Edwards, Iowa, Rumors , Denials, and What If's?

I have an article at Pajamas Media today, Reframing Iowa without Edwards. It points out that the operative time period for the inquiry into the effect of an Edwards' withdrawal from the race is October, 2007, when news of his affair was first reported and he issued his first denial. The question should be what if he dropped out then? To answer it, there are other factors to consider besides second choice candidate preferences on the eve of the January 3 caucuses or during entrance polling, as others have focused on.

In the end, I conclude there's no way to know what would have happened.

But now, get ready for the next Edwards bombshell. The Enquirer is reporting (already picked up by the New York Post) that Edwards rekindled his affair with Rielle Hunter in 2007 -- during the time period when her baby likely was conceived.

If that's true, and it's a big if, regardless of whether Edwards really is the father of Hunter's baby, it gives even greater weight to the argument that Edwards should have dropped out of the race in October, 2007 when reports of their affair surfaced, rather than issue denials. [More..]

If they were involved in 2007, how could he not have known by October that Hunter was pregnant? That defies credulity.

Here's the First Enquirer article Oct 10, 2007.

Now, the denials: The 12/19/07 Enquirer update has denials of any affair made by Edwards on October 11 -- and by his lawyer and lawyers for Hunter and Young as to paternity in mid December. The bolding of dates in the quotes is by me.

....Reporters asked Edwards about The ENQUIRER report during a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 11. Edwards responded: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding: "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30 plus years."

From Edwards' lawyer, days after the Enquirer took the December 12 photo of pregnant Rielle in North Carolina:

....things changed dramatically when The ENQUIRER contacted Edwards for a comment just days later. Edwards' lawyer called The ENQUIRER and denied the well-coiffed Democratic candidate is the father of Rielle's baby, adding that Rielle would deny it as well.

One day after the call from Edwards' lawyer, Andrew Young's lawyer's issued this statement:

"Andrew Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child," declared his Washington, D.C.-based attorney. Sen. Edwards knew nothing about the relationship between these former co-workers, which began when they worked together in 2006. As a private citizen who no longer works for the campaign, Mr. Young asks that the media respect his privacy while he works to make amends with his family."

From Rielle Hunter's lawyer:

In a statement issued to The ENQUIRER through her attorney, Rielle said: "The fact that I am expecting a child is my personal and private business. This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way. Andrew Young is the father of my unborn child."

The fact that all three lawyers -- those for Edwards, Hunter and Young -- contacted the Enquirer within days of the publication of her being photographed pregnant on December 12, and that Edwards' lawyer told them that Rielle was going to deny the paternity allegation, suggests to me, as a lawyer, it was a joint strategy.

And yes, I care, because while it's possible Obama would have trounced Hillary in Iowa without Edwards in the race, it's equally plausible he may not have.

Edwards should have dropped out in October even if he didn't rekindle the affair in 2007. But if he did get re-involved with Hunter in 2007, it's inexcusable that he didn't get out, if not in October, certainly in December when her pregnancy became public knowledge -- even if it turns out he isn't the father. Privacy was long-gone by that point.

As to whether he lied to Elizabeth and is still lying to Elizabeth, that's between them and I'll offer no comment. Commenters are free to weigh in on both topics.

My concern is the effect of his prolonging his surely doomed candidacy through January 30. Here are the States that voted between Iowa and Jan 30 when Edwards dropped out:

  • January 8: New Hampshire
  • January 15: Michigan
  • January 19: Nevada
  • January 26: South Carolina (D)
  • January 29: Florida
< Is Your Government Tracking Your Movements? | Is This What It Means To Be An Obama "Progressive?" >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    And, while there is no way of knowing if or (5.00 / 11) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:24:37 PM EST
    how much impact he had on skewing the primary, it is safe to say that there had to be some.  He and obama tag-teamed Hillary, which is a fact.  If he had not been in contention, he would not have been able to participate in trying to drag her down.

    Well, there's no question that (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by rjarnold on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:45:31 PM EST
    the late October debate would have been much less damaging (maybe not damaging at all) to Hillary if Edwards wasn't in it. Unlike Obama, he was willing to flat-out lie about her.

    I'd be flabbergasted (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:29:34 PM EST
    if he rekindled the affair while running for president.  Since the rumors were already flying, there's no way he could have kept the lid on.  

    But conjecture is a waste of time at this point.  I'm more interested in the angle that he might have deliberately had an affect on the primaries and specifically, Hillary's chances.

    Dirty business, politics.

    It seems that (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:44:00 PM EST
    the effedup MI and FL situation had a bigger negative effect on her chances than John Edwards did in those five states.

    It was painful to reread the reporting about the Nevada primary.  Obama was already hurling nasty accusations at her and Bill, already stirringthe pot.



    What would have happened in Michigan (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by americanincanada on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:48:49 PM EST
    if there was no Edwards to also remove his name from the ballot?

    Good point (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:56:12 PM EST
    if reports that he and Obama removed their names for strategic reasons because they were trailing Hillary in the polls are true.

    Good point. (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:03:45 PM EST
    Also, our good friend Bill Richardson, Clinton "loyalist", and Biden removed theirs, too.  Even though Edwards came in third in Iowa, even with all the campaigning and this stunt, it certainly didn't help her in Iowa, as they whined incessantly about her remaining on the MI ballot.

    We'll have to ask Dodd why he stayed on, too.  :)


    Edwards came in 2nd. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:56:58 PM EST
    Don't you remember his speech and his after thought of oh and thank everyone for making him second over Hillary? I do know that my friends in Fla voted for Edwards. They then became Hillary fans.

    Weird delegate counts. (none / 0) (#103)
    by huzzlewhat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:02:11 PM EST
    I believe that Edwards came in second in votes, but third in delegates (Hillary gaining more); the first indication to me how skewed the delegate apportion system was. I could very well be remembering incorrectly, however.

    It wouldn't have been as big a deal (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by cmugirl on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:12:59 PM EST
    But the fact that the upstart Obama and the former VP candidate of the party removed their names made it news.  If it was just Obama and Biden and Richardson, no one would have cared.  I'm gonna doubt Obama would have done it in the first place - Edwards gave him cover and some "credibility" on the matter.  Edwards was the reason this ruse was so successful.

    Same result (none / 0) (#29)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:54:53 PM EST
    Five candidates removed their name from the ballot.  If Edwards had been out of the race, it would have been four candidates.  I see no reason to think the Obama campaign wouldn't have tried the exact same stunt.

    Yeah, but there probably (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by rjarnold on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:03:15 PM EST
    would have been a much lower % for uncommitted without Edwards.

    Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by rilkefan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:18:40 PM EST
    The story was, "everybody important but Clinton removed their name"; without JE it would have been, "Obama removes name while lagging in polls".

    It hardly matters (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:22:11 PM EST
    The media didn't want to talk about Michigan regardless, it would have gotten no play.  And in terms of the eventual outcome, it still would have been like "oh come on Hillary, all the other candidates removed their name, how can you say it should count"?  The talking point, remember, was that Hillary was the only one on the ballot (even though she wasn't), which wouldn't have changed.

    And I think it should be clear to everyone who watched the RBC meeting that there was no way those people ever would have permitted Michigan and Florida to change the outcome.


    Uh huh. (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:26:57 PM EST
    And I think it should be clear to everyone who watched the RBC meeting that there was no way those people ever would have permitted Michigan and Florida to change the outcome.

    Then they shouldn't be surprised if that decision, among other issues, ends up derailing Obama's campaign.


    Steve, you are assuming that Obama would (none / 0) (#70)
    by Teresa on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:35:48 PM EST
    have still left his name off the ballot. Edwards gave him the cover to do that; Biden, etc. wouldn't have. Who knows, Obama may have received more votes than 100% of the uncommitted and even all of the write-ins that shouldn't have counted either way, but I doubt it.

    How many times did we hear "even my six year old knows that Michigan doesn't count, my name wasn't even on the ballot". At the least, he would have lost that talking point.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#92)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:54:19 PM EST
    Everyone took their name off the ballot, except Dodd.  Even Kucinich tried, but his campaign screwed up the paperwork so his name had to stay on.

    Seems to me that Edwards or no Edwards, if all the other campaigns were willing to go along then he still would have pulled the same stunt.


    Yes. (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:23:59 PM EST
    The others were certainly not frontrunners.

    She kept it a contest by winning New Hampshire and then it really got ugly, but it got ugly on Obama's side.

    Not hers.


    The MI ballot.... (none / 0) (#104)
    by ding7777 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:05:00 PM EST
    Obama, Edwards, Richardson filed the paperwork to remove their names on October 9, 2007... 1 day before the "published" Enquirer story.

    So Edwards knew when he removed his name, his affair with Hunter was out of the bag.


    Edwards' affair (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by KD on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:44:56 PM EST
    Hunter was with him on the very day he announced that he was running for president. There are pictures of her there with a camera and pictures of her on the plane. She went with him to New Orleans too. I can't believe that she'd have been hanging around if the affair was really over.

    Do you have a link to share? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:08:23 PM EST
    The current information is that she only met Elizabeth once, and Eliz was surely with him on the occasions you are talking about.

    I think I need to review the timeline yet again. Information comes out so fast and furious, but not necessarily in chronological order!

    By the time this all shakes out to expose the whole truth, Edwards will have lost all that Rielle found so attractive.


    True (none / 0) (#80)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:03:06 PM EST
    and when presidential candidates announce, aren't their spouses usually with them?
    Elizabeth wasn't there.
    Also, last week Elizabeth wrote that the recurrence of her cancer in March 07 helped to heal the affair thingy.  Many speculations could be drawn from that comment.

    It was on FOX or CNN (none / 0) (#109)
    by Amiss on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 01:47:27 AM EST
    and Elizabeth was NOT there, Rielle was there.

    Since the NY Post has (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by RalphB on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:13:11 PM EST
    done a story of her flying around the country near the end of 2006 during his announcement tour, does anyone think Elizabeth knew about the affair at that time.  Do they expect us to believe that she knew about the affair and allowed them on the campaign trail together?

    Oh, good grief. (none / 0) (#66)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:28:53 PM EST
    He would have deliberately had an effect.



    Even though this isn't something I like to think (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by Teresa on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:36:12 PM EST
    about because it makes me sad, I do have one thought...remember the last debate before Edwards dropped out? That was when he finally started criticizing Obama. The interest rate cap that wasn't low enough to vote for so he didn't vote for it at all? There were a couple of more issues.

    I always found it strange that after he finally debated Obama rather than focusing on Hillary, he drops out a few days later. I think someone told him to or this would get out. He had a fund raiser the day before!

    Examples... (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Teresa on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:49:34 PM EST
    EDWARDS: You voted against it because the limit was too high, is that what you just said?

    OBAMA: That is exactly what I just said, John, because...

    EDWARDS: So there's no limit at all.

    EDWARDS: And the problem with Peru, Barack, is you are leaving the enforcement of environmental and labor regulations in the hands of George Bush.

    One more...didn't mean to hit post (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by Teresa on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:52:17 PM EST
    I mean, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are sitting in front of me right know they have to go to the floor of the House every day and vote on hard issues. And they have to vote up or down or not show up to vote -- one of those three choices. What I didn't hear was an explanation for why over 100 times you voted present instead of yes or no when you had a choice to vote up or down.

    EDWARDS: The question is, why would you over 100 times vote present? I mean, every one of us -- every one -- you've criticized Hillary. You've criticized me for our votes.

    Best of all...health care.... (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by Teresa on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:29:32 PM EST
    The truth is that there are three health care plans represented on this stage. Two are universal; one is not. His is not. Senator Clinton's is, and mine is.

    EDWARDS: In order for the plan to be universal, it has to mandate coverage for everybody. And when we talk about getting it done -- and Barack just spoke, as he does often, eloquently, about taking on the drug companies, the insurance companies, I also think it's important to recognize that Senator Obama has taken more money from the drug companies than anybody. Senator Clinton has taken more money from the insurance companies than anybody.

    I'll quit now, but it interesting to go back and read that transcript from just a week before he dropped out. Why did he just then start criticizing Obama and why did he debate so hard.."there are three people at this debate" just to quit shortly after?

    Debate transcript


    Yeah, I Don't See A Senario (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by flashman on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:38:23 PM EST
    where the math proves Wolfson's point.  Maybe someone has some real models, but just from the speculation, I'm not buying his argument.  Either way, it's a done deal, and there is really nothing to gain from the speculations.  Maybe he in angling for the next presidential primary.  If the Dems have to nominate a candiate next time, it should prove interesting.

    Did anyone really expect that what (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:39:07 PM EST
    Edwards told Bob Woodruff the other night was the entirety of the story?  Really?  This morning I heard that he didn't tell Elizabeth about the affair until after he had announced for president - which makes more sense to me than him telling her before he announced, since no woman who is as intelligent as she is, also battling cancer, would have taken the chance that the affair would be revealed during the campaign and the family subjected to exactly what is happening now.  Of course, I guess it kind of was revealed, but never got the kind of attention we've come to expect from these kinds of stories.

    Looks to me like the worst is yet to come, and that's a shame for those who shouldn't have to suffer for his narcissism and hubris.

    As for what would have happened if Edwards had never been in the race, I'm of two minds on it.  On the one hand, maybe it would have meant that Hillary Clinton would now be the nominee, but on the other hand...I think the dynamic that existed with Edwards in it until after South Carolina forced Clinton to be a better candidate in so many ways, and wonder whether she would be that candidate had she gotten the nomination without the struggle.

    Did that make sense?

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:47:49 PM EST
    It's clear that she had it in her to be the candidate she became.  It seems to me that she would have after Febrary though.  

    She had to.


    Could he be that stupid? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by dianem on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:39:36 PM EST
    If he confesses and is contrite, there is some chance of saving his political career. I think he wants to do that, since if he didn't care about that he could just keep denying the rumors and let the questions remain questions.  Even if Rielle comes out and says she had an affair with him, he could remain silent or continue to deny, a la Clinton. That would end his career. But Americans love reformed sinners, and he might yet come out of this intact if he seems sincere in his regrets. But if he lied about any part of this, especially about being the father of that baby, then it's over, totally and completely. The question is, is Edwards stupid enough to do this? Would he actually say that the baby could not possibly be his when there is a "red dress" in the form of a baby sitting there waiting to expose his lie?

    I think his bigger problem (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:45:28 PM EST
    may be a legal one, having to do with the possible use of campaign funds.

    And if there was something fishy going on with campaign funds, that is REALLY stupid, given Edwards' considerable personal wealth.


    I've avoided commenting on this (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by miriam on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:54:49 PM EST
    before now because I'm so bitter.  However...I hope John Edwards crawls into the nearest deep hole and stays there.  Wes Clark supporters, and I was/am one, have a long history with Edwards and it's not a pretty one.  General Hugh Shelton damaged Clark during the '04 primaries by saying Clark was "retired" early becaue of "character issues."  The fact that he later repudiated this scurrilous statement, saying it was only "a political thing" did nothing to stop this lie from repeatedly being used, to this day, by Clark's few but determined detractors.  And whose campaign was Shelton working for when he made this charge?  John Edwards.  So this man has damaged the campaigns of two of the best people we've been lucky enough to have running for office.  Edwards isn't fit to be in the same room with Wes Clark and Hillary Clinton.

    Edwards helped Obama enormously (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by Maribelle on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    On the night of the January 5th debate, ABC reported that "Obama got some unexpected help" from Edwards during a heated exchange with Hillary.  Many protested this tag-team and doubted that the help for Obama was unexpected.


    While Obama apologists are quick to cite the exit polls from Iowa, they neglect the fact that the Edwards folks that might have voted for Obama if Edwards was not in the race, would not have been hearing the tag-team in action and all of the negatives they threw at Hillary.

    What if (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Faust on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:41:11 PM EST
    I can imagine a 1000 what ifs. I suppose it's entertaining but it's nothing more than that. What if Hillary hadn't hired Mark Penn? What if Bill Richardson had endorsed Hillary before Super Tuesday? What if Ted Kennedy hadn't endorsed Obama? What if a meteor had dropped from the sky and hit all the candidates while they were debating? What if what if what if.

    If the latest allegations are true (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by DemForever on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:46:37 PM EST
    I would not have minded if a meteor had struck Edwards.  

    As an aside, a saw a video where Alan Combes actually showed some backbone in going after Hannity and crew for not taking to McCain to task in the same way they are going after Edwards.  I thought Hannity's head was going to explode, which wouldnt be a bad thing.


    I would like to see that! (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Faust on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:53:10 PM EST
    Pure speculation, true. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:56:37 PM EST
    And I know of at least one real life story of love, sex and betrayal that make JE look almost faithful in comparison.  Besides, it's got way more juicy details in it!

    Politics?  History.  Has Obama's campaign said anything?  (The way they used JE's endorsement like a Hail Mary pass didn't show much respect, IMO.)


    endorsement (5.00 / 7) (#60)
    by CHDmom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:20:54 PM EST
    Since I've learned the affair was true, I've wonderred alot about JE endorsement of Obama and the timing. Edwards spent the entire weekend going on all the shows saying he was NOT going to endorse and he thought it was important for the voters to have their voices heard. Then Hillary did great in WV and the next day Edwards endorsed Obama. At the time they made a point of saying EE was not and stayed home.

    I thought that was (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:05:46 PM EST
    the most clumsy, pathetic use of a major endorsement I had ever seen.

    Since JE was #3 in delegates, his endorsement should have been carefully staged for maximum effect and exposure - like before the PA primary?

    Instead we got some kind of amateurish rush job after WV.  WTH happened?


    Thanks, I watched for this (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:42:11 PM EST
    on the Pajamas Media site yesterday, after you had commented that you were working on an analysis, Jeralyn.  

    It is a valuable piece of work by a lawyerly mind, argued well with the more logical evidence that takes us back to the time when Edwards was outed -- not the later timeframe used by so many lesser bloggers with their biases and agendas.

    Of course, as you say, "what ifs" are as useless now as an Edwards for President button.  Or even an Edwards for Dogcatcher button, with the ongoing revelations.  But those who disparage and dismiss "what ifs" do not want to see that is exactly how political analysis (and history) can be useful and at all predictive for those planning campaigns in future.  All factors must be assessed to best attempt to anticipate and then succeed.  Or not.

    There will be analyses of this campaign abounding.  Those that assess this factor will be the better studies.  And they will do well to read your preliminary work here.

    thank you for that comment (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:05:26 PM EST
    I'm very flattered. I was a bit disappointed not to be able to come to a conclusion as to whether the results would have been different, but I thought it important to write about the relevant time frame of any inquiry into it.

    There was a lot more research I did into the numbers but didn't include for length and because I couldn't draw conclusions one way or the other from it. Maybe in a follow-up....


    Yes, please -- we crunch (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:20:35 PM EST
    and therefore we are, us number-lovers. :-)

    I did find myself wishing for several more pages in your piece but figured that you face length limits.  My personal bane in my work, as you can imagine. . . .

    But it got me to Pajamas Media, anyway, and I appreciate that as well.  While searching it yesterday in hope of seeing your work, I found several great "reads."  And I've sent the site URL on to my spouse, who teaches new media synergies and such so surfs lots of sites but always is looking for more.

    And now he's a blogger himself, so he may link PM.  Sigh.  Every day begins (since he's up with the dawn, ugh) with a gleeful report of how many "hits" he has tallied to date.  You bloggers!


    Clinton would have definitely won Iowa (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Exeter on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:49:12 PM EST
    No doubt in my mind. If you look at the counties that Edwards won, they are clearly "Clinton counties."

    not so fast (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:36:06 PM EST
    look at the southern counties he won. They only had hundreds of voters, compared to many Obama won with tens of thousands of voters and a few with more than 100k voters.

    True, but... (none / 0) (#112)
    by Exeter on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 10:00:17 PM EST
    ...remember this Iowa where those rural precinct caucuses add up to disproportionatly higher number of delegates.

    What if the MSM had done their job? (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by mogal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:49:23 PM EST

    Gore in 2000 (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:57:29 PM EST
    And no Bush administration.

    Any other questions?


    But ... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Maribelle on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:49:41 PM EST
    Some seem to be missing the point that Edwards denied this whole thing.

    The more that's coming out, the worse (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:54:33 PM EST
    the level of liar Edwards is looking like. It's sad for so many reasons.

    Colin Powell may be speaking at the democratic convention.

    Oh more Benedict Arnolds at the dem (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:21:16 PM EST
    convention.  Nothing Colin Powell has to say is of interest to me after he outright lied about why we should invade Iraq.  How interested do you think dems who have lost sons/daughters in this debacle want to hear Powell?  

    Sorry...just had to vent.


    I want to know about the money. (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Grace on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:55:41 PM EST
    I've heard a little bit more about it in the past couple of days and I believe it is under investigation -- but I want to know about all this money I keep hearing about.  

    Did Edwards use campaign funds?  

    He did to pay for the videos she directed (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:05:12 PM EST
    Like this one.

    Not for me to judge what $114k should buy in the way of campaign video....


    I think the $15K a month (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Grace on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:11:19 PM EST
    that has continued, even to last month, is more of a concern.  Where is that money coming from?  

    the the "father" (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CHDmom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:22:28 PM EST
    Is also getting 15,000 (or is it 20) a month, out of the kindness of someone hearts.

    Oh, right. I forgot about that. (none / 0) (#52)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:13:54 PM EST
    Wouldn't the campaign (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:14:05 PM EST
    also have paid for her air travel and her hotel rooms? She traveled with him for 5 months, including to Africa. The news organizations have to pay the campaign for their reporters' seats on the plane.

    As to an investigation, it's not illegal for him to hire a paramour and have her paid by the campaign if she's really doing work. And regardless of what you think of the quality of the videos, she did make them and in almost every photo I've seen of her, she's hauling a camera and filming. So no, I don't think an investigation into campaign payments to her is warranted, at least not now.

    The money paid to her and Andrew Young after her contract ended was paid by Fred Baron from his own funds. He can do what he wants with his money.

    Now, if the campaign was reimbursing Baron using a subterfuge accounting method to hide the reimbursement, that could be different.


    Bingo! (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Grace on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    The money paid to her and Andrew Young after her contract ended was paid by Fred Baron from his own funds. He can do what he wants with his money.

    Now, if the campaign was reimbursing Baron using a subterfuge accounting method to hide the reimbursement, that could be different.

    This is what I want to know about.  The National Enquirer said they were investigating and I believe I heard somewhere else the funds were "being audited" -- so I'd like to hear more about this.  

    I realize that it's perfectly legal to pay her for work she performed (making the videos).  Ahem.


    Love the (paranthetical qualifer). :-) (none / 0) (#99)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:22:52 PM EST
    I will play a little bit (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:07:52 PM EST
    One of my favorite bloggers on the Iowa caucuses was desmoinesdem, who was a precinct captain for Edwards this year and had her finger on the pulse of Iowa voters as much as anyone.  I found this comment:

    I am not convinced that Hillary would have won if Edwards had not run or been destroyed by this scandal. A significant number of Edwards supporters were anybody-but-Clinton. Some would have gone with Hillary, but many would have preferred Obama or a second-tier candidate.

    Maybe Biden or Richardson would have been viable in more precincts, and Obama still would have beaten Clinton. In my precinct, possibly both Biden and Richardson would have had enough support to cross the 15 percent threshold without Edwards in the mix.

    When we talk about the impact of the debates, I think we're talking moreso about the national storyline and the way it was impacted.  Iowa voters aren't necessarily as affected by the national storyline as by the way they see the campaign unfold locally.

    We know Obama was more than willing to go after Hillary hard.  ("She'll say anything and do anything")  I'm sure it was handy for him to have an attack dog so he could remain above the fray, but in the absence of Edwards, wouldn't he just have gone after Hillary a little bit sooner?  Are people really confident that the media would have called him out for it and abandoned the "Obama is running such a positive campaign" meme?  I am not.  We see how the media behaved.

    Ultimately I think the hypothetical is unanswerable.  If desmoinesdem doesn't know who would have won Iowa then I sure don't.  As for Edwards himself I assume he is lying about most of these remaining issues and I don't really care, I am way past it at this point.  I am a lot more upset about the news concerning Edwards' phantom poverty foundation, to be perfectly honest.

    Again, it was (5.00 / 7) (#58)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:18:43 PM EST
    a caucus state, and Hillary definitely hadn't hit her stride.

    As far as I'm concerned, Iowa was wrong.  They listened to the hype and went with the wrong candidate.  Not the first time either.

    Let's start changing the primary rotation.


    I would have to concur with both assessments (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:53:41 PM EST
    1. If desmoinesdem doesn't know who would have won Iowa then I sure don't.
    2.  I am a lot more upset about the news concerning Edwards' phantom poverty foundation.

    Well hey (none / 0) (#95)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:57:38 PM EST
    it's always nice to find someone who agrees with me!  Happens every month or so.

    That's funny. Because desmoinesdem told me (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by masslib on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 12:11:23 AM EST
    at the time that Obama was basically non-competitive in her precinct as he was in many outside of the urbans/school areas and that the contest in those precincts was basically between Edwards and Clinton.  Actually, if you look at the demographics of the primary they never really changed aside from BO's ten day run in February when he peaked, so I think statiscally speaking, it's fair to say Hillary would have been the odds on favorite in Iowa had Edwards dropped out.

    No surprise here (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by cmugirl on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:08:23 PM EST
    Because the editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer was on Larry King last week and saidsaid there was more to come

    Things would have been different (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:12:19 PM EST
    It is just not clear how.  Edwards participation in the race from October onward skewed all of the parameters, as Jeralyn showed.

    There was room for 3 in the top tier - what if the third had been Dodd instead of Edwards? I think he would have been a candidate that could have flourished with more oxygen.

    We'll never know - but Wolfson is more entitled to voice an opionion than most, and we surely can not prove him wrong.

    I'm trying to avoid learning more about this... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by OrangeFur on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:17:39 PM EST
    ... entire [chiche alert] sordid affair.

    But as to the question as to why Edwards might be so dumb as to carry on an affair while running for president--well, politicians tend to get big heads. Bill Clinton was carrying on with Lewinsky before the 1996 election, after all.

    I was an early Edwards supporter (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by andjustice4all on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:17:55 PM EST
    though I also worked for Hilary up until the SC primary (where I voted for Edwards)
    I definitely feel like he wasted my vote, by living that lie. I still prefer his stands on nearly all issues, but now I wouldn't spit on him if he was on fire.
    An affair? So what, it pisses me off but it's Elizabeth he really betrayed. I'd still vote for him (though I'd rather vote for HER) but all of the lies, the unending arrogance on top of it and the added hypocrisy of dithering around the subject of gay marriage and it's possible effects on the sanctity of his marriage--OMG!!!
    And then that confession/"apology" just makes me hurl. Go away, already, John.

    Not going to happen. (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:32:54 PM EST
    There's one way Obama could smooth this over.

    If he doesn't, then he's on his own.

    What ifs (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by cawaltz on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:10:24 PM EST
    aren't very productive and are very "iffy" imo. As for Hunter, I don't really care and don't find her camp o0verly credible. If edwards was/is the father than why not establish paternity? Oh, then her fifteen minutes of fame might be gone? That'd be a darned shame(rolling my eyes). The only one I feel for is this poor kid. It's mom is running around saying your father is so and so and then claiming "privacy issues" as a reason to not establish paternity.

    Obama has a pattern... (5.00 / 4) (#100)
    by S Brennan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:31:21 PM EST
    Umm..a little reality dude,

    Obama has a pattern of being involved in campaigns where the press is used to reveal the bedroom secrets of his opponents.  This has been well documented on three separate occasions...Axelrod has conections to all the players involved...at some point reasonable people are able to connect the dots.

    On this last occasion, however, we have a probable violation of the law [attempted blackmail] and RICO statutes covers this type of crime...which is a felony...which of course is impeachable.

    This has been making the rounds, but as of yet nobody has made any counter factual claims:

    "...No description of Obama's relationship with the Chicago press can ignore the benefits of Obama's ties to local strategist David Axelrod, a former reporter for the Tribune, a frequent source for local reporters, and on good terms with most of the paper's editors. Fortuitously for Obama, Axelrod began the 2004 Senate primary cycle by engaging in early discussions with Obama's best-funded rival, Blair Hull. Those discussions included Axelrod asking Hull to confirm or deny rumors of spousal abuse; Axelrod told Mendell that Hull offered a "glacial" and evasive answer. Unsurprisingly, Axelrod lost interest in Hull shortly after that.

    As the primary heated up, a consultant for one of Obama's rivals handed Tribune reporter Mendell a packet of opposition research on Hull -- the documents noted that he had been divorced three times, and that his second wife had been granted a court order of protection from him.

    That prompted the Chicago media to demand Hull unseal his divorce records, and his campaign ultimately showed them to Mendell. The contents were devastating -- allegations of abuse and threats.

    ....Oddly, within a few months, dogged efforts on the part of the local press would eliminate another Obama rival, this time in the general election. Republican Jack Ryan seemed to be out of central casting -- handsome, independently wealthy, sharing the name of a Tom Clancy hero.

    But once again, the Tribune and a local television station launched a crusade to unseal the candidate's divorce records. Ryan, his ex-wife (actress Jeri Ryan, best known for playing a cybernetic bombshell on Star Trek: Voyager), and his supporters argued that his nine-year-old son ought to be spared the messy details of his contentious divorce. A California judge ordered the records unsealed, and the entire political world heard accusations that the candidate urged his unwilling wife to have public sex in clubs in New York and Paris. Ryan denied the allegations, but no candidacy could survive a revelation like that."


    Sorry Folks, Obama's FISA vote...his contining votes to support of the war...his stand on a woman's right to choose..et al is just the tip of the iceburg...wait 'till he rips down SSI for the entertainment of those affluent white proffesionals that support him.

    Hate to say it (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by OxyCon on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:09:55 PM EST
    But this is why I was never too enamored with John Edwards. To me, there was always a lack of genuineness about him. He always seemed like a phony. All the "Two Nations" malarkey was just another catchy bumper sticker slogan conjured up by Axlerod. Plus, you throw in that he was only a Senator for two years when he ran for President the first time, and you see another reason why I do not support Obama.
    Two peas in a pod.
    I feel very certain that there will be some personal revelations about Obama which show him in this same light.

    In my 54 years whenever..... (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by Kefa on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 05:18:25 AM EST
    I have thought I have seen it all I have been wrong. So whatever is uncovered concerning this with the Edwards would not make me blink one bit. Stranger things have happened if you know what I mean.

    Why is everyone, here and at Big Orange Satan (4.33 / 3) (#8)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:37:27 PM EST
     and MyDD spending so much time on this? Spending that time will change nothing. Iowa did what it did, and no amount of tooth-gnashing will change that. Edwards is not the presumptive nominee and is long gone from the race. His wife did what she did for reasons she considered approrpriate and that cannot be changed either. I am an old lady sod and don't like adultery, but why this rather than  European Georgia or uhc or abuse of executive privilege or . . . What happened here is that Edwards' denial got him to the opportunity to see if he could be president and to the discovery that he could not, even before this came out the way it has. Now he knows. So what now? Does somebody want to run Iowa again because of this? Arguing about it won't change anything material, and, frankly, Edwards is not that interesting.

    Are you at all interested (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:45:32 PM EST
    in history?

    Or in candidates using it to attempt to anticipate how to do better next time?

    Some of us are.  If you're not, if you don't even want to read Jeralyn's work at the link, why comment?


    There is a time and place for everything (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:56:01 PM EST
    The time for a post mortem and learning from history is a little later. The next presidential primary is in 4 years; the next presidential election is in November. The die is cast. Some posters priority might actually be this election. Your priority may be the next primary. Individual posters and voters will have to decide for themselves. Hillary appears to have decided this election is her priority.

    What is this supposed to mean? (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:06:42 PM EST
    Hillary appears to have decided this election is her priority.

    That sounds familiar (5.00 / 6) (#54)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:14:16 PM EST
    That sounds like something Republicans say when they royally eff something up (Iraq, Katrina) in order to try to get people NOT to look at what's been going on.

    If your priority is this election, which is a fine priority to have, why are you posting on this thread? Shouldn't you be out making phone calls for Sen. Obama instead of scolding people who want to discuss this?


    By all means look (none / 0) (#90)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:45:32 PM EST
    After the ballots are cast in November.

    Do you see a difference between this position (look later) and the GOP's "after they have eff something up" (never look at it at all)?



    No, I don't see a difference (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:56:39 PM EST
    The GOP doesn't say "never look." They always say "there's a time and a place for everything," or "there will be time later to figure out what happened but now is not the time," or "Democrats just want to play the blame game, and Republicans want to get something done."  So, no, I see no difference at all.

    So are you saying I personally (none / 0) (#96)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:59:31 PM EST
    do not favor ever doing a post mortem on this for historical purposes?

    Because that will be incorrect and insulting on your part.


    Never mind. (none / 0) (#47)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:11:18 PM EST
    I see what you're saying.

    I'm not Hillary Clinton, however.  She can do what she wants.


    The simple answer is that when (5.00 / 8) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:56:39 PM EST
    you have your own blog, you can talk about whatever you want; if you don't like what is being discussed here, I don't think anyone is forcing you to read or participate.

    No one's talking about a do-over because of Edwards' situation, but "what if" is a pretty normal response to something like this, especially in politics, where timing can be everything.


    Part of my interest in the continuing fascination (none / 0) (#77)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:51:46 PM EST
    with this subject by bloggers is in my first line. It goes here but it is also going on and on on DKos despite being shut down at least once for sheer overload, it's running ten or so new diaries a day, and on MyDD. Um, the people on this site and the people at Great Orange Satan generally do not think along the same lines, except on this one. Somehow I don't think it's "Omygod, with all these boring mincing policy nerds, somebody in our party finally broke out of the mold and did something scandalous."

    While those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it, I have not gathered from this site to date (or from any other) that anyone sat Mr. E down last fall to have a heart to heart about this and whether he should continue, or at least nobody whose words had any effect. Or did anything in the campaign with it on behalf of any other candidate after the National Enquirer started in with it a la a lot of things I won't mention so nobody will be distracted from  the subject of this thread. And there is no regime in place or proposed to vet would-be candidates at that stage. There would have been far fewer than ten on some of those debate stages if that were so.

    There may be several things to learn from this. One, that in the current generation, candidates are not deterred from running to see what happens with their candidacy  by a scandal which might be disclosed but has not yet been disclosed, until they either see what happens or it comes out and they figure out if they can survive it. Two, that between events in the 90's and McCain's late first marriage, someone is testing the waters to see if  at least in this election cycle, this sort of conduct is still a candidacy-killer. Three, those sorts of personal choices  can have material consequences for persons other than those making the personal choices in question.It cannot be a double standard issue  because no female candidate exists who has been accused of this.


    pro-Obama sites will continue (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:15:06 PM EST
    posting diaries and comments about Edwards' affair.
    It justifies their support for the Empty Suit.

    That I do not understand. Please explain. Nobody (none / 0) (#111)
    by Christy1947 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 06:50:13 PM EST
    here loves the one you call the Empty Suit, but it is here. It is in MyDD where they don't love the one you call the Empty Suit either. Please, lay it out for me so I can understand the thought.

    I wasn't referring to TalkLeft (none / 0) (#113)
    by Josey on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:23:32 AM EST
    but rather the Obama blogs that use Edwards' affair to boost Obama.

    Now I really don't understand. (none / 0) (#114)
    by Christy1947 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 12:44:20 PM EST
    I read this blog and some others, but have not seen much that suggests anyone is using the Edwards mess to elevate Obama. In my understanding, the entire line began when Howard Wolfson, not an Edwards man nor an Obama man, insisted that Hillary would have won Iowa if Edwards had come out about this before that election took place.

    No - it began on Aug 8 (none / 0) (#115)
    by Josey on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 01:47:36 PM EST
    when Edwards admitted the affair.

    Edwards' denial kept people from (5.00 / 10) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:00:38 PM EST
    choosing an alternate candidate for the 2 1/2 months he let his doomed candidacy continue.

    I supported both Edwards and Hillary between October and December. I covered them equally in Iowa and spent hours at his campaign events there and publicizing them.

    I would have endorsed Hillary much earlier had Edwards not been in the race. As a blogger, that matters to me.


    Who cares, anyway? (3.25 / 4) (#72)
    by scribe on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:39:01 PM EST
    The fans of the respective candidates can navel-gaze all they want about whether Edwards did or didn't (Hunter's refusal to ever allow the baby to be subjected to a paternity test will go a long way to keeping that pot boiling - at least until she gets her book deal).

    The fans can debate about how an election would have turned out if, if, if ....  Just like military historians can debate, simulate and argue over whether Lee and Pickett would have won at Gettysburg had Pickett not charged or whether Chamberlain's leadership of the 20th Maine made the difference.  Just like they debate what would have happened had Hitler not stopped his Panzers above Dunkirk to allow Goering's Luftwaffe to finish off the British, only to see them fail and the Brits get away.

    It goes on and on.  I've spent enough time and effort on simulations of those types to tell you one thing about every re-run of history - no matter the fine details, run them enough times and in the end they all come out pretty much the same as actual history did.  

    And, in this election, the one thing the Establishment did not want - and was willing to go to any lengths to prevent - was a HRC candidacy.  Otherwise, why did the TradMed not pick up on the Edwards story when the Enquirer and blogs had it in November?  They ran pretty quickly when they had the WJC stories.

    So, the Enquirer and TradMedia wait until Obama goes on vacation and his campaign goes on hiatus to spring an old story on us.  And Democratic activists are navel-gazing about what might have been.  Rather, of course, than concentrating on winning the coming election.  Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney are creating another international crisis (in Georgia), just like his dad and Cheney did in 1990 with Iraq.  All of which is designed to drive the average US voter back into the arms of Daddy The Republican who will keep you safe and warm.

    Get over it, and get a Democrat elected to the White House.

    Tell me when we have one. (5.00 / 9) (#75)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:46:15 PM EST
    Get over it, and get a Democrat elected to the White House.

    Having a D after your name means nothing until you demonstrate that you are one.


    Seriously. n/t (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:31:57 PM EST
    What Happened to John McCain (3.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Amaliada on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:12:16 PM EST
    I get that a lot of people haven't really moved on since Obama clinched the nomination (and I really don't want to get into whether or not it was done "right" or not).  

    I was and still am a huge Edwards supporter - for the things he espoused as important in American politics.

    But I'm spending my time trying to keep John McCain from being elected and I think re-hashing what may or may not have happened because of Edwards and this affair and when we knew and when we didn't and is he the father and on and on, doesn't help.

    If the goal is not to keep McCain from being elected, let me know and I'll come back after the election.


    TL management allows varying opinions (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:29:12 PM EST

    Sorry (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by Emma on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:21:24 PM EST
    My goal is not to keep John McCain from getting elected.

    My goal was to elect an experienced, fighting Dem who took Dem positions on the issues.  Since I can't have that, I no longer have a goal.  "Anybody but X" is not a goal.  It's a fallback position which I no longer care to take.


    Wolfson's wrong (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jb64 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:48:25 PM EST
    of course.It's the other way around. Hillary should have ceded Iowa to Edwards, and made her stand in New Hampshire. Edwards wins Iowa, but really Obama loses, and since Hillary didn't really try no one would have cared.

    Hillary did try (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:08:01 PM EST
    in Iowa, she just started later than the others. She made 35 trips to Iowa during the campaign. Had you attended any of her campaign events there, as I did,   you would know that.

    It was a hypothetical (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:19:27 PM EST
    There was a lot of talk about whether Iowa was an uphill battle for Hillary and maybe she should just skip it so that it would hopefully be seen as less relevant.  We all know, after all, that if someone takes their name off the ballot it becomes a "Soviet-style election" that doesn't count for anything.

    I was an Edwards supporter back then, but I must say I gained a lot of respect for Hillary when I saw her decide to compete vigorously in Iowa and to participate in each and every debate that was scheduled, even though she was the runaway frontrunner and obviously could have played it safer.  I respect that in a candidate.


    maybe so (none / 0) (#76)
    by jb64 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:48:00 PM EST
    But Iowa became the whole ballgame. I think she should have punted, and let the Edwards Obama factions pummel each other.

    Iowa gave Obama (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by pie on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:08:57 PM EST
    undeserved momentum.

    Hillary won New Hampshire.

    Then Obama got ugly.

    Too ugly.  Burning bridges ugly.


    Isn't Hunter not her real name? (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:24:45 PM EST

    It's her married name (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:27:33 PM EST
    She changed her last name to Hunter when she married Alex Hunter III (son of former Boulder District Attorney) in the 90's. There's no requirement you change it back after divorce.

    Her birth name was Lisa Druck.


    Lisa Druck? (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:03:30 PM EST
    That name would have made for a more interesting limerick.



    you are sooo bad (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:06:16 PM EST
    Thanks. (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:35:15 PM EST
    I've paid zero attention to this whole thing, but did catch someone saying something about her name on Good Morning LA or some such...

    Now I wonder (none / 0) (#105)
    by ding7777 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 08:10:11 PM EST
    if the March 22, 2007 press conference was really to announce Elizabeth's cancer or was Edwards ready to drop-out and changed his mind at the last second?