Wal-Mart For Me, But Not For Thee

“At the same time John Edwards was ripping Wal-Mart, his staffer was trying to purchase a PS3 for Edwards there. Of course, Edwards is trying to shift the blame to his staffer:

“Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards acknowledged Thursday that amid his criticism of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a volunteer member of his staff asked the world’s largest retailer for help obtaining a hot new Sony Playstation 3 for Edwards’ family.

Edwards, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, told The Associated Press that the volunteer “feels terrible” about seeking the game unit at Wal-Mart while his boss claims the retailer doesn’t treat its employees fairly.

“My wife, Elizabeth, wanted to get a Playstation3 for my young children. She mentioned it in front of one of my staff people. That staff person mentioned it in front of a volunteer who said he would make an effort to get one. He was making an effort to go get one for himself,” Edwards said.

“Elizabeth and I knew nothing about this. He feels terrible about this. He made a mistake and he knows he should not have used my name,” Edwards said.

Wal-Mart had noted in a news release Thursday that on the same day Edwards was criticizing the company in a conference call with union-backed activists, the volunteer staff member had asked a Raleigh, N.C., electronics department manager to obtain a PS3 for the ex-senator’s family.

Earlier Thursday, Edwards had said in a statement e-mailed by spokeswoman Kim Rubey: “We instructed no one to contact Wal-Mart on our behalf.”

From Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., company spokesman David Tovar said the Edwards staff member left a voicemail at the Raleigh store and identified himself as an Edwards staff member.

…”While the rest of America’s working families are waiting patiently in line, Sen. Edwards wants to cut to the front,” the Wal-Mart statement said.

…Edwards, the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate in 2004, spoke Wednesday to supporters of union-backed WakeUpWalMart.com on a conference call launching the group’s holiday season campaign to pressure Wal-Mart for better labor standards.

In the call, he repeated a story about his son Jack disapproving of a classmate buying sneakers at Wal-Mart.

“If a 6-year-old can figure it out, America can definitely figure this out,” Edwards said.

Previously, Edwards has appeared at WakeUpWalMart rallies.

Edwards said the volunteer was “a young kid” unaware of what he called flawed Wal-Mart policies. He called the Wal-Mart statement an effort to divert attention from its own problems.”

Come on, does anyone really believe that some volunteer staffer heard that Elizabeth Edwards wanted a PS3 and then, without any authorization at all, called Wal-Mart, said that he wanted a PS3 for John Edwards, and was planning to pay for it out of his own pocket? That’s so incredibly far fetched, but it has to be treated as a plausible story because otherwise, John Edwards is an enormous hypocrite who encourages his son to sneer at some kid for having shoes from Wal-Mart while Edwards is getting him a PS3 from there.

PS: Politicians like John Edwards don’t care about the people who work at Wal-Mart; they care about sucking up to unions who see Wal-Mart as a potential cash cow.

PS #2: My first job out of college was as a Wal-Mart portrait studio manager (Although we were in Wal-Mart, we technically were not owned by Wal-Mart) and you know what? I don’t get all misty eyed thinking about the people who work at Wal-Mart either. It isn’t a forced labor camp. No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to work there. If people don’t like the conditions at Wal-Mart, they should go get another job.

PS #3: We hear all this phoney baloney compassion from people like Edwards for the people at Wal-Mart, but how about showing a little compassion for the people who shop at Wal-Mart? Why should those of us who like to shop there be forced to pay higher prices so that Edwards’ labor buddies can get a slice of Wal-Mart’s pie?

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