05/15/12 — Not guilty: Get ready. John Edwards is going to go penalty-free.

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Not guilty: Get ready. John Edwards is going to go penalty-free.

The prosecution in the campaign finance trial might have proven that former U.S. Sen. John Edwards lacks something when it comes to moral values.

They might even have proven that his behavior with regard to his family and the conduct of his affair with a campaign staffer was reprehensible. And there is certainly plenty of evidence that he is a liar.

But let's face facts -- the bottom line is, he really did not break the law, although he might have bruised it a little.

Edwards received money to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. That is the truth. Most people are even pretty sure he knew about it and orchestrated the lengths that were taken to cover up the indiscretion.

It is also true that he would not have had to cover up the affair if he were not running for president.

But the money cannot be convincingly connected to a campaign donation -- as much as some people might like to. Edwards found a loophole.

This will not be the last politician to disappoint his supporters and to make us all cringe.

But this is one we need to wipe off the public slate and never hear from again.

And that means accepting he likely will get away with it.

Published in Editorials on May 15, 2012 11:00 AM