I don't want to give away the whole book... but I would be remiss if I did not point to the chapters about the unbelievably dysfunctional husband and wife team of John and Elizabeth Edwards. Not only, it turns out, did many senior Edwards staffer suspect that John was having an affair, several confronted John Edwards about it, and came away believing the rumors. At least three campaign aides resigned because of their knowledge of the affair well before the national media picked up on those early National Enquirer stories.
And John and Elizabeth (who the book says was known to Edwards insiders as "abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending, crazywoman") fought, in front of staffers, about the affair. The authors describe a moment where Elizabeth, in a such a state of fury, deliberately tears her blouse in the parking lot of a Raleigh airport terminal, "exposing herself. 'Look at me," she wailed at John and then staggered, nearly falling to the ground." (That's page 142.) (This was in October, by the way, well before the media took the reports of the Hunter affair seriously.)
Even before the cancer, she was among her husband’s greatest political assets. In one focus group conducted by Hickman in Edwards’s Senate race, voters trashed him as a pretty-boy shyster—until they saw pictures of Elizabeth, four years his senior. “I like that he’s got a fat wife,” one woman said. “I thought he’d be married to a Barbie or a cheerleader.”
"Much more so than Obama, it was Edwards who forced a new style of politics, untethered by the fear and timidity of the 90s,adamant that liberalism was an electoral boon and economic justice a popular sentiment. Knowing they had to defend against his challenge, both Hillary and Obama edged closer to his appeal.
"It left the Democrats in a much stronger position overall, and forced them to argue for, and commit to, a much broader and more inspiring agenda than we otherwise might have seen."
* In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin’s grasp of facts. She couldn’t explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did. She also said she believed Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
But this misses the point. Everyone has been saying, sure, it's wrong, but MLK did it, Kennedy did it, etc. Yeah, they did. It was wrong then, too, just more socially acceptable.
Well, look what happened. His presidential ambitions are dead, and he had to cancel a campaign dead in its tracks. What sort of effect do you think it had?
Of course, my take was that Clinton wasn't saying that Obama should be getting anyone coffee, only that the reality is that, not so long ago, a black man would not have been welcome in the Good Ol' Boy club of prominent politicians in America.
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