Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Reason Why Edwards Should Stop Portraying Himself as an Angry Populist

Admittedly, this is an old story, but I think it still has some significance and pertinence to my criticism of John Edwards’ posturing as an “Angry Populist.”

Last week, Politico’s Ben Smith and other media critics pointed out that Harper Collins—which media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns—published Edwards’ latest book, Home. Of course, this seems a little hypocritical given Edwards strong public criticisms of media consolidation in the wake of Murdoch’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal. Edwards doesn’t seem to think it’s all that hypocritical since he donated “every dime” of his $500,000 advance to charity. However, he was also given an operating budget of $300,000 to write the book, every penny of which went to his daughter Cate and his political aide Jonathan Prince. If you put that together, you get a sum of $800,000 to purchase a book that has sold hardly any copies. That’s not chump change by any stretch of the imagination, especially considering that Simon & Schuster—who published his memoir Four Trials—turned down Home in spite of the fact that they maintained the option of publishing his second book.

Murdoch’s Harper Collins often offers politicians incredible book deals. For instance, they offered Newt Gingrich $4.5 million to write a book when he was Speaker of the House. It appears as though they offered Edwards a similarly great deal. Other publishers are quoted in Smith’s piece saying they wouldn’t have offered the former Vice Presidential candidate half as much money for his book.

This reeks of the same kind of corporate influence peddling that Edwards decries in his stump speeches and debate appearances.

The candidate might have former Deaniac Joe Trippi in his corner, but his record is simply not consistent with the “Angry Populist” image he is trying so desperately to project on the campaign trail. If he wants to be seen as a serious candidate for President of the United States, then he needs to come up with a campaign narrative that isn’t laughable.


Vorik said...

Old meme.

Curtis said...

While it is certainly an old story, all the reptition should be blamed on John Edwards, not me.