Former Winter Soldier “Surprised” By Colleague’s Duplicity


Or as Greg Pollowitz quips, “I Was For John Edwards Right Before I Was Against Him.”

Jake Tapper writes,'”This Isn’t the Person I Campaigned With Back Then,’ Kerry Says of Edwards, Per Source:'”

A source close to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., says the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has reacted with sorrow to the scandalous personal behavior of his former running mate, former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC.

In July 2004, Kerry announced that Edwards would be his vice presidential running mate, saying, “I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values of America [about as well as Kerry does -- Ed] …a man whose life has prepared him for leadership and whose character brings him to exercise it.”

Kerry said that Edwards, “like me, is blessed with a remarkable wife: a strong, brave woman, Elizabeth Edwards. And Teresa and I will be proud to stand with the Edwards family…Anyone who knows them — and America will get to know them — knows that this is a family that loves each other and loves America. He has honored the lessons of home and family that he learned in North Carolina. And he brings those values to shape a better America together with all of us.”

On 20/20 on Friday, former Edwards aide Andrew Young will speak exclusively to ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff regarding his upcoming memoir, “The Politician,” an insider account of Edwards’ pursuit of the presidency and the scandal that brought him down. Young gained notoriety when he falsely claimed to be the father of Rielle Hunter’s baby and then welcomed Hunter into the home he shared with his wife and three children.

Since the story of Edwards’ affair with Hunter broke, Kerry has been asked if in 2004 he saw any signs whatsoever of the duplicitous if not pathological behavior of which his former chum is capable.

“This isn’t the person I campaigned with back then,” Kerry has privately said, according to the source.

It isn’t? If this item by Paul Mirengoff of Power Line back in 2007 is true, then Kerry shouldn’t have been too surprised by Edwards’ duplicity:

It isn’t exactly news that John Edwards is a phony, but I suppose it’s news that John Kerry considers him one. According to Michael Crowley of the New Republic, Bob Shrum, Kerry’s campaign manager, will report in a forthcoming book that Kerry had qualms about choosing Edwards as his presidential running mate in 2004, and became “even queasier” after Edwards said he was going to share a story with Kerry he had never told anyone else. The story was that after Edwards’ son, Wade, had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home and hugged his body and promised that he would do all he could to make life better for people.

According to Shrum,

Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before — and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn’t pick Edwards unless he met with him again.

Apparently, though, Edwards’ chilling insincerity was not seared in Kerry’s consciousness because, as we all know, Kerry went ahead and selected Edwards to be his running mate. Shrum says Kerry came to regret this decision, thinking that he should have followed his “gut” and gone with Richard Gephardt.

Chilling insincerity? Why would that concern Kerry?

Related: “Edwards aide’s book details trail of hush money.”

Update: Mickey Kaus, who did much to push L’affaire Edwards into the spotlight, while the L.A. Times was in full “keep rockin'” mode, writes:

Gawker Buries the Lede … well, the second lede, anyway:

Up until he discovered the DVD, says one of our sources, Young’s devotion was typical of the “cultish” fervor Edwards brought out in his staffers. This is why, says our source, who is close to Hunter, major media organizations could not stand up the affair story despite well-intentioned efforts. “They [staffers] would do anything to stop it coming out – they lied, they bullied, they called reporters’ editors and bad-mouthed them, they exchanged access.”

There’s your story! What aides told what lies and bullied and bad-mouthed whom? Names please. It wasn’t only John and Elizabeth who lied. …

Can’t answer the first part of the question, but I know one “reporter” who said he felt bullied — and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fella:


As Ace wrote in early August of 2008:

The media has two jobs here, which I’ve been seeing all day.Job One: Reassure the public you knew all about this and are hardly surprised, because you don’t want them to think you’re so out of the f***ing loop this snuck up on you. So everyone’s in “Oh, of course I knew, it was all so obvious!” in-the-know cool-kid mode.

Job Two: The trickier one– attempt to explain how it can be you knew all about this but didn’t report it, or bother to do the minimum threshold of follow-up. Bear in mind, the National Enquirer is a small outfit. When they assign three or four people to a story, that’s a substantial fraction of their entire component of reporters and photographers.

It’s nothing for a network news organization to assign three or four people to a story — they’ve got hundreds of unpaid interns chomping at the bit to do something besides edit and fetch coffee, for God’s sakes. So even if they didn’t want to send a reporter, they could have sent a dozen recent graduates out there to get the story… which they would have gotten. This was not exactly a Phillip Marlowe murder mystery here.

Note that Job One and Job Two are basically impossible to square in any satisfactory manner. But they’re quite righteous and smugly self-complimentary about both.

In this video, David Shuster lets everyone know he knew allllll about this way before the Iowa primary, but failed to report on it — or, apparently, follow up at all — because “credible sources” within John Edwards’ camp assured him the story was garbage and that he’d be embarrassed to report it.

“You’re only as good as your ‘sources’ are,” Shuster says. Well, Dave, your sources are apparently s***, buddy, and you’re so f***ing credulous, stupid, or in the tank you deem them “very credible.” So I guess you’re not that good, eh?

Unable to let it stand there — with David Shuster looking pretty bad — he goes on to say how goshdarn angry he is about being lied to by his very credible people/crochet club buddies.

It’s their fault, you know.

Which is odd.

Edwards’ people were just doing their job. They did their job well.

It was Shuster who failed to do his job.

Why are they to blame? They never held themselves out as disinterested parties or objective observers. They’re supposed to be invested in their client’s/friend’s future.

Which dovetails with a much more recent story that MSNBC’s ace reporter — in sharp contrast to the Edwards affair — wasted no time getting in front of. Perhaps a Tweet or ten too far, but still, I’m sure that happened to Mencken and Murrow all the time, too.

(Originally posted at Ed Driscoll.com.)

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