Can We Ever Trust John Edwards Again?
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.