Oh. My. Goodness. From Harry Reid's Negro comment to Bill Clinton's most recent sexual indiscretions, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime is proving to be one hot book.
Most fascinating so far are the intimate, brutal details of John and Elizabeth Edwards' marriage on the campaign trail, excerpted in all its soap opera drama in New York magazine this week in an article entitled "Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster." John Edwards' Love-Child Hush-Money Cover-Up
Here are some of the juiciest details about the affair:
Women liked John Edwards for his un-pretty, plump wife Elizabeth: "Even before the cancer, she was among her husband's greatest political assets. In one focus group conducted by Hickman in Edwards's Senate race, voters trashed him as a pretty-boy shyster—until they saw pictures of Elizabeth, four years his senior. "I like that he's got a fat wife," one woman said. "I thought he'd be married to a Barbie or a cheerleader."
But campaign staffers saw her as an "abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending, crazywoman": "With her husband, she could be intensely affectionate or brutally dismissive. At times subtly, at times blatantly, she was forever letting John know that she regarded him as her intellectual inferior. She called her spouse a "hick" in front of other people and derided his parents as rednecks. One time, when a friend asked if John had read a certain book, Elizabeth burst out laughing. "Oh, he doesn't read books," she said. "I'm the one who reads books."
John Edwards was an 'ego monster': "Some of Edwards's advisers dismissed his outsize confidence as pro forma, but others took it as a sign of something deeper—a burgeoning megalomania." Asked Elizabeth, "Don't you think he"s kind of messianic?"
And Rielle Hunter, a nut bag: "There was nothing legit, however, about Hunter"s behavior. It was freaky, wildly inappropriate, and all too visible. She flirted outlandishly with every man she met. She spouted New Age babble, rambled on about astrology and reincarnation, and announced to people she had just met, "I'm a witch." But mostly, she fixated on Edwards. She told him that he had "the power to change the world," that "the people will follow you." She told him that he could be as great a leader as Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. She told him, "You're so real. You just need to get your staff out of your way." She reinforced everything he already believed, told him everything he wanted to hear.