John Edwards: Trial Lawyer, Poverty Expert, Investment Banker

By October 15, 2005General

Looks like John Edwards, America’s favorite trial lawyer (he represented the ATLA during his undistinguished 6 years in the Senate), is headed to Wall Street, specifically to Fortress Investment Group. Edwards, who according to this AP story amassed wealth of $20 million – $70 million chasing ambulance, has found greener pastures, if that’s possible. Since the election (in which he finished second, you’ll recall), he’s been the head of the University of North Carolina’s Center on Work, Poverty and Opportunity, described by this article as “a think-tank committed to battling poverty.” [Insert trial lawyer/irony joke of choice here.] John Edwards, who has enriched himself through the misfortunes of others, is running a poverty center? The poverty center website says, “If we can put a man on the moon, conquer polio, and put libraries of information on a chip, we can end poverty for those who want to work for a better life.” Sure we can, John, but first let’s grab a little more dough for ourselves, shall we…? Physician, heal thyself. But we digress.

Seems this UNC gig is not really a full-time thing. Hope they’re not paying him too much. Not sure the Wall Street gig is a full time thing, either, since it says he still intends to run for President. He reportedly gives a great pro-manufacturing speech. He had a NAM vote rating of 7% (that would be out of a possible 100%) in his last Congressional session. Virtually every vote he cast made it tougher for manufacturers to compete, expanding the right to sue, increasing taxes on manufacturers, you name it.

As the guy who railed against “Two Americas” of rich and poor, he has been pretty firmly — and comfortably — cemented in the former world. He seems quite comfy among the rich. Who wouldn’t be…? Guess if you’re a trial lawyer, no points are awarded for being sincere in your beliefs, or consistent.