Can We Ever Trust John Edwards Again?

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My answer? Ummm…no.

Well, at least with anything political. I’d trust him to borrow a garden hose, but that’s about it.

Because if even one tenth of what’s in the new book ‘Game Change’ is true about Edwards (and his wife) it would be enough. The book paints Edwards as a reckless opportunist, an ego monster, a guy who’s so blinded by the need for power that he would do nearly anything to get it.

For instance, after it was well established inside the Edwards camp that he was having an affair, it didn’t stop him. Not for a moment. In fact, he became even more brazen. So much so that he proposed the following deal to Obama after Iowa…

Yet Edwards had no intention of going quietly into any good night. He had a contingency plan. Two months earlier, he had asked Leo Hindery, a New York media investor who was one of his closest confidants, to convey an audacious proposal to Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and a mentor to Obama: If Edwards won the caucuses, Obama would immediately drop out of the race and become his running mate; if Obama won, Edwards would do the converse. Wounding though a loss in Iowa would be to Hillary, she might be strong enough to bounce back. The only way to guarantee her elimination would be to take the extraordinary step of uniting against her.

Hindery had presented the proposal to Daschle, with whom he’d long been friends. Daschle brought it to the Obama campaign. The talks were tentative; nothing had been decided.

Now, with the results of Iowa in, Edwards determined it was time to make the deal. A little while before taking the stage to deliver his concession speech, he summoned Hindery to his hotel suite and issued a directive: “Get ahold of Tom.”

Hindery considered the timing miserable. Obama just frickin’ won Iowa, he thought. Give him a chance to savor it. But Edwards wanted to set the wheels in motion—immediately.

Edwards knew that the Rielle Hunter affair could explode at any moment, but his ego was willing to pull the entire Democratic party down with him. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s world class douchebaggery at its very douchbaggiest.

Thankfully Obama rejected the offer. After all, he was on a roll and Edwards didn’t bring a lot to the table. Also, it’s not like he added very much to Kerry’s ticket in 2004. The deal made no sense.

Oh, but that didn’t stop John…

Clinton’s astonishing comeback in New Hampshire put an end to Obama’s hopes of a quick finish to the nomination contest—and led Edwards to believe that there was still an opening to strike a bargain. On the eve of the South Carolina primary two weeks later, he again dispatched Hindery to make a revised offer, this time a trade for Edwards’s endorsement.

“John will settle for attorney general,” Hindery e-mailed Daschle.

Daschle shook his head. How desperate is this guy?

“Leo, this isn’t good for John,” Daschle replied. “This is ridiculous. It’s going to be ambassador to Zimbabwe next.”

When Obama heard about the suggested quid pro quo, he was incredulous. That’s crazy, he told Axelrod. If I were willing to make a deal like that, I shouldn’t be president!


By the way, the entire excerpt about Edwards is well worth the read over at New York Magazine. Because it’s not just about the the affair. Lots of behind the scenes revelations, including the difference between the public Elizabeth Edwards and the private one…who appears to be just as egomaniacal and power hungry as her husband.

  • mw

    Yeah, well… I never trusted Edwards, so not a problem. I didn’t even trust him when I was supporting Kerry in 2004. I thought at the time that he was Kerry’s biggest mistake and that decision cost him the election. The guy always came across as too slick by half.

    That said, I read the New Yorker article, and like you was blown away. Frankly I am stunned that they ran it, and stunned at the cartoons. Despite my feelings about John Edwards, this was a hit piece, plain and simple. Way over the top.

  • David

    Personally, I never understood why Sen. Edwards had any particular appeal to people – the only people I trust less than lawyers are politicians, and Edwards was both! However, this sounds like an awfully nasty piece.

  • Nick Benjamin

    His appeal to me was simple: white southern Presidential candidates are generally better politics then Black guys from Illinois. If the black guy from IL hadn’t been such a great speaker I’d have been on the Edwards bandwagon.

    To the rank-and-file his appeal was partly based on his legal career. He sued corporations for screwing up normal people’s lives, and he was very good at it. He’s also quite charming personally, which is partly a result of him being a lawyer. You don’t get jury awards if you piss the jurors off.

  • Paul

    Edwards is done as a politician and about time too !

  • Justin Gardner


    Well, that was an excerpt from the book. It’s going to take a bunch of people to task for what happened, not just Edwards.

    However, since Edwards failed so miserably he’s an easy target. And while I agree it’s not nice to hit a man when he’s down, there are details in here that need to see the light of day so we know what kind of guy we’re dealing with.

    Long story short, I’m fine with “hit” pieces as long as what they’re saying is true. Because, like it or not, Edwards is part of America’s history and we need to know this stuff.

  • Frank Hagan

    As David Frum notes, the real story is not how much a shyster John Edwards is, but how willing the Democrats were to cover up and hide his faults from the American people. Frum said this morning in his blog:

    A distinguished roster of Republicans and conservatives were willing to speak out in real time against the Palin nomination to vice president.

    Yet none of the many Democrats who knew or suspected the truth about John Edwards were willing to do the same. Worse: knowing the truth, they were willing to work to squelch it.

  • John Burke

    Goes to show you what can happen when the MSM doesn’t feel like probing a candidate. Edwards should have been smoked out in 2004. Failing that, major news outlets should have dug into the stories they all had heard (I mean, really, The Enquirer had to expose this guy!).

  • Estaban

    I fail to see a big difference between Edward’s personality and ego than that of Obama. Peas in a pod.

  • Tom

    This article is a clear case of copyright infringment on the New York Magazine’s intellectual property. Also violates the Associate Press’s guidelines for fair use.

  • Tom

    I have notified the New York Magazine that this blog post is in clear violation of the Associated Press fair use guidelines and the New York Magazine’s copyright in article you quote.

  • Nick Benjamin

    And what should he have been smoked out for in 2004?

    As of 2004 he’d had no affairs, and apparently treated his staff well. The media ain’t great, but they ain’t supposed to be psychic.

    Palin was smoked out for things she’d already done, or did on the campaign trail. Such as being unable to name a single magazine, being easily parodied by Tina Fey, and attempting to claim she understood foreign affairs because Alaska was really close to Russia. I believe there were also claims that she had a deep understanding of military issues because she was “Commander-in-Chief” of the Alaska National Guard.

    And she did all that on camera, so whenever Campbell Brown had 5 minutes to kill she could hold a round-table on the latest Palin incident.

  • Asher

    I have an acquaintance who is independently wealthy and paid several thousand dollars to attend a dinner here, in Seattle, for Edwards during his primary run. She became irritated during the after-dinner talk over is egregiously incessant fidgeting, so she directly called in on it during the Q&A session. He openly admitted that his handlers had spent a great deal of time attempting to get him to reduce the behavior but that he had been unable to do so.

    Personally, I have found that fidgeting happens in such circumstances when the person fidgeting simply does not believe in what they are saying. Note, that I am not calling Edwards’ positions manifestly false or preposterous but simply that he was not in the race out of a sense of duty to the beliefs he espoused.

  • Justin Gardner


    Haha, EVERYTHING beyond 10 words is outside the bounds of the the AP’s “fair use” policies. I’m not too worried about it.

    Still, if we’re talking about the legal definition of Fair Use, this post is well within the bounds.

  • Darrelb

    I never trusted Edwards. The answer to your question is obvious…no.

  • Lou

    Hi Tom:

    I’ve missed you so much. I remember you, quite well in fact, you were the D-Bag in grade school and high school who “took names” of those talking in class when teacher stepped out for a moment to plan her after-school quickie. There are millions of your type; you are legion.

    Speaking of D-Bags, Edwards always has been among the biggest, however it’s always nice for the facts, i.e. truth, to vindicate the belief. Ugh, and that wife of his, portraying herself as the Mary Lou Retton of the 2000’s. They both deserve each other and that 40,000 square feet compound, that looks like a conjoined trailer park from above.

  • kranky kritter

    The silliest thing about overly restrictive fair use doctrine is that anyone can get right around it by paraphrasing instead of using a direct quote. Copyright protects phrasing, not information.

    And who is going to pay an attention to the AP’s policy since AP seldom if ever uses it to quote other sources? They use “fair use”only to hinder others in psreadina round the info that they have found. AP;s policy is utterly understandable, but it’s quite laughable.

    What made you decide to appoint yourself the copyright police, Tom. I bet it’s a sad story.

  • Sanity Injection

    Did you really need to read all that in order to decide that Edwards is untrustworthy? I don’t know why people have so much trouble understanding why marital infidelity is important in judging a political candidate. The issue is not the candidate’s sexual morality or lack thereof, but his willingness to lie repeatedly not only to the public but to his own family.

  • Wintoon

    Edwards is the definitive Democrat. Tom the tattle tale too.

  • kranky kritter

    Wintoon,the definitive troll.

  • maestra

    He’s a pig! A fascist pig! But they all are………..