“Being a jerk is not a felony”—this was the consensus among pundits within days of John Edwards’s indictment for violating campaign finance laws by inducing two political donors to pay the living expenses of his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child, while a former campaign aide posed as the child’s father. It’s still hard to absorb the magnitude of Edwards’s moral offense, and “jerk” hardly does it justice, but let’s assume that Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, quoted above, and election law professor Rick Hasen are right that funneling money to a presidential candidate to cover up his
In my line of work, giving advice, people write to me … but when someone with a problem is so overwhelmed by publicity, I just assume he would have written if he’d had the time. So herewith, I offer, unbidden, my counsel to Representative Weiner during this clearly tumultuous and regrettable period in his life. First, ignore everyone making fun of your name. Most people with a handle that is also a nickname for one’s privates do not wind up in the middle of a sex fiasco.
The Wages of Sin
June 04, 2011
Just how screwed is John Edwards? On Friday, the Justice Department indicted the former senator on charges of conspiracy, perjury, and campaign-finance-law violations. No laughing matter. But to hear Edwards’s lawyers tell it, the government’s case is absurd. Here’s Greg Craig: “The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is novel and untested. There is no civil or criminal precedent for such a prosecution.” Is Craig right? Is the Edwards indictment really so ridiculous? The short answer, say campaign-finance experts, is not necessarily.
Clinton-Edwards Horndog Catfight
September 27, 2010
There is no honor among thieves: A Politico profile of Bill Clinton notes that in 2008, former Sen. John Edwards called to ask for "a statement of support from Clinton when his affair with Rielle Hunter exploded publicly." However, a "loyalist with a long memory" sent back word "asking whether Edwards recalled his own denunciation of Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky controversy."
Burr Is Cold
August 21, 2010
By Beltway standards, Richard Burr’s first term in the Senate has been a pretty successful one. Elected in 2004 after serving ten years in the House, Burr was one of the “Magnificent Seven,” a slate of new conservative senators. A mere four years later, the North Carolina lawmaker was mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain. And, last year, he took on a key leadership role (chief deputy whip). In his home state, however, Burr is anything but a star.
After The Fall
June 30, 2010
On Saturday night, April 24, 2010, five days before John Edwards’s mistress Rielle Hunter sat down with Oprah to talk about the by-then-infamous sex tape and other embarrassments that had destroyed his political career, the former presidential candidate showed up at the West End Wine Bar in downtown Durham, North Carolina. It was around ten o’clock, and Edwards wanted a glass of wine after finishing dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant. When he got to the door, Edwards was disappointed to learn the bar was closed for a private event.
June 17, 2010
Did Obama just dump his best friend on Wall Street?
How They Did It
May 21, 2010
When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it. Unemployment was on the march, and all this talk about preexisting conditions and insurance exchanges barely registered above the Fox News pundits screaming, “Death panel!” Suddenly, health care reform was under attack everywhere—even in the West Wing. All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort.
How They Did It (Part One)
May 20, 2010
This is the first of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part, which reveals how Ted Kennedy wooed Max Baucus and what Rahm Emanuel promised the drug industry. When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it.