For three years, students at a rural North Carolina high school have planned for college, encouraged by the promise of scholarships for all. But John Edwards has withdrawn financial support for College for Everyone, which “he once promised would be a model for the nation under an Edwards presidency, reports the News Observer.
Edwards’ foundation raised money to pay for the cost of one year’s tuition, fees and books at a public college.
Patrick Miller, Greene County school superintendent, said the Edwards program helped raise the college-application rate from about 26 percent several years ago to 94 percent this year.
Supporters say it was always meant to be a three-year pilot, an odd time frame for a program aimed at high school students. The kids who started ninth grade taking college-prep courses to earn the scholarship will discover that they’re on their own financially.
If Edwards had won the Democratic nomination, he’d still be talking about College for Everyone — and funding it. But now his backers are spending more than half the cost of a year’s scholarships for every Greene County grad to support Edwards’ mistress and baby in a $3 million mansion. Throw in the payoff for the alleged baby daddy and his wife and kids and . . . Well, they’re not living on macaroni and cheese.
I’d suspected Edwards was a phony who adopted populism as a campaign gimmick, not because he really cares about the poor and working class. It bothered me that he spent millions on a huge mansion and that he used his anti-poverty foundation to create jobs for his campaign staffers. I guess we’ll see whether he actually does anything to help the poor, now that his political ambitions are kaput.
It’s not the adultery, writes Roger Simon. It’s Edwards’ “callow hollowness” (or “callow hallowness”). Either one.