WASHINGTON—News of his extramarital affair with a former campaign worker could put John Edwards at serious risk of losing the position or appointment he currently holds, or may be planning to hold, or to contend for, if he hasn't lost it already, sources reported Tuesday.

"This will be a major blow to the retired-lawyer-former-senator- slash-presidential-candidate-and-nonprofit-foundation-founder's chances of being named attorney general or appointed to another cabinet position, assuming Obama gets elected in November and chooses Edwards over someone who has been directly involved in politics during the past four years," Georgetown University political science professor Samuel DeCanio said. "I don't know if he'll ever be able to recover and return to…the work…volunteering…job he was doing before this."

It now seems unlikely that Edwards will reclaim his old Senate seat in January, if that is even possible, and a number of critics have called for his resignation from the honorary university post he likely holds if he is not already chairman of a national committee of some kind. A growing number have even claimed he should retire altogether from either public or private life.

"John Edwards needs to step down from or refuse to accept the position immediately," Republican National Committee deputy chairman Frank Donatelli said. "He's in a lot of trouble if he still needs to be elected to something."

Added Donatelli, "I just hope our tax dollars aren't going to him somehow."

At press time, it was unclear whether Edwards could be impeached, or whether he would have legal grounds to sue someone if he were.