Explosive New Details in John Edwards Saga

New York Magazine has a ten page excerpt from the new book, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, which hits the stores Monday.

You'll feel like taking a shower after reading it.

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    Oh (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Left of the Left on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 05:44:58 PM EST
    Reid wasn't neutral? Knock me over with a feather.

    So disappointed in Edwards.

    Yeah, but (5.00 / 10) (#8)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:57:54 PM EST
    it's interesting that the impetus for all the focus on Obama in the Dem. establishment was the urgent need to "stop Hillary" not because of who she was but because of the terror of the Clinton wars starting up all over again.  Honestly, it's not that far from BTD's grudging support for Obama because of his "media darling" status.

    It sure would be interesting to hear what Reid, Pelosi et al say about all that behind closed doors now-- not just how Obama's worked out for them, but whether they still think Hillary's sure poison politically, being as how she's now got higher approval ratings than either Obama or even Michelle.


    The fear of the Clinton wars was (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:03:17 PM EST
    starting over again was, in my view, the only real argument against Hillary.  Her positions on issues were right in line with Dems, and she is certainly more than competent enough for the job. I can perfectly understand Reid and others being worried about what the press would do to her and Bill.

    Funny Halperin does not mention how much of the Clinton wars were made up by the press.


    I wish I could take Halperin seriously. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:39:50 PM EST
    He lost all credibility with me in 1994 during the Bush-Kerry race.  I don't throw books out as a rule, but if I came across one of his, I'd be hard pressed not to.

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:46:16 PM EST
    Made the decision not to read that book when I saw the author.  Yeah, I read the excerpt though to see what folks were talking about here. But I feel so cheap.

    But I think you mean 2004 - though sometimes it does seem like that was 16 years ago!


    I did mean 2004. (none / 0) (#98)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 02:13:41 PM EST

    Rehabilitation (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 03:54:34 PM EST
    I think the effect of Hilary's service as SoS has been to rehabilitate the Clinton image; if she every wanted to run for office again, I think her much heralded competence by both sides would drown out the Clinton War voices in the media etc.

    rehab (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by noholib on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:07:42 PM EST
    Let's hope so - for those who needed convincing!

    Jeez, even Matthews (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:43:48 PM EST
    is just swooning over how wonderful she is these days.  If he can be pried away from at least the Hillary part of his CDS, anything is possible.

    Matthews just following (none / 0) (#102)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:42:10 PM EST
    , as usual, what's politically correct in his circles.  Did you see Joe Scarborough's defense of Hilary against the smut in the Halperin book?

    Well (4.72 / 11) (#19)
    by standingup on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:51:06 PM EST
    I always believed Obama was really the establishment candidate.  And how is that working out for Harry these days?  

    They were all so afraid of the Clintons and so instead went with the guy who won't fight conservative Dems much less the Republicans.  The Dems probably have the greatest majority they will ever have in Congress and still look like they couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag.  


    Michelle? (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:28:55 PM EST
    she seems to have gone missing--except for some fashion notice.  Guess that is the strategy, a little Betty Draper and a little Nancy Reagan.  Come to think of it, Mrs. Robinson seems to be pretty low profile as well, after her early start as first mother-in-law  But, then. maybe I have not been paying close enough attention.

    No, you're right (none / 0) (#16)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:46:18 PM EST
    but traditionally in this country, first ladies zip right to the top of the "most admired woman" list, no matter what.  I think even the pathetic Pat Nixon was there.

    Yes, the Pat Nixon story is (none / 0) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:54:50 PM EST
    pretty bad and quite sad.  Initially, she was thought to be a shrew, the ambitious women behind the nice, of not entirely lovable, Dick,  who made him nasty despite himself.   She was an educated women, and a school teacher, who in cloth coat and al, l was relegated to suburban Republican wife, with diet pills and booze to wile away the days while hubby was off doing important things. .  

    She also has her garden thing. But that's (none / 0) (#17)
    by tigercourse on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:47:44 PM EST
    about it.

    I would be quietly gardening if my (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:41:54 PM EST
    husband was passing some hugely profitable legislation for the health insurance companies if I was formerly employed in the healthcare industry too.

    Yes... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by robert72 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:39:16 AM EST
    and her background there is a little less than humanitarian and upstanding.

    You'd probably have enough time (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:40:53 PM EST
    and inner calm to garden all organic too.  No pesky nasty store bought fertilizers for your Arugula :)

    He always came across, to (5.00 / 8) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:21:31 PM EST
    me, as a political lightweight, despite his "son of a millworkers" faux populism, although the story's take on Mrs. Edwards was surprising.  An interesting confirmatory point was that the "establishment" was looking for any candidate to undo Mrs. Clinton, first, Mr. Edwards, and, if that didn't work, Mr. Obama, since he was restive as US senator (according to Harry)  apparently after his long tenure in that post

    "Restive as US Senator!" Yes... (5.00 / 9) (#14)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:40:11 PM EST
    they say he stopped by the senate to get directions to the White House.  I gather Harry gave him a map.

    Yes, Harry is known to be quite helpful (none / 0) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:56:39 PM EST
    to senators in distress.  Maybe he could get rid of Ben Nelson by making him president.

    HRC might have lost anyway (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kidneystones on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:21:59 PM EST
    Lying to the American public about just about everything is regarded as 'par for the course' (They all disappoint).

    My own reaction is that the HRC people aren't going to feel much fonder about the MSM sitting on the Edwards story until candidate 'change' had the primaries locked-up.

    I doubt I'll be purchasing the book.

    Enquirer: Hardback Edition (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:56:54 PM EST
    Although, it seems the factual parts compare to what is already known, the need to make Elizabeth look like a screaming wild woman doesn't make sense. Isn't the book supposed to be about the campaign? This reads like a trash novel.

    Strategy, players, development of a candidacy...now, that would have been interesting.


    Yeah, I don't quite get (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:02:19 PM EST
    that part, either.  I expect it's considerably exaggerrated, but who knows.  The potential for this kind of mess seems to me was always apparent in John Edwards's character, so it's extremely disappointing but not shocking.  The portrayal of Elizabeth I have a hard time with, though. I don't sense that kind of shrieking harridan in her at all.

    But as we know, some people are unable to deal with forceful and assertive women at all, so it may be only that.  Candidate wives who take an active role are almost always resented and portrayed as monsters, seems to me, anyway.

    But who the h*** knows.


    If this was Edwards' character, (5.00 / 7) (#29)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:11:44 PM EST
    it's a big stretch of the imagination to think Elizabeth didn't know what kind of person he was, and I think I will always have a hard time with her role in Edwards staying in the race even after she knew about the affair, and the Enquirer was hot on the story.

    Even if Elizabeth is somewhere in between the extremes of how she has been portrayed, what comes through is that both of them were ambitious to the point of having lost their perspective.

    I don't know that there exists a person or a family that is so squeaky-clean that it could stand up, without scandal, to the kind of pressure and intense scrutiny that exists within almost any national-level campaign, but having money be the deciding factor in who prevails seems like a really poor way to elect the best people to govern and lead.


    I just think those 10 pages read like (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:11:44 PM EST
    a trashy tabloid, which diminishes the credibility for me. Maybe it was written too fast, or too many sources were used to have it come off as meaningful and informative.

    Elizabeth Edwards was less than honest with the people when she campaigned for her husband knowing full well they were hiding that grim truth about him. She lost me well before the affair made the news, though. She lost my respect when she sat on that stage in Raleigh while Obama announced she would be leading his task force on HCR.

    It didn't add to the story of the 2008 campaign to read this collection of negative opinions about how loudly she reacts to things most of us would hope never to have to face in our lives.


    The pix NYMag uses of Elizabeth are inexcusable (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Ellie on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 02:47:03 AM EST
    Really, quite apart from who behaved well or badly during this debacle, the sneering tone over a familial tragedy is beyond the pale.

    You never know how people are going to behave in the face of the horrendous specter of the longterm illness (and potential death) of a lifelong partner.

    The treatment (book and mag) of this whole sorry episode is despicable.


    It reads like trash to me too (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:47:08 AM EST
    and exactly what struck you struck me too.  How could anyone go through what Elizabeth Edwards was going through and not be emotional?  When one of my grandmothers was fighting cancer her doctor wanted her to see a shrink because she was not emotional.  It scared my grandmothers doctor and he thought being that cut off would also endanger her ability to heal.

    Uh, no. Campaigns and elections (none / 0) (#12)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:32:02 PM EST
    are about the people...those who run and those who help or hurt them.  The strategies and tactics are mostly to deal with the people involved...not with policy.

    Keep in mind...this is 10 pages of an entire book.  These are the canapes...the main course, salad and dessert will fill out the meanu.  (Yes, that's a typo but I think I'll leave it in...for obvious reasons).


    Rather (none / 0) (#103)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:45:44 PM EST
    despicable, I'd say.

    Might as well wait for the movie. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:41:20 PM EST
    Any guesses for casting?

    Um (none / 0) (#20)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:57:17 PM EST
    Martha Stewart for Elizabeth, complete with shiv.

    great line (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:42:39 PM EST
    and to think that (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by athyrio on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:44:40 PM EST
    I sent that man money that I couldn't really afford in those days...Makes me feel really foolish but at least it made me reexamine my thoughts about Hillary and after that was very impressed with her...I had made the mistake of not seriously looking at her at first...I blame the republicans big drive to discredit her...big mistake on my part...

    I was there, too (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:54:27 PM EST
    And I still think the stuff he said and the way he said it was one of the most promising things to come along in national politics in decades.  His standard stump speech in 2004 in Iowa literally had me bawling.  It was clear he wasn't quite the same guy in 2008, but I thought the other guy was still in there.  Maybe he was, but that guy had been almost buried under layers and layers of crap, it appears.

    I've always liked Hillary, from day one, but there's no question she changed, found her voice, whatever during the course of the primaries and turned me from somebody who was kinda sorta rooting for her on principle into a very strong supporter.


    I believed Hillary when she (5.00 / 8) (#46)
    by hairspray on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:39:15 AM EST
    said she would fight for us.  Maybe it wouldn't have been better than what we have now and the press would have been ballistic, but I really believed she was a fighter.

    Yeah, he had me bawling, too, but for different (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:26:47 PM EST
    reasons, such as everyone was being fooled into thinking he was the second coming.  I have a friend who named his first son Clinton because he loved Bill so much, but then comes Obama with the halo over his head and my friend was a goner....drank the koolaid with the rest of them.  That's when I knew that Obama was looked at as a messiah instead of just a person, and a person who said he was going to do things but who really didn't have the experience or the maturity to do what he said he was going to do.  Yep, I was crying tears of fear at that point.

    her voice (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by noholib on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:10:38 PM EST
    I was glad that Edwards withdrew in time to force the real choice upon us: HRC vs. BO. Once I cast my vote for her, on guess which issue: health care!, I never regretted it.  Like many around here, I too became a very strong and ardent supporter of HRC.

    the stuff he said and the way he said it (none / 0) (#65)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:30:28 PM EST
    And so, because he had you bawling, he was going to be a good president?

    C'mon, I know you think better than that.


    Don't be ridiculous (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 03:42:19 PM EST
    Reread your post (none / 0) (#89)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:14:31 AM EST
    It's a pretty good example of letting emotions prevail over common sense.



    Correction (none / 0) (#104)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:47:01 PM EST
    it was the Dems who discredited Hilary throughout the primary season, not the Repubs.

    The establishment is not the only (5.00 / 11) (#13)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:38:27 PM EST
    problem, Donald.

    The Democratic Party is also a problem.  They went looking for inexperienced guys to beat the best candidate...first Edwards, then Obama.  It couldn't possibly hurt for people to begin to understand how all this happened, who hoodwinked 'the voters' and how they did it...for next election, if for no other reason.

    Just a thought.

    Sorry, but (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 07:48:46 PM EST
    nobody in the Dem establishment, which I assume is what is meant by "they," went looking for Edwards.  Quite the contrary.  According to this book, at least, "they" went looking for an alternative to Hillary who wasn't Edwards, and landed on Obama.

    Quite right. I misspoke. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by oldpro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:34:43 PM EST
    They accepted him as VP running mate the first time around though.  

    Yes, and the reason I became (5.00 / 7) (#48)
    by hairspray on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:53:06 AM EST
    an independent and refused to send money to the DNC or any of their off shoots.  I will send money to individual candidates, but I refused to build the coffers of senators to wield power.  No more!

    Ditto. n/t (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:23:44 AM EST
    By best canidate (none / 0) (#92)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:04:20 AM EST
    I assume you mean most experienced right- Chris Dodd, or perhaps Bill Richardson, I mean it'd just be funny for people who so fetishized experience to pretend a junior senator was the most experienced.

    Surely you're aware (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 01:46:31 PM EST
    that the designation of "junior senator" says next to nothing about time spent in office.

    No. That's not what I meant. (none / 0) (#100)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:31:57 PM EST
    For me (5.00 / 8) (#31)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:31:43 PM EST
    The party has already sunk the party.  Take the health insurance "reform," one of the largest tax increases on the middle class that I've ever known in my lifetime and the money funneled to the insurance companies.  Do you think the Democrats will ever be able to shake the "tax and spend" mantra again?

    Woulda-shoulda-coulda about Edwards is the least of the "party's" problems.

    Have to wonder (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:34:15 PM EST
    if trashing Elizabeth is being done to rehabilitate Edwards.  He was justified in having the affair on his cancer stricken wife, because she was such a shrew (????)

    Was she, or was she just one of those assertive women who didn't know her place.  Who knows what the reality is.  

    Well, that would be the poorest attempt at (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:43:30 PM EST
    rehabilitation I have ever seen!

    I should have put (none / 0) (#33)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:34:49 PM EST
    "know her place" in quotes.

    I was being facetious about a woman "knowing her place".


    It was obvious to some that (5.00 / 6) (#39)
    by AX10 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 10:12:16 PM EST
    Obama was the establishment choice.
    The only thing the Democratic Party has going for me is that the GOP is a horror show right out of the dark ages of the 1300's.
    Though the Democratic party is doing a fine job of destroying itself just as the GOP did and still is doing.

    One of the things that struck me (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:01:02 PM EST
    and I've read it in other places is how Rielle's new age stuff appealed to him. It seems like he was really into it. Like he was having some kind of mid-life crisis and thought he might find answers in it. I used to like that stuff back in the 60's  but I was 18 years old. Edwards was 50 and running for President.  It's kind of unsettling to think we might have had a President who might factor his new found enlightenment into big decisions. Reminds me a bit of Nancy Reagan and her astrologer.

    I wrote a long post on Edwards, Rielle and the new age stuff here. I ended it with:

    Obviously, the effect of cancer extends beyond the patient to family members. Their lives become centered on the disease. I'm sure, even during periods of remission, it can cause people to act and think in ways that are not "in character."

    Maybe that's what happened to John Edwards. Maybe he lost his way and was searching for something new and different, something affirming that would give him a greater awareness of himself and his connection to the universe. But did he have to run for President while seeking his new enlightenment?

    I think he's still searching. For example, his recent embrace of building homes for the poor in El Salvador. I don't think he's doing it for redemption, I think he's just another lost soul searching for meaning in his life.

    Also interesting that (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:09:44 PM EST
    the interest in that sort of thing comes from a candidate from the South, and not California or the west, where you almost expect a little New Age twist on things.  I think it shows the pointlessness of trying to assign characteristics to politicians based on 'identity politics'. The guy from the Carolinas is not necessarily a NASCAR good ole boy, and so on.

    "New Age" from the 60s (none / 0) (#43)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:29:07 PM EST
    is a far cry from what is being published today. Many philosophies are being shoved under the "New Age" label that don't actually belong there.

    There really is nothing wrong with learning positive thinking and improving one's self-esteem and confidence to a level that prevents them from unnecessary stress.


    In the 1960s (none / 0) (#105)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:00:45 PM EST
    new age was "hippie", I believe.  They were naval gazers with no interest in politics benefiting from the social revolution, much as "new age" people today benefit from a more tolerant society, belief in nutrition, etc., but don't necessarily care about politics.

    Yes! (none / 0) (#54)
    by mjames on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:57:46 AM EST
    Sounds right, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 03:51:42 PM EST
    He knew who he was when he was doing horrendous personal injury cases, but once he became a rootless pol with no office to hold and looking just for the next campaign, he got lost.

    But don't be too hard on Nancy Reagan's astrologer, who convinced Nancy, who then convinced Ronnie, that Gorbachev was somebody he could deal with.  (Plus, of course, Margaret Thatcher.)


    HRC consulted Jean Houston (none / 0) (#93)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:28:25 AM EST
    Here's a more relevant quote for you (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Cream City on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 11:57:44 PM EST
    "Those who do not learn from the past. . . ."

    Aw, you know the rest, but don't want to remember and apply it.  I understand, in a way, as I'm reading Kornblut's book on the campaign, and it's still too soon for me to handle more than small doses.  But I will read it all, and other books about it, too, because history matters.

    Amen thrice. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by prittfumes on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:40:09 AM EST
    Government by committee (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by kidneystones on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:07:06 AM EST
    I agree very much with most of this post. The past is the past. The problem is we're living with the consequences of the electing someone who's a long way from second best.

    I don't find anything interesting about the sex or the drugs. Didn't care about it with Clinton, Bush, or anyone else. I find Dem interest in Republican sex scandals extremely depressing. But I digress.

    I do care about how people spend their time. During the run-up to 2000 the most troubling fact about Bush was the report that he and Al Gonzales spent an average of 30 minutes reviewing death sentences, before sending the condemned to meet the executioner. That seemed telling, to me at least.

    I can kind of understand an ambitious politician turning a 'deaf' ear to Wright and company. Ayers has been completely rehabilitated in Chicago circles. Obama wanted to be President bad; and a lot of folks in the Dem establishment wanted Obama to be President bad. norrismorris has this right, IMHO.

    My own undergraduate and graduate school grades appear to be significantly better than those of the current and former occupant of the WH. I find that troubling. I'd like to think that the folks in power are both smarter and better informed than I am.

    The counter argument is: how dumb can these folks be if they manage to end up winning the WH? Pretty dumb, if you ask me. The current occupant knows is place in history is assured. He just wants to run out the clock and leave a 'legacy'.

    Problem is: we all need something better after Bush. And this guy isn't it. Unemployment rates for those 16-24 approach 50% and the public option is dead. Both on the domestic and fp fronts this guy is a dismal failure.

    HRC might have motivated the GOP base more; and hence made legislating more difficult. But considering the nothing burgers Dem control of the WH, House, and Senate have produced to date, I can't see her accomplishing less.

    I hope she runs in 2012.

    There. I said it.

    Oh Kidney (2.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:00:31 AM EST
    ever the delusional PUMA.

    Short memory? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:49:14 AM EST
    The use of PUMA as an insulting accusation on this site is a violation.

    More tidbits (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:32:02 AM EST
    from the book, as a whole (not just the Edwards-Hunter stuff)

    Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a group of other senators who would back Hillary Clinton's candidacy encouraged Obama to run for the White House as early as 2006. The concern over Clinton was that she would be a weak Democratic standard-bearer while Obama could energize the party. In late summer 2007, Schumer - using an Obama ally, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), as a back channel - pushed the candidate to "take a two-by-four to Hillary," as the authors put it.


    Of all the freshly revealed anecdotes, though, none may be as eye-opening as the previously-unknown friction between the president and vice-president - which on Saturday a Biden spokesman dismissed as "rumors." The tensions began in September of 2008 word got back to Obama's campaign headquarters that Biden had told reporters on his campaign plane that he was more qualified than his running mate to be president.

    "A chill set in between Chicago and the Biden plane," Halperin and Heilemann write in the book, to be released Monday. "Joe and Obama barely spoke by phone, rarely campaigned together."

    And when Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was asked about having Biden dial into the nightly campaign conference call, he responded: "Nah." Instead, Biden had his own call with Plouffe and senior campaign adviser David Axelrod.

    Sounds like it would be interesting to read, but is all of it (or most of it) true?  Although Reid did call Obama and apologize instead of denying the quote.

    As for the Edwardses, the story just gets more and more pathetic.  John Edwards was the keynote speaker at my law school graduation.  Both my dad and I were thrilled to shake his hand.  Now, Jeralyn's right - I think I need a shower.

    Schumer's role in this is suspect (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:49:17 AM EST
    according to this book, as I've read more on it elsewhere -- and he is backtracking fast now.  Very interesting.  We will have to wait and see as more works on the campaign emerge.  (I still hope that the fine Sean Willentz has not set his aside.)

    2X4 vs coffee run (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jedimom on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 11:33:12 AM EST
    Pls see my comment below, the take a 2x4 to HRC to make her drop out sounds a lot like Chuckie and if true makes me so mad my blood pressure must be soaring

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by mjames on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:56:08 AM EST
    But I would like independent corroboration. The authors, whom I do not trust at all, create horrible pictures of womenfolk. I was always suspicious of EE's too-good-to-be-true saintliness (like our Prez really), but I'm equally suspicious that these guys are misogynists and just out to make a buck.

    2X4 vs coffee run (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by jedimom on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 11:31:17 AM EST
    okay let's all flashback to when HRC first went to the Senate. SHE used to GET THE COFFEE , cuz she was the JR SENATOR. THAT is what Big Dawg meant

    now Harry Reid said light skinned. THAT is racist IMO

    Now Chuckie Schumer, Reid, Kennedy apparently URGED Obama to run behind HRCs back knowing she was set to run, a BOYS CLUB anyone? yeah it is

    BEST part is DIRECT stmt from Schumer saying Obama should 'take a 2X4 to Hillary to make her drop out'

    and no one says a word, b/c it is perfectly fine to bash a womans head in in rhetorical speak and have HER get the coffee, no one bats an eye, but a MAN getting coffee, or a woman talkoing about running in June like Bobby well THAT is racist AND THREATENING!

    I am done with these misogynistic ubertools I will work to defeat them


    I want you and Cream to write the book! (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ellie on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 02:40:51 PM EST
    THAT one, I'll pre-order. :-)

    Game Change? Meh, I've read enough. It's just sleaze and sneering and a lot of faux gossip: A "clashed" with B cr@p. Obama and Biden weren't besties blah blah blah, no real contextualizing or election process analysis.

    Some of the "clashes" weren't anything you wouldn't see in any high pressure environment, like, eg, a firm trying to get a longterm project off the ground.


    Nah, you definitely have the writing style (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 03:49:21 PM EST
    that would be wonderfully suited for this sorry saga of postmodern politics -- your comments crack me up, once I can translate them! -- and combining your and JediMom's analyses, it would be a bestseller.

    Me, I'll review your work for the scholarly journals, using lots of impressively multisyllabic academic buzzwords, and then I can get called to go on the talk shows and explain it all to the baby pundits.  And then they can be outraged, I say outraged by being exposed as big babies but as teeny weeny pundits, and then they can denounce me and both of you in their baby pundit blogs.  And then that will sell a lot of books.  End of postmodern new multimedia marketing plan; start writing!


    LoL! I feel the exact same way. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by vml68 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 04:40:30 PM EST
    Ellie's comments make me laugh or tie my brain up in knots!
    your comments crack me up, once I can translate them!

    I riff ... I admit it ... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Ellie on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:04:23 PM EST
    My work related writing's more "respectable" (and probably easier to read all around). As for comments, I partly blame VOX/Speech to Text and, frankly, being an Internet @sshole.

    The writing of that segment ... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 11:37:23 AM EST
    is about as over-heated as you can be.

    It paints a world where everyone is always out of control, out-raged, megalomanical, etc..  You can make anyone's life look extreme if you couch it this way.

    Clearly a very trashy book.  I'm sure it will sell well, and give lazy journalists a bunch of stories.

    But I won't be buying it.

    Looks like some of this (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 11:42:20 AM EST
    book might be gossipy and thinly sourced, but otoh it has a ring of truth about both Edwards, and it's already been confirmed on the Reid "Negro dialect" anecdote.

    Recall that, pre-Rielle Hunter, Dem insider Bobby Shrum wrote in his memoir about some brazen and self-serving maneuvers by John to get picked by Kerry in 2004.  Shrum noted how Kerry told him that Edwards seemed to be using his late son in dishonest ways to gain sympathy and favor with Kerry.  Then there was the intellectual laziness that Shrum spotted with Edwards during VP debate prep (Shrum called JE "Clinton without the books").  

    Shrum, for all his very considerable faults as a presidential campaign adviser, to his credit tried to warn us leading up to the 2008 primaries that Edwards was not the person he was trying to lead us believe he was.  Too bad that some of the deserting Edwards' insiders didn't speak up also and before the voting started in Iowa ...

    "Our naivete was greater than Obama's." (5.00 / 6) (#64)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    Sorry. I don't buy this one.

    Obama is far from naive.  He was willing to shove more qualified candidates out of the way to have his (at best, premature) moment in the sun. Remember the "claws come out" comment? He was more than willing to exploit sexism and racism to promote himself and his brand. Remember Blagojevich, Burris, & co.?  That's not naive.

    The Obama college brigade may have been naive -- but the grown-ups have to take some responsibility. The warnings were there -- many on this site.

    This was a willful disregard of the truth, in favor of a self-indulgent, self-congratulatory fantasy.

    We already our 'Democratic Genius in the (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 02:13:36 PM EST
    White House."  His name was Bill Clinton. And his wife, Hillary Clinton, is almost as smart as he is, smarter in some ways.  

    And "we" weren't naive, at least not us oldtimers who tried to tell all you youngsters what was happening.  But y'all were too smart for your parents' generation...you had to buy into all the hip crap.  No, we weren't naive, you children were.  And now we're all paying for it because the children were running the show when the adults should have been in charge.  

    Gotta love it (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 10:01:50 AM EST
    You do realize that your parent's generation thought the same thing about you and there parents about them right? That to pretend that you guys had it right is the height of boomer hubris.

    Go back and read all of my comments about (none / 0) (#95)
    by Angel on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 12:10:40 PM EST
    Obama versus Hillary and you'll see that my support for Hillary never wavered and that my reasons for not getting on the Obama bandwagon were many, not the least of which is that he was inexperienced on the national stage and didn't have the temperamental maturity to be president yet.  Yes, many of us were right about him, and many of us are Boomers, and I'm proud of that.  Sometimes age does bring wisdom, not always, but in this case those of us with a little life experience were in the right.  Call it hubris or whatever you want, but please admit that Hillary was the better candidate and Obama is just way too inexperienced and too weak to be a great president now.  He should have waited his turn in line and paid his dues.  He got elected too early in his life and we are all paying for it now.

    No (none / 0) (#96)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 01:27:25 PM EST
    I'm not going to admit that because nothing that has occured since the primaries has changed my mind, Hillary was always a canidate carried in large part by name and nostalgia whose actual record in elected office was at best equal to Obamas, and whose political instincts and abilities were inferior, I choose to vote for a canidate with a largely similar platform to your choice but who's emphasis on diplomacy-based foriegn policy, on rectifying the mistakes in Iraq and doubling down in Afghanistan were logical as opposed to the obstinate refusal of certain pols to admit they were wrong in authorizing military force in Iraq.

    You're free to vote for whomever you choose. (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Angel on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 05:44:25 PM EST
    The argument is that Obama was inexperienced on many levels, Hillary was far superior in life experience, temperament, proven judgment, and so many other factors, plus she was married to a president who served for eight years!  She was right in the thick of things so had quite an advantage over him.  I believed then, and I believe now, that the totality of her experience made her the better candidate.  And your comment that Hillary's candidacy was based on nostalgia is really quite funny when Obama's candidacy was based more on hype than anything else.  Talk about nebulous.  Heh.

    Exactly! My Granddaughter and I are still having a (none / 0) (#79)
    by mogal on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 04:20:30 PM EST
     "discussion" about the election.

    I have a very difficult time discussing it with (none / 0) (#83)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:28:09 PM EST
    anyone, so I usually just say "I told you so."

    That's great but wouldn't work with a political (none / 0) (#84)
    by mogal on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:49:38 PM EST
    sciene major who has done an internship in DC with a demoncrate congressman.

    I've found that you can't have a coherent (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:58:21 PM EST
    conversation/discussion with the "true believers."

    Not sure a shower will do it, J, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 06:07:53 PM EST
    There isn't a single person in that excerpt that comes across well.

    Every Dem looks bad in a book by (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:33:00 PM EST
    Mark Halperin?  Shocking!

    Not sure I can handle reading it...better fix a gin and tonic first.


    Trash in the book serves as (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 04:19:00 PM EST
    a major diversion from the tragedy being acted out on our national stage now....

    We really dodged a bullet with Edwards (none / 0) (#21)
    by s5 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:06:44 PM EST
    I don't think it can be repeated enough. Anyone with that much turmoil in their personal life has no business running for president.

    Except that (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Spamlet on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:25:28 PM EST
    "that much turmoil" in personal life has probably been a feature of almost every president this country has had, at least for the past century or so. The only thing different now is the media environment. Funny how our brave media love to "report" on candidates' personal lives but can't get the job done on the stuff that really matters.

    Nauseating (none / 0) (#30)
    by Lora on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 09:16:42 PM EST
    Edwards had an affair, like at least half of married men do.

    Yes, it's reprehensible that he had an affair while campaigning for President.

    But the tabloid-like repulsive depictions of him, his wife, and Rielle are to be believed about as much as comic book villians.

    This is one customer that won't be buying.

    The problem with tabloids (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:01:26 PM EST
    is they might not have the story perfect but they always find that smoke. And when they first reported about a possible affair, they were lying of course. I sure didn't believe it. All GOP lies to destroy a fine candidate. And about the baby, more lies. No one who I thought would make a great President would ever be so stupid as to jeopardize it all for a lap dance. And for all we know, it could be love. But not on my dime. I actually sent him an e-mail asking for my donations back as he misrepresented himself to me and the public.

    I remember Gary Hart telling the tabloids to go and find something on him. Wow, they did. Ended his Presidential prospects.

    As for this book. Probably a lot of trash, but they do name sources at least, but I suspect there is a lot of smoke clouds in there. I think I would like to read this and not for the titillation. I believe there will be a lot of insight as to how a campaign really is working behind the smiles and handshakes. Sort of like the end of a DVD movie where they show you the behind the scenes clips. I am not rushing out to get the book but will be looking forward to more J's thoughts as I am sure she will read the book even if she has to stand in the shower the entire time. There will be some truth in it.  


    Time to stop blaming the GOP (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:07:24 PM EST
    The Dems shot themselves in the foot.

    And the frightful misogyny vis-a-vis HRC last year came from the Dems.


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by smott on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 01:22:13 PM EST
    ...when the Enquirer reports something - you can pretty much bet there is enough truth for it not to be legally actionable.  After Carol Burnette sued the crap out of them, they no longer print demonstrable falsehoods.

    I was acually amazed the MSM did not pick up on this once the ENq did.

    Perhaps they were just as interested in keeping JE around to gang up on HRC as Redi Obama et al were...


    I saw the program as well. Both (none / 0) (#47)
    by hairspray on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:42:45 AM EST
    Kevin Drum and David Corn wanted Obama to take on the banking industry.  They believe that he can win on that issue since the public anger cuts across all parties.  They are hoping Obama's state of the union address will spell out a strong position on fixing the broken system.  If he doesn't then the next 3 years will be tough.

    Well, Obama did call them "fat cats" (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ding7777 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:46:57 AM EST
    The big picture was always overwhelming (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 12:41:23 PM EST
    Health care reform was one of my priorities, but I never liked Obama's health care plan during his campaign. I probably am wrong, but I truly wished he had not tackled this problem first. It has overtaken all the other big issues. The GOP will say he spent 2 years in office working on this.

    I wished he had put some thought into changing how Wall Street trades oil and how it was part of  our economic downfall. Yes, regulate it. And I wish he was pushing more for Natural gas which we have plenty and instead he put it on one of the things we should be eliminating as fuel. Gas is rising up there and heating oil also.

    Maybe I just wish he had more major legislative 'acts' in the frying pan vs just the one health care.

    I worry for the next election because although I don't hear anything really bad being said, I also hear silence. My friends who thought Obama was the Savior and Hillary was the Monster,are not gloriously speaking of how he was going to be change we needed. At first they attacked anyone who made a bad remark. Then it was, well, he has good intentions. And now, silence. We no longer talk politics for hours. They are back to saving the planet. The silence is scary. But I still want Obama to succeed. Maybe if the silence was lifted and people started to push again, maybe things would happen. It is almost like people are unwilling to openly criticize someone who they thought could do no wrong. Maybe that is what is wrong too.


    Handwriting (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 04:09:42 PM EST
    already seems to be on the wall - Financial regulation legislation that is far less than what we need, and fact that 92% of those in power positions at banks that were part of the problem are still in power, and paying themselves hefty bonuses.  How come Europe can manage to penalize the bonuses, but the U.S. cannot.  I think SOTU will be filled with promises (like the inauguration promise about ending torture) and claims that the Admin champions health care & other good things for middle class Americans, although belied by the existing record.  I hope you're right, but I am rather skeptical....

    Reads like a trashy novel. I couldn't get past (none / 0) (#56)
    by Angel on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:57:24 AM EST
    the fourth page.  And they thought Bill Clinton was bad....lol.  My sister lives in NC and had always told me that John Edwards was a shallow phony.  She was right even though I didn't believe her until the rumors of the affair surfaced.  I think John Edwards and Reilly Hunter deserve each other.