I spent about twenty minutes on the phone Sunday morning with Fred Baron, the Dallas attorney and Democratic fund raiser whose current and unwanted claim to fame is that he helped fund the move from North Carolina to Santa Barbara by Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter and Edward's right hand man and self-proclaimed Hunter baby daddy Andrew Young.
Fred Baron struck me as a passionate supporter of Democratic causes and completely sincere defender of John Edwards. Baron says he helped Young and Hunter out of the goodness of his heart and it seems consistent to me with the support he's given for any number of progressive causes. Strange as it may sound to some people, he did know both Young and Hunter when they worked on the Edwards campaign and when he heard how the press was hounding them after the initial Enquirer stories broke back in late 2007 he felt the best way he could help was not by asking questions but by opening his checkbook to help them escape the glare of aggressive press attention.
Baron clearly believes in Edwards even now. Like many dedicated John Edwards friends and fans, he thinks that Edwards confession on Nightline was a sincere apology and contained enough detail for the press and public to move on, stop rubbernecking and let painful process of personal healing begin for the Edwards family.
The tragedy as I see it is that John Edwards continues to abuse the trust, loyalty and friendships of ardent supporters like Fred Baron. This story is far from over because what we've heard so far from John Edwards is far from the truth. There's growing evidence of contradictions in the timeline that John Edwards presented to the American public and the next few weeks will likely reveal that John Edwards was lying to us even as he swore that now he was telling us the truth. Edwards has created a situation where every National Enquirer story published will be more believable than any statement he makes.
The layers of lies that John Edwards has been living for the past couple of years is about to catch up with him. He's already lost most of the public and the press. Even his committed followers have abandoned him now, leaving only the most sincere inner circle. When the weight of John Edwards continued deception becomes clear to even them, it's hard to see how John Edwards will ever be able to redeem himself.