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Former John Edwards aide discusses ethics in leadership

“This is about pulling back the curtain on what U.S. presidential politics are all about.”

That’s a quote from Andrew Young, the former advisor to U.S. Senator John Edwards who spoke to a packed house Monday, April 19 at Kane Hall.

The panel discussion, titled “Ethics in Leadership,” also featured Governor Dan Evans, UW Professor J. Patrick Dobel and John McKay of Seattle University Law. Young spoke for about 30 minutes, reflecting on his time as Edwards’ right-hand man and his fateful decision to cover up the affair that brought down the former presidential candidate.

Young’s retelling of his immediate respect for Edwards was candid, as was his apology for the mistakes he made along the way. Young says the country’s political system is deceptive and that temptations of power shocked and changed Edwards upon his winning the North Carolina Senate seat in 1998. He also said that if things don’t change, “we will elect a John Edwards as president. I guarantee it.”

Professor McKay questioned Young’s motives for penning his book, titled The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down, which of course was for sale in the Kane Hall concourse. Governor Evans was stoic as usual, saying he read the book “cover to cover” but took plenty of notes (shaking them in his hand to much delight from the audience).

Here’s a story from Q13 FOX-TV, and you can also read our live Twitter feed from the event by searching for the hashtag #ayuw on Twitter.

UPDATE: To see the full presentation, visit the UWTV site. For a preview, watch the YouTube video.

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