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Opinion: Why Isn't John Edwards Getting the Clinton Treatment?

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Former Senator John Edwards leaves the US Federal Courthouse after the first day of jury selection on April 12, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

While many Americans are now focusing their attention on the political horse race between President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney, a new spectacle unfolded earlier this week that would have otherwise commanded worldwide attention.

This spectacle has all the elements necessary for a made for TV mini series: sex, power, betrayal and money.

Sadly, truth is stranger than fiction, and former Senator John Edwards faces the real prospect of spending decades in jail for illegally funneling money to his mistress to keep quiet about their affair — one in which a love child was born while Edwards' wife Elizabeth was dying of cancer.

I have a slightly different take on the Edwards affair, however. Yes, we can all agree he’s an egomaniacal cad who almost became the vice president of the United States. My curiosity, however, regards the manner in which the media and leading Democrats have treated Senator Edwards versus the treatment received by President Bill Clinton at the height of his sex scandal.

Remember when the President’s defenders noted that the matter was about sex, and therefore private? Not so with Edwards.

Remember when the President’s supporters said that he never abused the public trust? Edwards can’t find a public supporter to speak on his behalf; everyone condemns his for violating the trust of his family, friends and voters.

As to how Edwards will fare before the court of law is irrelevant to me; that he has lost the trust and confidence of nearly all Americans is remarkable. More remarkable is that former President Clinton’s sins have been forgiven and that Edwards is certain to be beyond public redemption.