Republicans privately expressed glee with the revelation, pointing to what they characterized as Edwards' hypocrisy. But they don't seem inclined to make Edwards' infidelities into a broader argument about Obama, at least in the short term.
"I don't have any comment on it," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said during a news conference while campaigning late this afternoon in Rogers, Ark.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who failed to get Edwards' endorsement after he ended his 2008 presidential bid, expressed few words about the news.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family and that's all I have to say," said Clinton.
Citing Bill Clinton's regained popularity after his extramarital affair in the White House was revealed, Fowler did not rule out the possibility of a political rehabilitation by Edwards -- but said such moves will have to wait until well after this election season.
"We Americans live in what I think is a great Judeo-Christian tradition of forgiveness and forgetting. I think over time it will happen," Fowler said. "But all that's good in the image they brought to public life makes this seem reprehensible."
ABC News' Sunlen Miller, Raelyn Johnson and Teddy Davis contributed to this report.