Fourteen years after the fact, the man who represented Democrats on the 2004 presidential ballot offers a new assessment of North Carolina’s John Edwards. Jim Geraghty of National Review Online explains.

Edwards’s decision to have a reckless affair with Hunter was years away in 2004, but [John] Kerry writes that before his selection, some of his colleagues warned him that something wasn’t quite right with the North Carolina senator:

“John had both fans and detractors in the Senate. Ted Kennedy had worked with him on health care and thought he was gifted. Something about Edwards reminded him of his brother Bobby. Other senators, though, warned me there was something about John that didn’t quite add up. They thought he was too ambitious, in too much of a hurry, and several expressed concerns that he couldn’t’ be counted on to be a team player under the heat of governing . . .”

“. . . Something made me uncertain whether I could count on him for an eight-year partnership which in turn would set him up for a presidency of his own. I think in an effort to reassure me, John recounted a story he told me that he hadn’t shared with anyone before. It was the story of [his son] Wade’s death and that moment alone with his body. Something unsettled me. It seemed too familiar. It was the exact same memory he had shared four years before at dinner. …

… Edwards probably stands out as the worst vice-presidential selection in modern history. The lone general-election victory of Edwards’s career came against 70-year-old Lauch Faircloth in a Democratic wave year. His Senate record was unremarkable, and only two of his bills were ever enacted into law; one renamed a post office. His critics had him pegged from the beginning: an empty suit driven by slick speeches and photogenic charisma. His Democratic allies noticed it, too.