Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This impressive timeline of the Edwards/Rielle Hunter scandal** alludes to an obvious John Edwards lie I'd forgotten about (it's hard to remember them all). In his alleged "confession" on Nightline, Edwards was asked by Bob Woodruff about a photo that seemed to show him holding a baby in the Beverly Hilton, when he was visiting Hunter [ emphasis added ]:
WOODRUFF : And that picture is absolutely you and you are holding that baby.
EDWARDS : The picture in the tabloid. I have no idea what that picture is .
WOODRUFF : But you've seen it right?
EDWARDS : I did see it and I cannot make any sense out of that. When I went to this meeting you've already asked me about, uh, I was not wearing a t-shirt, I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I don't know who that picture -- I don't know if that picture is me, it could well be, it looks like me. I don't know who that baby is, I have no idea what that picture is.
WOODRUFF : But are you saying you don't remember holding that child of Miss Hunter?
EDWARDS : I'm saying you asked me about this photograph, I don't know anything about that photograph, I don't know who that baby is. I don't know if the picture has been altered, manufactured, if it's a picture of me taken some other time, holding another baby -- I have no idea . I was not at this meeting holding a child for my photograph to be taken I can tell you that.
WOODRUFF : You did say you did meet her at a hotel in California.
EDWARDS : She was there, Mr. McGovern was present, and that's where the meeting took place.
WOODRUFF : But you don't remember a baby being there?
EDWARDS : No.
Does anyone believe this? Even if the baby is (as he claimed***) not his, how could he not remember the baby being there? If the pictures were from another visit, then he still knows perfectly well "what that picture is." ... Even his wife seems to have given up on this line of defense, resorting to the contradictory, but equally implausible 'politicians-hold-babies-all-the-time' response .
P.S.: Is it true that the Center for American Progress' Jennifer Palmieri, last seen emasculating poor Matthew Yglesias , really "helped [Edwards] prepare" for the dissembling Nightline interview, as reported by Walter Shapiro ? There's a line she can put on her resume! ...
P.P.S.: Even the liberal New Republic is getting into the business of spotting St. Elizabeth's dissembling . Like Lee Stranahan yesterday , TNR' s Jason Zengerle notes that on "Larry King" Mrs. Edwards said she "dismissed" tabloid reports of the Hunter affair on 'they-write-about-airplanes-on-the-moon' grounds, even though by her own account her husband had confessed to at least a one-night stand a year earlier . ...
**--My main problem with this timeline is that, by focusing on Rielle Hunter and Edwards, it creates the appearance that Hunter was Edwards' only extramarital affair, something that's very much unclear at this point. If that's not true--if Edwards had been screwing around for years, for example--it would cast the subsequent agonizing and dissembling in a very different light, no?
***--In his televised "confession," remember, John Edwards claimed not only that the baby wasn't his but that it couldn't possibly be his , a certainty Elizabeth now seems to have abandoned (she says she doesn know-- "I don't have any information" -but that it might be "discovered" that the child is his.) ... 5:09 P.M.