John Edwards: Bastard Father, Cover-Up, Dave Matthews Fan

And he's known it all along, or so says the New York Times. They got ahold of a leaked book proposal by Andrew Young, the Edwards aide who once claimed paternity of Rielle Hunter's child. This...is juicy stuff.

To run it down, Neil Lewis' report is a wonderful shitshow of the New York Times getting a little tabloid-y, out to get some of that scandal scrilla. Basically, Edwards' aide came out and said that Edwards is definitely the father of Rielle Hunter's kid.

Hey, remember that time the National Enquirer broke the story of John Edwards' affair and nobody listened? Looks like the Times is running with the ball now. For example:

  • There's a federal grand jury investigation going on right now; it's an attempt to suss out whether payments to a mistress of a presidential candidate by an outside source should be considered campaign donations. Grand jury investigations—their aim, the characters involved, more or less everything—are supposed to be conducted in secret.

  • Two wealthy Edwards boosters supposedly paid for Hunter to go away. They also gave her a BMW.

  • Hunter testified about her relationship with Edwards, as well as the benefits provided to him. No details from this, because it could probably land someone in jail.

  • Edwards' aide Andrew Young, in his book proposal that the Times picked up, admits setting up meetings between Hunter and Edwards.

  • Getting quotes from locals who were maybe at the same restaurant with The Edwards, the Times gets this piece of local culture:

    Once the favorite son of much of North Carolina with many supporters beyond, John Edwards is now largely disdained...Shortly after he withdrew from the race in January 2008, Mr. Edwards and his wife were given a huge ovation when they attended a basketball game at the University of North Carolina. But a few months ago, when the couple showed up for dinner at a Chapel Hill restaurant, diners averted their eyes and stared at their plates, according to a person who was there.

    And here I always thought the favorite son of North Carolina was Roy Williams.

  • Fred Baron and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon were the two boosters who shelled out cash to prevent Hunter from blowing the cover. Before he died, Baron admitted to paying Hunter to go away to California without Edwards knowing. Yes, someone named "Bunny" is behind one of the greatest cover-ups in the history of the Democratic party.

  • At one point, Edwards supposedly asked Baron to find a doctor to falsify a DNA report.

  • Hunter's going to move to Wilmington, where the Edwards have a second home.

  • And then, well, this:

    Ms. Hunter gave her daughter the middle name Quinn, and people who have spoken with her said its resemblance to the Latin prefix for five was to proclaim that the baby was Mr. Edwards's fifth child. (He had four with Mrs. Edwards, the oldest of whom was killed in a car accident).

And that's pretty much the ballgame, with the New York Times definitely encroaching on the Enquirer's (and I guess: our!) territory. Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite wonders if the story's been vetted, which, really, that's the thing to ask? MacNicol does make a point that, no, the Times couldn't get anybody on the record and yes, they admit to only having "examined" it. Given the tough standards Alessandra Stanley faces, who knows what that means? But then again, stop shitting on our parade, Glynnis. Edwards is a cooze and pretty much everyone knows it and this book proposal's probably correct, but either way, they printed it as such: a book proposal.

Yet! The most revealing, scandalous, ridiculous shit in the proposal is nothing like I've ever read in politics, or in any section of the New York Times but the Weddings & Celebrations and maybe—maybe, an especially gauche day for—the Sunday Styles...

[Andrew Young] wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.

And I'm not talking about the Hospice-Style thing. I mean, less shocking that Edwards was counting on his wife to die so he could marry Hunter (because, really, we already knew how sleazy he is) is maybe the the revelation that Edwards' true, un-PR driven tastes in music—like his political acumen, platform, and downfall—are about as pedestrian (and bombastic!) as we all thought. You couldn't just hire a DJ? And here I was going to make a joke about Edwards and "The Space Between," but I might not have time to before Edwards has another Crash with the Bartender on Grey Street and, oh, god, this is too much fun....