(CNN) - In his first at-length interview in the year since he admitted to an extramarital affair, former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he's still not sure whether it was a mistake to run for the White House knowing his act of infidelity could be exposed.
"Did it make sense to run and stay in the race? Time will tell," Edwards told the Washington Post in an interview published on the paper's Web site Wednesday.
The former North Carolina senator credited his run with highlighting the issue of poverty and pushing his chief Democratic competitors - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - toward more progressive stances on a host of issues.
"If you were to ask people during the campaign who's talking most about [poverty], it was me," Edwards said in the interview. "There's a desperate need in the world for a voice of leadership on this issue... The president's got a lot to do, he's got a lot of people to be responsible for, so I'm not critical of him. But there does need to be an aggressive voice beside the president."
The comments come a month after his wife Elizabeth embarked on a high-profile book tour, during which she documented at length her anguishing reaction to Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer three years earlier.
Edwards - the 2004 vice presidential candidate and onetime frontrunner for an Obama cabinet post - also said he is not ruling out a future in politics.
"Sometimes you just keep your head down and work hard and see what happens," he said.