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Posted by on Aug 12, 2008 in Media, Politics | 6 comments

Edwards 2006 Presidential Announcement Tour Companion: His Mistress


Former Democratic presidential nomination wannabe John Edwards’ political coffin now not only has a dozen nails sealing it up but also steel bands melted around it to keep him from getting out of it with this new news: when Edwards went on his 2006 Presidential announcement tour, painting himself as a high-minded family man, he brought his mistress with him.

Well, you gotta give him one thing: the man has chutzpah.

Photographs distributed by wire services and posted online by technology blogger Robert Scoble show that former North Carolina senator John Edwards took his mistress Rielle Hunter with him on the plane during his late 2006 presidential campaign announcement tour.
As can be seen in this Dec. 28, 2006 photo (that’s Hunter in the jeans and jester hat, as can be seen more clearly in this side-profile photo), Hunter stood off to the side of the national press corps filming Edwards as the former Democratic vice presidential nominee announced his second bid for the presidency in New Orleans.

Here she is drinking from a cup as Edwards is interviewed by the press. More photos of her at Edwards’ presidential campaign kickoff can be found here and here, where she’s shown laughing with Edwards’ young staffers.

Writes Scoble on his Flickr site under a photo of Hunter he uploaded Dec. 30, 2006, “I was hanging out with John Edwards and crew as he announced he was running for President of the United States. This photo was taken in New Orleans as Edwards gave press interviews on the lawn of a house that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.”

Make sure you click on the links to see the photos and to read The Trail’s post in full.

This is a further sign that Edwards’ ordeal — or exposure, as some would describe it — is far from over.

This is a story that has “legs” — figuratively and literally.

A National Enquirer editor on a cable show last night noted that (1) the tabloid had long asked Edwards to take a paternity test, and he refused BUT (2) he suddenly said he would do it AND (3) shortly after that Hunter said through a lawyer that she would not take any test.

To use the overused journalistic cliche phrase “it doesn’t pass the smell test.”

And it’s this Pepe Le Pew-like aroma coming from Edwards’ official explanation plus all the shadowy details that will keep this story alive. Will the Democrats as a party suffer? Unlikely. But Edwards is toast and the press will now be harder than ever on politicians who are rumored to have affairs and try to cover it up or lie about and deny it.

The bottom line is that many reporters and editors now will want to test and try to confirm every Edwards assertion and answer lingering questions. Plus: sex sells whether it’s in a movie or a news scandal. What’s most shocking is that Edwards has seemingly not learned the rule of American scandals: you suffer more if you hold back details and deny what has happened. Any editor of a mainstream or tabloid news organization that is following or digging for details to follow the story until it is over could be fired by its owner for negligence.

Another implication: as newspapers struggle to survive, lay off staff, are placed on sale, and downsize pages and “news hole,” the National Enquirer, which had dipped in circulation over the years, is making a comeback as a publication writing what the mainstream media has chosen to ignore or pooh-pooh as unimportant. When I worked on the San Diego Union as a reporter, a close friend and colleague of mine had once worked on the Enquirer. He told me they paid staff exceedingly well and were painstaking in their reporting and editing (“This could be the only newspaper their readers read all week..”).

Prediction: the other shoe hasn’t dropped on this story yet. There will be more — maybe a lot more. Because news organizations now feel burned by Edwards (who has apparently not come totally clean with them — or his sea of supporters who donated money and time).

The smell is there…


Rielle Hunter’s publicist friend says: John Edwards is lying
A closer look at the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter webisodes
Goodbye and Good Riddance to John Edwards, Adulterer
Commentary: Media didn’t conspire to protect Edwards
Mass. college expects visit by Edwards and wife

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • Why does this story have legs or need it?

    He cheated on his wife. He’s disgraced himself and pissed off his former supporters. If the baby is his, what does that change?

  • saintixe56

    being part french, some of my childhood was spent learning the long list of kings…and queens…and kings mistresses . That certainly told and still tells a lot about the human heart vagaries for kids. What is the result… the french do not lose precious time bothering who cuckholded whom. The main recent problem was not that madame sarkozy had been unfaithful, but that her husband had acrried his heart on his sleeve in 2005. That he promptly remarried was good. Carla is lovely, and clearly monsieur president is back on tracks. Love stories are distractful which is wrong, as long a sthe politicina cares for his country, who cares who he is bedding.
    The US would do the US a world of good to learn not to bother about politicians sex lives. So what he has a mistress and is probably a cad, methinks it is elizabeth problem not ours.
    besides as french history good louis XVI was ever so faithful that he lost his head, good ole HENRY THE 4TH had more mistresses than the year has days and if he was to run tomorrow the french would elect him as he is still the most popular king ever this benighted land ever had.
    the morality is do not mix sexual prowess and polical savviness.
    hitler was prude, that did not prevent him from being a very bad guy
    meditate on that

  • Marlowecan

    Saintiexe56 said: “hitler was prude, that did not prevent him from being a very bad guy meditate on that”

    In contrast, Caligula was . . .well, about as far from prudish as one can get . . . that did not prevent HIM from being a very bad guy.

    No relationship between priapism and being a good president. Lincoln and Truman were the most respectable characters (revisionists notwithstanding), and the greatest presidents of the republic. Clinton was a hound-dog, and accomplished diddily.

    ChrisWWW…I suspect this story has legs because of Edwards hypocrisy, the fact that he is still lying and . . . most importantly . . . the fact that a lot of people in the MSM have taken heat for liberal bias in their determination to protect him for months.

    Taking apart Edwards does not seem likely to hurt Obama — who shines in comparison — so the hounds have been unleashed on Edwards.

    Joe’s post is indicative of the sheer amount of information the MSM could have had if it had looked into this story when Edwards WAS running for president.

    Instead, it went into the vault.

  • the fact that a lot of people in the MSM have taken heat for liberal bias in their determination to protect him for months.

    You know… I’ve thought about this… and I think the real issue is that the media has always ignored John Edwards during good and bad times.

  • DLS

    Actually, Chris, what you say depends on your maturity level. If you don’t think it matters at all, you fail; if you’re just acting in a silly defensive mode on behalf of any and all Democrats, same thing. If you believe some on the Left are overreacting in a sense of (common on the Left) pathological collective guilt, yes, you’re right. The stupid bastard (who never fooled anyone intelligent with his phony “populism”) should simply be cast aside and never become part of a Dem campaign again and not be in the news again. He is trash and should be discarded, permanently.

    The lefty talk radio people are a mixed bunch on this but even though he is one of the most annoying and illogical lefty (louder at times and less logical than Sean Hannity on the right ever manages to be), Ed Schul[t]z (sp?) the big loudmouth, who is on the radio during the afternoon and early evening here in Detroit metro, made a great point as recently as yesterday. He is sick of people defending Edwards and sick of people like his wife aiding in the coverup and is “sick of the _same_old_lies!_” (And, he added for good measure, “”We’re no better than the conservatives” if the libs and Dems don’t engage in a badly-needed house- and behavior-cleaning.)

    As to your observation of the media, yep — in plain terms, once Edwards was out of the race for the Presidency, he no longer was news, until there was brief interest in him as a VP selection, which subsided once this was seen as not to be.

  • DLS

    The story isn’t fully dead until the paternity of the child is established. Most of us don’t care either way, but we don’t respect the game-playing in trying to evade it.

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