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Former campaign manager lambastes Edwards

It's not only late-night talk show hosts who are taking shots at former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

His confession to an extramarital affair drew a mocking review from one of Edwards' former strategists, who called last week's “Nightline” interview “breathtakingly cynical.”

Posting on his blog, longtime Democratic aide Gary Pearce called Edwards' confession “a spectacular failure,” raising more questions than it answered about the former presidential candidate's relationship with videographer Rielle Hunter.

“The more he talked, the deeper he dug the hole,” wrote Pearce, campaign manager for Edwards' successful 1998 U.S. Senate race.

In the interview, Edwards admitted he had an affair in 2006 with Hunter, who had worked for his campaign. Since last October, the National Enquirer has asserted that Edwards is the father of Hunter's infant daughter, born Feb. 27. Edwards said that he is not the father and would submit to a paternity test. An attorney for Hunter said she would not make her daughter available for the test.

Edwards has not spoken publicly since Friday's interview. But the Enquirer has been joined by traditional media and entertainment news programs in pursuit of the story. The Enquirer's most recent online report asserted Wednesday that Hunter “was whisked away (from California) on a private jet” two days before Edwards' interview.

Pearce says Edwards no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

“Earth to John: The National Enquirer now officially has more credibility than you do,” Pearce wrote.

Contacted Thursday, Pearce said many Democrats in Raleigh feel betrayed by Edwards.

“People gave up time and volunteered for him,” Pearce said. “They're the angriest.”

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