Sunday, July 27, 2008

You're having Edwards' baby (?)

When I first heard about this on Friday night, I had to dismiss it as drivel -- after all the only sources were the National Enquirer and Fox News and you know that the second's existence would not be possible without the contempt for the mainstream press of the first, even though the two are separate media organizations (so they tell us!). The more one thinks about it the more one has to wonder if there is in fact something to the story about former Senator John Edwards allegedly having an encounter with another woman and fathering a child with her.

A security guard at a hotel in Beverly Hills confirms that early last Tuesday morning there was literally a "tug of war" between Edwards on one side of the men's restroom and tabloid reporters on the other. It was after 2 am in the morning. The guard then helped Edwards find safe passage out of the hotel.

Edwards says there was literally nothing wrong with his late night meeting between the woman, one Rielle Hunter, and her baby. Perhaps not. But there are two aspects of the story that I find troubling. First: Edwards is a married man with a cancer-stricken wife. Around this time last year, many had speculated he was dropping his run for the Democratic nomination when Elizabeth's cancer had returned and was now deemed incurable. Was it a cover story, or was something else going at the time? And how cruel would it be for him to do something so selfish in his wife's darkest hour?

Many view him as veep or Cabinet material. Some have even seem him as a potential Attorney General. Does this story put those plans in the kibosh? More important, with Ted Kennedy's terminal illness Edwards has emerged as the conscience of the Democratic Party especially on poverty issues. How does this affect that?

Second: Take a look at this story by Sam Stein written last September about some "behind the scenes" web videos that Edwards inexplicably removed from his pre-run website -- stuff even more innovative that what Obama was able to do in his successful run against both Hillary Clinton and Edwards. Stuff that is setting the tone for the kinds of campaigns we want today where we see the real candidates, not stuff run through a publicity machine to make someone look good.

The filmmaker of those videos was none other than Hunter herself. Edwards, it was reported at the time, met Hunter at a bar. (Oh how typical.) She received $100,000 for her work; however Edwards later said the videos were removed because (it kind of gets complicated here) some were done for free and current campaign rules in the US only allow for "in-kind" contributions maxing out at $5000. Which raises the question, why would someone be paid 20 times what something was worth? Sounds like a Southern version of Adscam to me.

And why were the videos really pulled? Is there some kind of embarrassing connection between Edwards and Hunter?

Personally, I hope not. The fact the LA Times banned discussion of the issue on its blogs and many of the so-called "liberal" newspapers won't even discuss the story suggests there is something very, very wrong here.

Public officials certainly do have a right to privacy and not hounded the way Edwards was nearly a week ago. But "deny, deny, deny" just doesn't cut it. In an election where there is so much at stake, and where Obama needs all the support he can get, it behooves one of his now most ardent supporters to clear the air once and for all. A simple DNA test should prove if Hunter's baby is his. How hard or simple can that be?

Lee Stranahan at HuffPo has some thoughts on this as well.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there is something screwy about a guy who professes to care about the poor and gets four hundred dollar haircuts...does not jive.....gramps