By Mark Memmott

"For the first time, John Edwards is publicly admitting that he is indeed the father of a 2-year-old daughter conceived with Rielle Hunter, a campaign videographer with whom he had an affair," The Today Show reports.

In Raleigh, The News & Observer writes that the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee (and 2008 presidential contender) released a statement that says, in part:

"It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me."

The newspaper adds that:

The admission comes after more than two years of rumors and tabloid hounding and an investigation into campaign money federal authorities suspect circulated around Edward's mistress. Edwards, former North Carolina senator and failed presidential candidate, has repeatedly denied being Quinn's father since August 2008.

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. Elizabeth Edwards has told the Associated Press her "whole family feels relieved" now that her husband has acknowledged paternity. According to the AP:

Edwards said in an interview with The Associated Press that she believes John Edwards is also relieved to put the matter behind him. She said she hopes the declaration will help end publicity around the family's matters.
She declined to talk about her marital status, saying, "My marriage shouldn't be on anybody's radar screen except mine."

As All Things Considered put it last May, Elizabeth Edwards has "survived campaigns, cancer, the death of a child and her husband's infidelity."

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET. As NPR's Adam Hochberg reports, "the former senator previously admitted having an affair ... but for more than a year, he denied he was the girl's father. Instead, one of his campaign aides claimed paternity. Now, as the campaign aide prepares to release a tell-all book, Edwards finally has admitted" to being the father:

categories: Politics

7:15 - January 21, 2010