The John Edwards Dog Whistle

Where there’s Prince there’s fire! An ex-adviser to John Edwards has apparently testified that in June, 2008 he informed the Obama campaign that the alleged scandal involving Edwards and Rielle Hunter was an actual, true scandal. I’d be very surprised if Obama’s campaign hadn’t already known this for a long time–maybe for almost a year. Why? In September, 2007–before the National Enquirer’s reports (but after a suggestive blind Page Six item)– Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein lit a small fire under the scandal by writing about the mystery of Hunter’s campaign videos, which had suddenly been removed from the Web. It included this paragraph:

[Edwards aide] Jonathan Prince offered to let me and my editor, Tom Edsall, watch the videos – apparently unaware that at one point his campaign claimed not to have access to them. But there was a proviso: we could only view the videos in Prince’s presence.

I later talked with a veteran D.C. political staffer who told me that when he read this paragraph, he immediately assumed the Edwards/Hunter affair was genuine. After all, Edwards wouldn’t assign a top aide like Jonathan Prince to chaperone reporters watching tedious campaign videos unless they touched on a very, very sensitive subject. How many others reached the same conclusion? It’s possible that, early on in the scandal, Stein’s story acted like a dog whistle to experienced Dem politicos letting them know that Edwards was a ticking  time bomb. … P.S.: Since the dog whistle would also have been heard by experienced newspaper editors, their subsequent failure to report the story becomes all the more embarrassing. … Unless they were too busy reading willfully clueless juiceboxers. …