Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Gift of the gas

 

Gasoline drips off a nozzle during refueling at a gas station in Altadena, California in this March 24, 2012 file photo. Picture taken March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

After negotiating a tricky stretch of road, the Obama campaign may be easing into the straightaway in the gas-driven presidential race.

News on Monday of a delay in the planned closure of the largest refinery on the East Coast could mean an end to skyrocketing gas prices. And that would effectively take the wind out of a forceful Republican line of attack — that the president is to be blamed for $4 a gallon gas, arguably the most visible price in the American economy today.

The narrative was working against the president, who currently gets some of his lowest poll marks for his handling of energy prices, even though the causes of higher prices are largely beyond his control. Even so, we shouldn’t expect the Republicans to simply drop the rhetoric.

“Until we are at the point where people don’t feel like they’re squeezing their entire paychecks into the gas tank, it’s an issue that Republicans are going to keep talking about,” said a Senate Republican aide.

from Reuters Investigates:

Senators and prosecutors

Just as media reports came out that the Justice Department was preparing to charge former Democratic Senator John Edwards over allegations he illegally spent campaign contributions to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter, our special report on John Ensign by Murray Waas reveals that the Republican senator is also facing renewed scrutiny by federal prosecutors.

The report raises serious questions as to why the Justice Department closed its file on Ensign last December without first obtaining crucial emails later seen by the Senate. Attorneys close to the case say they could be presented as evidence of campaign finance law violations and obstruction of justice.

As with Edwards, it appears to have been the effort to cover up an extramarital affair rather than the affair itself that got Ensign in hot water.

from Fan Fare:

Tom Cruise tipped to play film version of John Edwards

The tale of John Edwards'  personal and political downfall will be coming to a movie theater near you.johnedwards

But who will play the disgraced politician?

Aaron Sorkin, best known for penning the hit White House drama series "The West Wing" has bought the rights to the book penned by Andrew Young -- the former aide to the Democratic presidential hopeful throughout his affair with Rielle Hunter.

Sorkin described  Young's  book "The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards' Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down" as a "first-hand account of an extraordinary story filled with motivations, decisions and consequences that would have lit Shakespeare up."

Rielle’s reality on the Johnny affair

Her belly button is showing. And that’s not all that’s revealed by Rielle Hunter in a GQ interview.

She’s the other woman who had the child that former presidential candidate John Edwards admitted fathering. That was of course after his former aide, Andrew Young, claimed to be the father to protect Edwards and then wrote a tell-all book about the cover-up. Edwards and his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, have since separated.

The April issue of GQ points out that all those players in the Edwards soap opera have had their public say except for the woman at the center of the storm… until now.

Edwards: the good, the bad and the diapers

If anyone wanted whiplash today, they should have watched the John Edwards story. USA-POLITICS/EDWARDS-WITHDRAW

First thing in the morning Edwards issued a statement confirming what had previously been gossiped but not proven: he was in fact the father of Rielle Hunter’s 2-year-old daughter.

(No need to count backwards, she was an Edwards campaign videographer during his bid for the Democratic nomination for the White House).

Obama says John Edwards won’t be at Democratic convention

HONOLULU – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says his former rival John Edwards, who disclosed on Friday that he  had an extramarital affair in 2006, would likely not be attending the party’s convention later this month.
 
Edwards, a former vice presidential candidate who bowed out of the raedwards.jpgce for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, was said to be in the running for a high-level position in a potential Obama administration, including attorney general.
 
Probably not anymore.
 
The Illinois senator, when asked about Edwards, told reporters in Hawaii he thought the former North Carolina senator and his wife, Elizabeth, had already decided not to attend the Democratic convention in Denver in late August.
    
“If I’m not mistaken I think that … the Edwards family indicated that they probably wouldn’t be attending the convention,” Obama told reporters. 
    
Healing,  yes. But Obama no doubt also wants to avoid another distraction at an event that he hopes will emphasize his campaign message of change and party unity.
    
Edwards endorsed Obama in May while the primary contest against Hillary Clinton was still running. He told television network ABC on Friday that he didn’t think he had a political career in his future. 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes (John Edwards and Barack Obama at a rally in Grand Rapids,  Michigan,  May 14, 2008)
 

No endorsement coming from John Edwards

WASHINGTON – Remember John Edwards
    He ran a spirited campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, never caugJohn Edwardsht much fire and dropped out of the race about, oh, it feels like 10 years ago (actually it was January).
    The former North Carolina senator has kept a low profile ever since and has resisted entreaties from the remaining Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for his endorsement.
    And he is still resisting, as voters cast ballots on Tuesday in his home state’s Democratic primary election, according to People Magazine, which tracked down Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth.
    Edwards, who was John Kerry’s vice presidential running mate in 2004, told People he likes Clinton’s “tenacity” but sees “a lot of the old politics” in her.
    He likes Obama, too, but “sometimes I want to see more substance under the rhetoric.”
    Bottom line, according to People, rather than endorse one or the other, Edwards and his wife will save their political capital for causes such as fighting poverty and improving U.S. health care.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/2008candidates

Photo credit:  Reuters/Lee Celano (Edwards, with wife Elizabeth on the right, announces his withdrawal from the Democratic presidential race in January.)