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Why John Edwards' Affair Matters, Edwards Releases Statement

Update: John Edwards has just released this statement. It ends with:

In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up -- feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

I don't know anyone who thinks having an affair should disqualify one from public office, even the presidency. Certainly no one in my social circles.

The problem with John Edwards is not that he had an affair in 2006, the year he decided to run for the Presidency a second time, but that in 2007 when confronted with it by the media, he denied it.

By denying it, he ensured that if discovered, he would become cast as untruthful, deceitful and someone who can't be trusted. As Jane Hamsher says, had Edwards won the nomination and then this came out, we'd be looking at a McCain presidency.

Edwards put the Democratic party's chances of taking back the White House at risk. Not because of the affair, but because of his dishonesty. [More...]

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John Edwards Admits Affair, Denies Paternity

[Comments now closed, new post here.]

John Edwards has admitted his affair with Rielle Hunter to Charlie Gibson of ABC News but denies he's the father of her child.

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 42-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.

Elizabeth has known since 2006. [More...]

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John Edwards in Denver Today, Promoting Anti-Poverty Plan

John Edwards was in Denver today, promoting his anti-poverty plan.

The former senator has been traveling the country promoting an anti-poverty campaign called "Half In Ten," meaning the goal is to cut poverty in the U.S. in half within 10 years.

More on his appearance here. Video is here.

According to the National Enquirer, last night he was in Los Angeles where he ran into some sleazoid reporters. I hope the story isn't true, but it's beginning to make the rounds. Curious that the reporters included no photos or video footage. What are they saving it for? Or doesn't it exist?

Here's a more flattering pic of Rielle Hunter.

In any event, if the story becomes national news, at least he's found a way out of being asked to serve as Obama's VP candidate.

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John Edwards, Sam Nunn on Obama's VP List

The AP reports:

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, said members of her caucus asked her to forward the names of Edwards and Nunn when she met Wednesday with Obama's vice presidential search team. The team, Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, indicated the two were on the list.

What Obama's committee is looking for:

"I asked them what type of person the senator is looking for? And they said in general someone who could help him rebuild the country ... talking about change. How we reinvest in America, get people back to work and reinforce our education system and bring the jobs back," she said.

More....

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Why Did John Edwards Endorse Obama Today? Thread V

Continuing on from Big Tent Democrat's post on John Edwards endorsement of Obama:

John Edwards has been on tv for two weeks saying there was no reason for him to endorse either candidate. What changed? In two words: West Virginia. In four words: West Virginina and Kentucky.

Here's John Edwards on Monday night, May 12, the night before West Virginia, telling Larry King why he hasn't endorsed:

LARRY KING: You have not endorsed, senator. Some might say as a major figure in the party at this point, don't you have a responsibility to endorse?

JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. I think that what I have a responsibility to do is make sure that the Democrats' message and our cause is heard and that we're united in the fall. You know, myself, Al Gore, I think there are some others who haven't spoken out yet about this nomination battle.

[More...]

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John Edwards Endorsement: Thread Three

He begins with long praise for Hillary and goes into a unity pronouncement. He was good.

Now he's getting to the endorsement.

He starts with issues, which is odd, since the Obama and Hillary are so similar on them.

Update: He's not mentioning one distinction between Hillary and Obama. He's just reciting Democratic values. If you didn't know he was going to endorse Obama, you would have no idea he wasn't going to end by endorsing Hillary.

Now he says the voters have made their choice and there is one man who knows how to create change and it is Obama. So that's the reason for endorsing Obama.

It's not about ending the race, not about who would be a better President or who can better beat McCain. [More...]

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John Edwards and Obama Endorsement: Thread Two

Our first thread on John Edwards endorsement of Barack Obama is already full. Here's another one.

Lots of readers are now getting the John Edwards email seeking donations I mentioned in the last thread.
Coincidentally, John Edwards sent out a request for money today for one of his causes, College for Everyone. The e-mail, which went to everyone who got e-mails from his presidential campaign, is below. Will the media ask if there's a connection between the two?
[More...]

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John Edwards to Endorse Obama in One Hour

Via ABC News:

ABC News' Kate Snow, Raelyn Johnson and Rick Klein Report: Former Sen. John Edwards is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidate Wednesday evening, in a dramatic attempt by the Obama campaign to answer concerns regarding Obama's appeal to working-class voters, several senior Democratic several senior Democratic sources tell ABC News.

The Obama campaign confirms Edwards will endorse Obama at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan Wednesday. The event was originally scheduled to start at 7pm ET, but was moved up to 6:20pm ET, presumably to have the announcement make the evening news.

Coincidentally, John Edwards sent out a request for money today for one of his causes, College for Everyone. The e-mail, which went to everyone who got e-mails from his presidential campaign, is below. Will the media ask if there's a connection between the two?

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Edwards: I Just Voted For...

John Edwards on MSNBC's Morning Joe said he's made up his mind and the person he voted for in the N.C. primary is the one he will ultimately endorse.

You have to listen for yourself to see if he said "him" or "em".

Then David Schuster, another MSNBC host, interrupted: “So it was a him or a her that you voted for?” Mr. Edwards backpedaled a bit, saying, “No, no,” and laughing.

Of course, it is possible that he meant “them,” which he shortened to “’em,” or simply misspoke. (Or he could blame his Southern accent.)

More...

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No Sign of John Edwards Endorsing Either Candidate

As Big Tent Democrat wrote earlier, the Governor of North Carolina has endorsed Hillary Clinton. What about the Edwards?

It's clear Elizabeth Edwards favors Hillary's health care plan. The New York Times examines the possibilities today. I think the fair conclusion from this statement is there will be no endorsement before May 6.

This week, the family planned to decamp for Disney World, away from the campaign events grabbing headlines throughout the state.

[The song is Dizz Knee Land by Dada]

I just flipped off President George
I'm going to Dizz Knee Land

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Hillary, Obama and Edwards on Stephen Colbert Show Tonight

Hillary Clinton will be on the Stephen Colbert show tonight. Michelle Obama was on earlier this week.

If you watch it, let us know what you think.

Update: I just got an e-mail from the Colbert Report. John Edwards and Barack Obama will also make appearances on the show. Edwards will be in person and Obama will appear by satellite.

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Will John Edwards Weigh in on Obama's Comments?

I can't help wondering what John Edwards thinks about Barack Obama's slam of rural Americans. Hillary increasingly has been adopting Edwards' positions over the past months. She showed it again this morning in Indiana:

Clinton took the stage to John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” a song that was used primarily by former presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards prided himself in being the candidate for working class Americans, often reminding the crowds that he was the son of a mill worker. With Edwards now out of the race, Clinton is hoping to take the reigns. “When my dad grew up, it was a working class family in Scranton,” Clinton told the audience. “I grew up in a churchgoing family, a family that believed in living out and expressing our faith.”

I have to believe his phone is ringing off the hook with calls from reporters today. What would he say?

No one understands swift-boating better than Edwards, given the effect it had on his and John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid. The last thing he wants is a John McCain win in November. [More...]

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John Edwards Says He Won't Accept VP Slot

John Edwards today said he will not accept the vice-presidential nomination. Nor would he endorse either Hillary or Obama.

Ideas on why he wouldn't accept the VP slot? Here's mine: He doesn't think either Hillary or Obama will win in November and he wants to keep his path open in 2012. By being a good soldier and campaigning for the eventual nominee this year, but not sharing the ticket, he gets to be a team player but avoid blame for a loss, which may increase his chances next time.

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Why Edwards Didn't Endorse Obama, Superdelegates and More

Via John Heileman at New York Magazine:

According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it. Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat.

Clinton, by contrast, engaged Edwards in a lengthy policy discussion. Her affect was solicitous and respectful. When Clinton met Edwards face-to-face in North Carolina ten days later, her approach continued to impress; she even made headway with Elizabeth. Whereas in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

The take-away: [more...]

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Obama Speaks About Seeking Edwards' Endorsement

Barack Obama expanded a bit today in Ohio on his meeting with John Edwards to seek his endorsement this weekend. He doesn't sound very confident he has it.

The courtship of John Edwards has been entirely inconclusive, Sen. Barack Obama said this afternoon...Edwards is not likely to endorse Obama or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton soon, the Illinois senator concluded after visiting with Edwards and his wife Elizabeth.

....he suggested that the value of Edwards's backing would have its limits.

After saying he would "love to his support, he adds:

"But right now, what I think is most important is for me to make sure that I am getting out and talking to voters."

Calling all tea-leaf readers. Was he turned down, is Edwards undecided or just not ready to announce his decision?

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