Has The Silky Pony Been Playing The Field?

It’s always a crapshoot to talk about a story covered by the National Enquirer because they can be so wildly inaccurate. Sometimes they get it right, oftentimes they get it wrong, and sometimes it’s somewhere inbetween. In other words, they’re probably more accurate than the average liberal blog’s stories about conservatives and less accurate than say, the now defunct Weekly World News.

Still, with standards being what they are in the blogosphere and mainstream media, it doesn’t seem out of line to give you some details on what the National Enquirer is reporting,

“Presidential candidate John Edwards is caught in a shocking mistress scandal that could wreck his campaign, The NATIONAL ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

Sources have come forward to charge that the “other woman” previously worked on Edwards’ campaign and followed the 54-year-old candidate on trips across the U.S.

A source close to the woman, whose name is being withheld by The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, says that she confessed to having an affair in phone calls and emails, saying that her work with Edwards soon exploded into romance. The shocking allegation — if proven true — could devastate the Democratic hopeful’s campaign, especially because John’s devoted wife Elizabeth is locked in a desperate battle with breast cancer.

“The affair started about 18 months ago,” a friend says the woman confessed to her. “When they met at a bar, sparks flew immediately.

“She never expected it would turn sexual since John is married and is running for President. But it soon did — and she fell for him.”

In one bombshell e-mail message provided to The NATIONAL ENQUIRER, the woman confesses to a friend she’s “in love with John,” but it’s “difficult because he is married and has kids.”

In another e-mail, she writes: “Last night and this a.m., he actually has amazed me. He is a great man. My heart is loud and my head is silenced.”

Disclosed her friend: “She initially confided in a few of her closest pals that she was sleeping with ‘a married man named John.’

“It became clear the married man was John Edwards. They got together whenever they could, mostly at hotels where Edwards and his campaign staff stayed.”

The woman later spelled it out in a phone call to her pal and talked openly about having an affair with Edwards.

…The woman’s friend told The NATIONAL ENQUIRER: “As the affair went on, she said that both she and John began to feel real guilty and they decided to end it.”

If it turns out that there are emails, this could turn out to be a very confirmable story.

But, who is the woman? Via Mickey Kaus, I ran across this HuffPo story from back in September that may reveal the answer,

In the summer of 2006, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards commissioned a series of web-based documentary shorts for his pre-announcement leadership PAC, the One America Committee. Within political circles, the videos were regarded as innovative, having successfully painted Edwards in a sympathetic, down-to-earth light.

Now, however, nearly all traces of the webisodes – as they became known – are gone. Links to them on the Internet no longer work. The Edwards campaign won’t release the videos, and the production company behind the films is citing confidentiality agreements in refusing to talk.

…A search for the filmmaker, Rielle Hunter, proved that Google does, in fact, have its limitations. No hits. The same held true with Facebook and Myspace – a bizarre level of anonymity for someone in the movie business.

…Who is Rielle Hunter? The Newsweek item said Edwards met the aspiring actress and filmmaker in a New York City bar.

…How much did the videos cost? According to campaign finance reports, the One America Committee made four payments of $12,500 and two of $25,000, for a total of $100,000 to Midline Groove Productions in the second half of 2006.

…But oh, how the story and my interests have changed. No longer am I working on a piece about new media and politics – boring! Now, I just want to know why these webisodes are shrouded in such mystery.

It seems likely that Rielle Edwards is the woman referred to in the National Enquirer story — she met Edwards at a bar, worked with him, and would have been following him around to campaign stops.

Did they have an affair? It’s impossible to say at this point and even if they did, it may not be provable in the end if Rielle or John Edward’s lawyers make a call to her friend and cajole her into silence.

However, if this were to turn out to be a massive Gary Hart style blow-up and damaged Edwards so badly that he had to drop out of the race, it would likely be great news for Barack Obama.

Obama and Edwards are very similar candidates and they seem to be splitting most of the anti-Hillary vote. So, if the Silky Pony were to be humiliated into leaving the race, you’d have to think that the lion’s share of his supporters would move over to Obama. That could eliminate most of Hillary’s breathing room and make this a genuine two candidate race.

PS: Don’t get your hopes up about this story panning out, yet. There was a story about an affair Kerry was supposedly engaged in back in 2004 that started to pick up steam and fell apart. That one looked even tighter than this one at first, but after initially adding fuel to the fire, the intern’s parents denied the story, she denied the story, and it just died on the vine.

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