John Edwards

We never had footage of Bill and Monica or David Vitter and the madam. Here's what we missed.

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Americans love a good procedural, and the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case is right up there with O.J. Simpson in the true crime genre. Ever since MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor at Fort Bragg, was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and two young daughters over 40 years ago, Americans have been captivated by the sordid tale, and bitterly divided over its meaning. The result of the military's initial investigation was that the evidence and charges against MacDonald were "not true," so he was released.

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Talking to Rielle Hunter about living in Charlotte, John Edwards' parenting, and why women hate her.

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Nothing gets journalists chattering like a debate about themselves, so I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that my post yesterday about the fixation many news outlets have with being first attracted some notice. Nearly everyone who contacted me about the piece did so to say “Amen!” Except for the poor souls whose job it is to produce micro-scoops on a daily or hourly basis.

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During the Republican presidential primaries, the new landscape created by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other recent loosening of campaign finance regulations took on an almost comic quality -- we could all laugh over the way that Shel Adelson, the casino magnate, and Foster Friess, the aspirin-contraception-advocate, were keeping alive the candidacies of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, respectively. Some pundits even ventured the argument the SuperPACs allowed by Citizens United were good for democracy in that they were making the primaries more competitive than they other

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As a card-carrying member of the Betrayed by John Edwards Alumni Association, I’ll admit that my initial response to his federal indictment for violating campaign laws was skepticism. Yes, Edwards was an egocentric, lying, baby-denying cad who betrayed his dying wife. I doubted, however, that he had committed a crime. But now that the Edwards trial is getting started—opening statements will be heard today in Greensboro, North Carolina—I have begun thinking that things are a bit more complicated.

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Second Thoughts

There are two Democrats running at the top of the ticket this year, and only one of them is President Barack Obama. When Joe Biden’s name first came up, in 2008, as a possible running mate, I told everyone I knew that it would never happen. When Obama did choose Biden, I braced myself for disaster. But Biden turned out to be the right guy for the job. People don’t appreciate what a surprising outcome this is. My reasoning back in 2008 was grounded in observable fact.

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Last week, the Times ran a big story about Mitt Romney’s double life as a reluctant millionaire, as told by his close friends and associates. He may have bought his wife a six-figure horse and he’s quadrupling the size of his $12-million house—but he flies JetBlue! He plays golf with clubs he bought at K-Mart! He’s rich, but he’s not comfortable being rich. He splurges, but not on himself. For a man who’s bought houses that look like hotels and contributed millions to his own campaigns, the whole exercise can seem like splitting hairs.

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The Rielle Deal

Not long ago, I expressed the wish that pundits and political reporters making prognostications about the 2012 landscape in particular states would pay more attention to factors unique to the various swing states, rather than relying simply on polling data and unemployment figures.

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