John Edwards Is Not Fine In The CarolinasS

"If I see him again I'll speak nice," said Neville, who lives around the corner from Edwards' secluded, $6.7-million compound. "The Bible says you're supposed to forgive." Damn, it's that bad in Edwards' hometown?

Back in 2008, John Edwards was riding high, having successfully rerouted the national conversation to include a substantial discussion of poverty and holding his own as a contender for the presidency. Less than eighteen months later, Edwards has faded from the limelight in the wake of an extra-marital affair that resulted in a child.

The LA Times' article explores the Edwards' uneasy existence in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Elizabeth Edwards is coping by throwing herself into a furniture business and a quieter life, and John Edwards is struggling with picking up the pieces of his derailed life and career. The voices of the townspeople loom large in this analysis and the general consensus appears to be anger and betrayal.

Interestingly, a lot of the rage seems to stem from politics, and not Edward's moral failings:

The feelings of betrayal are particularly strong here in Chapel Hill, the famously liberal college town where the family moved after Edwards left the Senate in 2005. In some quarters, John and Elizabeth are both being blamed for pressing ahead with his presidential run despite their shared knowledge of the affair: If Edwards had secured the Democratic nomination, such critics say, the revelation might have meant Republican victory.

The article ends with a Freudian slip of sorts, a clear illustration of John Edwards' tarnished reputation:

The dean, who received a divinity degree in 1971, said Edwards' personal tragedy reminded him of a certain passage from the Book of Psalms. He pulled down a Bible from his office shelf, opened it to the 22nd Psalm and pointed out the line: "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."

No, no, Boger said. On second thought, that was not the one he was thinking of.

The Dividing Line On John Edwards [LA Times]

Earlier: John Edwards Always Knew He Would Disappoint Women