Folks sure will be quick to believe John Edwards new admission of semi-guilt to ABC News - he lied in denying an affair with Rielle Hunter, but the baby was born so late after the affair ended that he couldn't possibly be the father:
John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.
Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.
Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.
Oh, get Rielle. So what is Edwards' motivation here? Does this admission let enough air out of the balloon that the media go away (as if they had really even arrived - I can't wait to see the NY Times non-coverage of this.) I doubt it.
Whatever. I guess this means the LA Times is free to report on it.
INSUFFERABILITY WATCH: He'll always have a place in my heart, but will Mickey be unbearable for the rest of humanity? Time will tell!
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Stephen Spruiell works the dates:
Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with incurable cancer in late March of 2007. Rielle Hunter's baby was born in late February of 2008. That means that if Edwards is the father, he was definitely still carrying on the affair with Hunter after he knew his wife's cancer was back.
So denying paternity, however implausibly, is important.
RIDICULOUS: Christopher Beam of Slate sees an Edwards problem for the Dems but tries to pretend that the infidelity topic might also hurt McCain. He accomplishes this self-delusion by pretending the only story is Edward's infidelity and ignoring the obvious press cover-up for a sympathetic Dem. If the press won't dish dirt on Edwards when it is dropped in their lap, what are the odds that they will present a fair and balanced portrait of Obama? His long-time partnership with unrepentant Weatherman Bill Ayers on education reform in Chicago will never be covered by a press that turned a blind eye to Edwards.
And this telling of the McCain bio is laughable:
Recall: John McCain returned to the United States from Vietnam in March 1973. His wife, Carol, had been in a near-fatal car accident while he was gone. She was overweight, on crutches, and 4 inches shorter than when McCain had left. McCain ended up divorcing Carol for Cindy Hensley, his current wife.
When Johnny came staggering home after more than five years of abuse and neglect at the hands of his Vietnamese captors he was a physical and emotional wreck unable to cope with his life or or wife's problems. Go figure. It was a long time ago, McCain was not lying about his fidelity while running for the Presidency, and I have no doubt Republicans would be thrilled to have the conversation shift to "What did you do during the war, Senators?".
But attack Dems being attack Dems, I expect this line will be trotted out and we will see for ourselves. Ahh, the thunder on the right if a press that couldn't cover the Edwards affair in front of their face goes all Sam Spade about the break-up of McCain marriage several centuries ago. That will energize the base!
I love the smell of thunder on the right in the morning...
OH, THAT EXPLAINS THE DEAFENING MEDIA SILENCE: Katherine Seelye of the NY Times explains the media Cone of Silence:
An intense public relations effort by Mr. Edwards and his associates had kept the story from spreading beyond the tabloid for months.
D'oh! Just mount an intensive public relations effort! Why doesn't every other scandal-plagued pol think of that? Some details:
When The Enquirer first reported the affair, a group of Edwards associates, including from past campaigns, assembled at his headquarters to try to stop the story from moving from the tabloid into major newspapers. They declined to respond to questions or issue any statements that might produce news reports, according to those involved in the effort. It was led by Jennifer Palmieri, a longtime associate of both Mr. and Mrs. Edwards.
But by this summer, the team had shrunk. Ms. Palmieri managed the crisis again, working mainly with Mr. Edwards and Harrison Hickman, Mr. Edwards’s longtime pollster. Initially Mr. Edwards argued that he could ride out the latest report, but several associates said that if they were not true, he should denounce them.
Stonewall and deny. Pretty subtle. Yet Edwards cracked like a jihadist at Gitmo under pressure from the unrelenting National Enquirer. Pity a real news organization didn't push a bit.
MORE: Thunder has no smell? Really?