26 February 2010

Impulse purchase

While at the grocery store today (a big grocery store, with a small books-and-magazines section) in a classic impulse purchase I acquired The Politician, the new memoir by Andrew Young.

This isn't the Andrew Young who served as US ambassador to the UN during the Carter administration. This is the other one -- once a key aide to former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards. Talk about dedication -- Young was so willing to serve in any capacity that he admitted to a paternity that was not his -- he claimed to have been the father of the baby of Rielle Hunter, his boss' mistress.

Here's a randomly selected passage from the book, just as a sort of recent-history flashback, from the final days of December 2006:

"While Mrs Edwards, and much of America, spent the quiet days before the start of the New Year cleaning up wrapping paper and putting away ornaments,Senator Edwards jetted off to New Orleans, where deadtrees and hurricane ravaged homes in the Lower Ninth Ward would serve as the backdrop for a speech announcing the start of his presidential campaign. (Two weeks earlier, Joe Klein of Time magazine had heralded Edwards as the front-runner [for the nomination], with a two-to-one lead in the polls over Hillary Clinton, his nearest competitor.) Although he still mentioned the 'two Americas,' rich and poor, most of what Edwards said in New Orleans focused on the Bush administration's post-Katrina failures, his call for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and proposals for dealing with global warming and America's dependence on foreign oil."

Ah, memories. As Young goes on to tell us, these were boilerplate points to make for the folks running for the Democratic Party's nomination at that timne. But backdrop was important. The visuals.

And the task of properly capturing that backdrop was left up not merely to the attendent members of the fourth estate, but to the campaign videographer -- who, as it happens, was Rielle Hunter. On the day of the above-described press conference, Young places Rielle in the thick of things, doing her job. Then he adds, "If anyone in the press saw something unusual in the way Rielle interacted with Edwards, it wasn't reported. But Rielle had awakened that morning in the Senator's room at the luxurious Loews hotel, where, she later told me, she 'felt just like his First Lady.'"

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.