians. But in a climate where success is based on one’s integrity and honesty, simple things like — oh — staying committed to your spouse could be a little important. But, hey: at least John was kicking with it an adult and somebody of the fairer sex.

– ACL

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