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Game Change

I’ve been catching up on my reading and just finished the New York Magazine piece on John Edwards, an excerpt from the new book Game Change.  This part was particularly interesting:

[…]Edwards had no intention of going quietly into any good night. He had a contingency plan. Two months earlier, he had asked Leo Hindery, a New York media investor who was one of his closest confidants, to convey an audacious proposal to Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and a mentor to Obama: If Edwards won the caucuses, Obama would immediately drop out of the race and become his running mate; if Obama won, Edwards would do the converse. Wounding though a loss in Iowa would be to Hillary, she might be strong enough to bounce back. The only way to guarantee her elimination would be to take the extraordinary step of uniting against her.

Hindery had presented the proposal to Daschle, with whom he’d long been friends. Daschle brought it to the Obama campaign. The talks were tentative; nothing had been decided.

Now, with the results of Iowa in, Edwards determined it was time to make the deal. A little while before taking the stage to deliver his concession speech, he summoned Hindery to his hotel suite and issued a directive: “Get ahold of Tom.”

Hindery considered the timing miserable. Obama just frickin’ won Iowa, he thought. Give him a chance to savor it. But Edwards wanted to set the wheels in motion—immediately.

Hindery left the Edwards suite and tried frantically to locate Daschle, but discovered that he wasn’t in Iowa. Calls were placed. Messages were left. No one knew where he was.

As Edwards delivered his speech, Hindery stood to his right, until an aide alerted him that Daschle was on the phone. Hindery stepped offstage and took the call, straining to hear Daschle over the noise of the crowd. “Tom? I’ve got John right here,” Hindery said. “You aren’t going to believe this, but he’s willing to cut a deal right now. He’ll agree to be Barack’s V.P.”

“Are you sure you want to do this now?” a dumbfounded Daschle asked.

“I’m not, but he is,” Hindery replied.

All right, Daschle said. I’ll take it to Barack.

But with the victory in Iowa now gusting at his back, Obama rejected the entreaty out of hand. Convinced along with his advisers that he was all but certain to win the New Hampshire primary five days later, he was poised to plunge the dagger into Hillary all by himself.

Clinton’s astonishing comeback in New Hampshire put an end to Obama’s hopes of a quick finish to the nomination contest—and led Edwards to believe that there was still an opening to strike a bargain. On the eve of the South Carolina primary two weeks later, he again dispatched Hindery to make a revised offer, this time a trade for Edwards’s endorsement.

“John will settle for attorney general,” Hindery e-mailed Daschle.

Daschle shook his head. How desperate is this guy?

“Leo, this isn’t good for John,” Daschle replied. “This is ridiculous. It’s going to be ambassador to Zimbabwe next.”

It’s a telling piece on Edwards and his wife Elizabeth, and all but confirmed my view of John Edwards—that he is an arrogant, classless douche.  And pathetically desperate as well. 

I just picked up the book over at Amazon.

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