In the 2008 primary, I was always a bit leery of the "love child" aspect of the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter cheating story--it seemed like the perfect setup, which would have gone like this:
Edwards would openly deny paternity, giving implicit permission for the press to report on the scandal. The press would do its part, excitedly reporting charges from Edwards' enemies that of course he's the father, the baby really looks like him, he was seen with the mother, on such and such a date, etc.. Paternity tests are ordered. ... The gossip world waits on tenterhooks. ... The tests come back and the verdict is ... he's not the father! Edwards takes a victory lap, vindicated. In acknowledging his innocence of the sensational paternity charge, the press and public would overlook the less sensational, but still damning truth --which is that he'd been cheating on his cancer stricken wife after basing his campaign in large part on his faithfulness.
That didn't happen, of course. I think we can guess one reason why! But now there is a credible rumor of a similar PR sleight of hand in the works that would, in theory, allow Edwards to slink away from his (hypothetical) guilt on the issue the paternity tests would have resolved. It would go like this (I'm paraphrasing):
When the grand jury investigating Edwards on campaign finance charges (e.g., did he illegally use campaign money to pay Hunter?) comes back with "not sufficient to press charges," Edwards will in short order admit it's his kid. The idea is that the grand jury's "insufficient evidence" finding will start refurbishing his image, and that this news will overwhelm his admission of paternity (even though he specifically denied paternity was even possible** in his BS-riddled 2008 Nightline "confession").
It's just a rumor, remember!
The key to the rumored PR scenario would be that the respectable MSM is allowed to care about criminal charges while it still pretends not to care about mere sex. So the grand jury findings will get unjustified play, relative to the paternity admission.
It's a brilliant plan! And if this brilliant plan really is the plan ... well, if Edwards thinks it will work he's deluded.
**--Exact quote: "I would welcome participating in a paternity test. Be happy to participate in one. I know that it's not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events, so I know it's not possible. Happy to take a paternity test, and would love to see it happen." [Emphasis added] Transcript here . 4:50 P.M.