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National Enquirer alleges John Edwards affair; blogosphere readies salt shaker

July 23, 2008 | 11:41 am

National Enquirer claims it caught John Edwards with alleged mistress Rielle Hunter and love child at Beverly HiltonBarack Obama's VP shortlist might have gotten shorter: The National Enquirer yesterday published a story claiming it had caught John Edwards meeting with an alleged mistress and illegitimate child. Then again, the Enquirer hasn't been able to produce quotes, photos or even eyewitness accounts. And the mainstream media seems to be ignoring it, for the most part.

TalkLeft, among others, hopes it isn't true. And thus far, the claims don't seem to have hurt Edwards politically — although the Corner has something worth noting:

...after first seeming to take himself out of the running, he put himself back in the race two weeks ago, telling NPR, "I'm prepared to seriously consider anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country."

But yesterday — the day the Enquirer story went live — the Rocky Mountain News reported, "former Sen. John Edwards told a Denver audience Tuesday that now he's plunged into a new kind of campaign, 'to end poverty as we know it in a generation.'"

Wonkette, in its own way, expresses exhaustion at the thought of another Edwards story:

The important question is not “Why is John Edwards cheating on his wife who had cancer?” We know that answer: He’s a Democratic politician. They have affairs with ladies. The important question is “Why do we have to hear about this again now?”

The answer is “Because a tabloid caught him with the mistress and the baby at a hotel!” A love child? Jesus! Bill Clinton must feel a million years old tonight. Joe Klein, too.

Pajamas Media plays savvier-than-thou:

Oh, one last thing, for those of you who say it’s The National Enquirer, how do we know it’s true? I suggest you Google the “National Enquirer and OJ Simpson.” They broke most of the important stories on that case. In general, these days they’re vastly more reliable than The New York Times.

But Outside the Beltway interrupts, "Indeed, the Enquirer breaks legitimate scandals all the time.  But they run with all manner of nonsense too — they just don’t care so long as they sell papers." It goes on:

Edwards has been widely touted for another run as vice president, although I can’t see why he’d want to go through that again, especially with his wife in ill health.  Certainly, those facts would make the scandal worse, if true.  Frankly, I hope it isn’t. 

Ditto.

-- Amina Khan

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