Looming over John and Elizabeth Edwards is the release next month of The Politician, a tell-all book by former Edwards aide Andrew Young.
Reporters for The Wall Street Journal bought a copy at a Washington-area book store. In the book, Young writes that he booked hotel rooms, paid expenses and lied to help Edwards keep his affair with Rielle Hunter a secret.
Here are some highlights as reported by the Journal.
Young describes his alleged discovery of a compromising videotape of Edwards and a naked, pregnant lover, identified by Young as Hunter. "It was like watching a traffic pileup occur in slow motion — it was repelling but also transfixing," he writes.
Hunter’s pregnancy: According to Young, Hunter called him in May 2007 to say she was pregnant. Young says that when he informed Edwards, the senator told him to "handle it," to which he replied: "I can’t handle this one." Young writes that Edward unloaded on Hunter as a "crazy slut," said they had an "open relationship," and put his paternity chances at "one in three." Young says that Edwards asked him for help persuading Hunter to have an abortion. Young writes that Hunter believed the baby to be "some kind of golden child, the reincarnated spirit of a Buddhist monk who was going to help save the world."
Made in USA: Young says Edwards is an Atkins-dieter who hated making appearances at state fairs where "fat rednecks try to shove food down my face. I know I’m the people’s senator, but do I have to hang out with them?" Before a SEIU candidate forum in Las Vegas, Young says Edwards made him cut out a "made in the USA" label from Young’s own suit to sew in place of Edwards’s "made in Italy" label.
Edwards’ hair: "Naturally thick and lustrous, his hair was a fixation with him. He insisted on using just one kind of shampoo — HairTec Thick & Strong Shampoo for Fine, Fragile Hair," Young writes. He says that for years he or Edwards personally paid for the expensive haircuts rather than publicly list them as campaign expenses. He blamed the gaffe – Edward’s campaign committee picked up the tab for two $400 haircuts — on "new, inexperienced staff."
A confrontation: Shortly after John Edwards and Hunter returned from a trip to Uganda in 2006, Elizabeth Edwards answered a cell phone call to hear Hunter who "launched into a romantic monologue," Young writes. According to Young’s account, Elizabeth confronted her husband who “confessed to having had a one-night stand but didn’t say with whom.” He called Hunter in front of his wife to end it, but later called her back to say he didn’t mean it.
Thoughts of leaving: Young says that Edwards would confide in him about how he thought about leaving “crazy” Elizabeth, but how she plays better with American voters than he. "I cringed when he said this," Young writes.