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CAMPAIGN '08: RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

He's back: Edwards to speak at Hofstra

August 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — John Edwards has confirmed he will return to the public stage and talk politics a month after admitting an extramarital affair. But his wife won't be at his side.

A representative for the former Democratic presidential candidate confirmed Friday that he would speak alone at Hofstra University in New York on Sept. 8, school spokesman Stuart Vincent said. It had been billed as a joint appearance to talk about the 2008 election.

Dennis Goldford, a professor of politics at Drake University in Des Moines, said the rapid return to the public eye could make it difficult for Edwards to overcome the anger of his former supporters. Edwards went into seclusion last month after spending the better part of the last six years on the trail -- running for president twice, serving on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004, and pushing to shrink the gap between rich and poor.

A spokeswoman and an agent for John and Elizabeth Edwards did not return messages seeking comment.

John Edwards hasn't spoken publicly since his Aug. 8 admission to the affair, and no other speaking engagements before the Hofstra speech have been announced.

In a statement that Edwards issued Aug. 8, he said he had made a "a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs."

Both he and his wife have since declined requests for an interview, and neither appeared this week at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The Edwardses are still scheduled to appear together Sept. 23 at Salem State College in Massachusetts, college spokesman Jim Glynn said Friday.

Edwards placed second in the Iowa caucuses.

But after that, he never finished better than third and dropped out of the presidential race before the Super Tuesday primaries Feb. 5.

The former North Carolina senator was promoting his anti-poverty message in 2006 when he hired rookie videographer Rielle Hunter to document that campaign. Edwards has said the affair with Hunter began and ended that year.

Both Edwards and Hunter have denied that he is the father of her 6-month-old daughter.

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