Opinion

Commentary: Rielle Hunter might find inspiration from 'Sanford & Son'

Rielle Hunter, the former mistress of John Edwards, arrives at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hunter is carrying her daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born February 27, 2008.
Rielle Hunter, the former mistress of John Edwards, arrives at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hunter is carrying her daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born February 27, 2008. (Shawn Rocco / Raleigh News & Observer / MCT)

As does just about everything else in life, the battle over the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter sex tape conjures in my mind an episode of the greatest television show in history, "Sanford & Son."

Remember when Fred and Lamont donated Fred's "Blind Mellow Jelly" album collection to the library for a tax write-off only to discover later that the albums were worth $500 cash?

To get them back, Fred convinced Bubba to dress up like Blind Mellow Jelly's long-lost son, Pot Belly, and demand "I want my daddy's records."

Don't be surprised to see Rielle Hunter, mother of Edwards' young daughter, try the same thing.

Perhaps portraying herself as just a poor — at least she was poor until she got impregnated by a rich politician — single mother with no marketable skills, she could claim that having that tape floating around harms her chances for future employment. After all, presidential candidates with lots of money, ailing wives and the self-control of an inebriated flea don't grow on trees, do they?

OK, maybe they do.

If that argument fails, Rielle — rhymes with Jezebel — could parade little Frances Quinn Hunter before Judge Abraham Penn Jones and have her say, a la Bubba, "I want my daddy's tape. Ga-ga, goo-goo."

Edwards' former aide-now-turncoat Andrew Young swore under oath that he had turned over to Judge Jones the only copy of the tape, so you know what that means, right?

Yep. You'll soon be able to order a copy online. Considering that Young gave up the tape only after being found in contempt of court — and after initially swearing that he, not Edwards, fathered Hunter's baby — it's apparent that Young also has contempt for the truth.

Sorry, ladies, but if your ex swore when you left him that he turned over to you or destroyed every last one of those special pictures you let him take — well, OK.

Given the ferocity of Hunter's attempts to get the tape back, you've got to assume she and Edwards ignored the R. Kelly Rule of sex-tape making: Cover your face, or at least enough of it to afford you a modicum of deniability in court.

Edwards deserves every bit of opprobrium heaped upon him, but that doesn't mean he can't still serve his country. While he'll never be commander-in-chief, he can become the nation's love lawyer.

Edwards: Hi, remember me? Yes, I ran for president — twice — but most of you know me as the star of "Scumdog Multi-Millionaire," the X-rated movie I made with my mistress while campaigning. Really. Right smack dab in the middle of my presidential run. Talk about chutzpah. For the low, low price of $19.95, I'll share my secrets for seducing the public and the ladies.

I think a pox should be cast on all three players in this tawdry matter, and that's coming from someone who thinks there is a place in this world for tawdriness. Speaking of tawdry, I can think of only two compelling reasons to watch the John and Rielle sex tape: to see if his hair moves and to hear him say, "I want my daddy's hairspray."

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