Edwards returns to public stage

John Edwards didn't have to dodge tough questions from an Indiana University audience Tuesday, when the former presidential candidate returned to the stage three months after admitting he'd had an extramarital affair.

The Democrat's speech covered politics, poverty and his hopes for America and the world and he later discussed President-elect Obama and other topics from the audience. But the question-and-answer period featured only written queries that had been submitted before his speech.

Edwards admitted in August to having a short affair in 2006 with Rielle Hunter, a campaign videographer, while his wife was battling cancer. In August, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina denied he was the father of Hunter's infant daughter and offered to take a paternity test to prove it. After his public statements, he said he did not plan to speak about the affair again.

Since then, Edwards has kept a low profile. He did not play a role at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

He did not mention the affair Tuesday night.

In response to other questions from the audience, he praised Hillary Clinton's leadership and said his favorite superhero was Superman.

Edwards also said the intense and exhausting primary season helped Obama.

“That long, drawn-out, tough process played a role in making him a better candidate,” Edwards said.

“He was well-prepared for this general election campaign.”

Edwards said he wanted to continue working for poor people struggling to survive in America and abroad, whether he remains in politics or not.

“That's what I want to spend my life doing,” he said.