Thursday, February 09, 2012

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (Harper 2010)

Edwards was still doing his best Monty Hall imitation: Let’s make a deal. Although he maintained publicly that he never desired to be a running mate again, Edwards was, in fact, quite open to the idea. But he was also willing to consider more modest rewards. Having been rebuffed on the notion of teaming up with Obama after Iowa, he once again dispatched Leo Hindery to make a revised offer.

“John will settle for attorney general,” Hindery emailed Tom Daschle.

Daschle shook his head. How desperate is this guy?

“Leo, this isn’t good for John,” Daschle replied. “This is ridiculous. It’s going to be ambassador to Zimbabwe next.”

Daschle warned Hindery that this new offer, like the last one, was sure to be rejected. And it was. When Obama heard about the suggested quid pro quo, he was incredulous.

That’s crazy, he told Axelrod. If I were willing to make a deal like that, I shouldn’t be president!

Edwards wondered if Clinton might be more open to cutting a deal. For all his previous distaste for her, he was beginning to find her more agreeable than Obama—less aloof, more brass-tacks. But Edwards knew his options were rapidly running out. He had no money, the press was ignoring him, and his vote totals were spiraling toward zero; he’d won just 3.8 percent in Nevada.

Then again, Rielle Hunter was only eight months pregnant.

So Edwards still had another month to strike a bargain.

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