WASHINGTON (CNN) - John Edwards, who made his marriage a central part of his overall message during the 2008 Democratic primaries - was dealt a political blow Friday after admitting to having an extramarital affair.
In an interview on ABC News "Nightline," Edwards acknowledged the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter, which began after she was hired to make documentary videos for his campaign, ABC said.
Watch: Edwards' interview
Opinions, however, are mixed on whether he would have a future in politics.
CNN contributor James Carville, a former aide to Bill Clinton - who acknowledged an extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky in his second term - said Edwards' career is in dire straits.
"Certainly, his political career is in shambles. It's not going to come back. I humanly feel sorry for Mrs. Edwards. I feel sorry for the Edwards children. But I'm not shocked," he said Friday.
Elizabeth Edwards, in a posting on the Daily Kos Web site, said, "The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done.
"But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my [cancer] diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private, because as painful as it was, I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well."
Like Carville, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger said this incident could hurt his career.
"Obviously, lying like this, brazenly, is going to put an end, probably, to his political career and could affect whether he gets any role if Barack Obama were to win the presidency," she said Friday.