Even if the jury had emerged Thursday afternoon and announced with a single voice that Edwards was guilty of everything of which he had been accused, it would have made not a whit of difference. There is no good verdict in this case. The court of public opinion reached its own long ago.
Alexandra Petri, The
I was just about to say that I never want to hear a word about John Edwards ever again. Then Hardball called. Never mind! see you on the air
With this split decision, Edwards is only partially vindicated, however – the scandal will certainly be, as they say, the first line of his obituary. For the man who was once within arm’s reach of the world’s most powerful job, the whole sordid narrative is now on record for the world to see from beginning to end, a cautionary tale for men of power everywhere.
Diane Dimond, The Daily Beast
We should be grateful that the John Edwards jury has … found Edwards not guilty on one count of taking an illegal campaign contribution. A guilty verdict could have meant much trouble for all campaign-finance regulation. If Edwards had been found guilty on that count, we could have entered an “Alice in Wonderland” world, where conduct that would not draw the ire of civil law enforcement can lead to prison.
Allison Hayward, Politico
Edwards, from the time he emerged onto the national political scene in 1999 as a fresh-faced senator with a powerful personal story of great success and personal tragedy, seemed almost too good to be true. It turned out he was, becoming another in a long line of politicians who voters trusted only to feel betrayed.
Frank James, NPR’s “It’s All Politics” blog
“The verdict is not surprising. Since there was not a smoking gun and lots of indirect evidence, it was very difficult for the prosecution to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of taking illegal campaign contributions.”
Steve Friedland, Elon
University law professor
There is a road back to redemption for John Edwards, although it’s not going to lead him to the public heights that he once reached. First and foremost, Edwards must prove himself to be a good father to the child involved in this otherwise sad and tawdry situation. If he cannot do that, all else is irrelevant.
Thomas E. Fiedler, dean, Boston University College of Communication, on Politico’s “The Arena” blog
Boy, that John Edwards trial was not a colossal waste of time and money, now was it?
Does this mean John Edwards will be on Dancing With the Stars next year?
....By the end of the trial, the prevailing public sentiment had even begun to shift from one desirous of revenge to one eager to end this whole sordid tale.
Unfortunately, today’s ruling does neither. And that’s a defeat for everyone touched — directly or indirectly — by the Edwards scandal.
Chris Cillizza, The Fix (Washington Post
Now that the trial is over, can we never speak of John Edwards again?
Kim Rogers, @kimrogers
One of my favorite movies, “12 Angry Men,”explores the hardships of a trial jury. A media circus doesn’t help matters.
Blake Boldt, @BlakeBoldt