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01.29.10

See John Lie

Andrew Young’s on-air confessional last night followed years of his boss lying on TV. From paternity denials to “who, me?” grins, WATCH VIDEO of John Edwards’ most embarrassing fibs. Here are 7 easy steps to destroying your political career.

Insist you be judged on who you really are.

Wishing people could know “who you really are” doesn’t seem like such a great idea once you’re caught cheating on your wife. Edwards' earnestness in this 2007 clip, filmed by his mistress Rielle Hunter, now seems wholly inappropriate.

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Deny, deny, deny.

As Bill Clinton discovered in 1998, lying on camera about your affair may catch up with you. Edwards did his best to dodge the "tabloid allegations" about Hunter, but sometimes the tabloids turn out to be right.

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Backpedal smugly.

So maybe those tabloid allegations turned out to be true. Why apologize when you can grin your way back into America’s heart? In August 2008, Edwards sat down with ABC’s Bob Woodruff and confessed to his transgressions. Somehow, though, his plastic smiles and parsing of words just make him appear the consummate politician.

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Employ circular logic.

Later in that same ABC interview, Edwards attempted to put those pesky paternity rumors to rest by saying, “I know that it’s not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events.” The problem is, it was possible and Edwards knew it. He hadn’t considered the possibility that a former aide would someday write a tell-all exposing the affair from beginning to end.

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Admit paternity of love child--through a spokesman.

With former aide Andrew Young’s exposé about to hit shelves, Edwards finally came clean last week and admitted the child is his. As his longtime political adviser and friend Harrison Hickman told Today, he just wants to be “a good person again.”

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Don’t forget to leave behind a sex tape.

What sex scandal would be complete without lurid video footage? In this teaser to the exclusive Bob Woodruff 20/20 interview, the former aide reveals just how messy the whole affair allegedly became.

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Choose a mistress who will defend you.

Real, authentic, inspirational—Hunter used these words to describe Edwards in a 2008 interview with Extra. She also notes that the former VP hopeful is “open and willing to try new things and do things in new ways.”

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