Last night I went to see John Edwards speak at a junior high auditorium in Ridgeland, SC. It was a pretty standard campaign event (though the Edwards campaign couldn’t accomodate for an interview like they had some other press, they were exceedingly helpful and apologetic and didn’t blush when I said I was from NR.)
Nonetheless, it’s interesting to report that while the national media aren’t biting on the story surrounding Edwards’ alleged affair yet, it definitely is picking up some steam despite Edwards’ denial. Traveling across the state, he was asked about it at every press availibility yesterday.
One reporter I spoke to who wrote for a major media outlet said that one thing that may force the major media to start picking up on the story is how the local news on the campaign trail handles it. Well, I watched the 11 O’Clock news in Charleston last night, and along with the usual B-roll of him touring schools and eating barbecue, they mentioned it. With people talking about it on the ground, I imagine the Edwards campaign can only call in so many favors back in Washington to keep it out of the national news.
Now I will stress that the whole thing is still very much unconfirmed allegations and rumors at this point; nonethess, it is hard to ignore how the circumstances line up so perfectly with the politician-has-an-affair boilerplate — Edwards hired a documentary fimmaker with little to no experience that he met in a bar? The woman involved certainly looks like she came from central casting, and her life story is almost too perfect for the role.
I don’t know how Edwards makes this go away. He can’t spend too much time denying it because it looks bad and that becomes the focus of his campaign coverage; on the other hand he’s got to explain a lot of fishy circumstances and developments regarding this woman. Denial or not, it’s gonna dog him.