Saturday, January 09, 2010

Game Change: The Boys Club United Against Hillary

New York Magazine has a riveting excerpt from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's new book -- Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.

And it's a doozy! Titled Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster, the book excerpt contends that Harry Reid and other Washington insiders secretly beseeched Barack Obama to run against Hillary Rodham Clinton because Edwards was "a callow, shallow phony." And because Hillary was "polarizing." This is not exactly a surprise to anyone who was paying attention, but it's interesting to see it in print.

The people's election, yeah, right.

A shallow phony he was, but that didn't stop John Edwards from uniting with the boys club to defeat the polarizing bitch. Excerpts follow:

The Democratic Establishment agreed that there would be—and certainly should be—a viable challenger to Clinton. The party’s pooh-bahs on Capitol Hill were privately terrified about the prospect of Hillary rolling to the nomination. They feared that she was too polarizing to win, that she would drag down House and Senate candidates in red and purple states; and they worried, too, about Bill’s putative affairs. But while the Clintons themselves regarded Edwards as Hillary’s most formidable rival, there existed a deep wariness about the North Carolinian among his fellow Democrats. In the Senate, in particular, Edwards was regarded almost universally by his former colleagues as a callow, shallow phony. Quietly, the Establishment began a quest to find a different alternative, eventually settling on the unlikely horse that was Obama—with Harry Reid personally, and secretly, urging the Illinois senator to run against Clinton. . .

Many of his friends started noticing a change—the arrival of what one of his aides referred to as “the ego monster”—after he was nearly chosen by Al Gore to be his running mate in 2000: the sudden interest in superficial stuff to which Edwards had been oblivious before, from the labels on his clothes to the size of his entourage. But the real transformation occurred in the 2004 race, and especially during the general election. Edwards reveled in being inside the bubble: the Secret Service, the chartered jet, the press pack, the swarm of factotums catering to his every whim. And the crowds! The ovations! The adoration! He ate it up. In the old days, when his aides asked how a rally had gone, he would roll his eyes and self-mockingly say, “Oh, they love me.” Now he would bound down from the stage beaming and exclaim, without the slightest shred of irony, “They looooove me!” . . .

It looks like it's about to get even more uncomfortable for John and Elizabeth Edwards. I can't say that I'm sorry. Next month, Andrew Young - the servile aide who took the blame for Edwards' love child -- publishes his tell-all book.