Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Politician by Andrew Young

Described as an “insider account,” it reads like a trashy political novel. The author, Andrew Young, served as an aide, confidant and friend of former North Carolina Senator and Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards. The book focuses on Edwards’s affair with Rielle Hunter, who worked as a videographer on his campaign. Edwards has acknowledged the affair and the paternity of a daughter from his relationship with Hunter.

What strikes this reader as more bizarre than the relationship of Edwards with Hunter is the relationship between Young and Edwards. Young acted way behind any conventional job description for a political aide. He agreed to protect Edwards and falsely acknowledge that he was the father of Rielle’s baby and accepted the ridicule, scorn and criticism related to it.

Besides the affair, Young had some interesting things to write about the 2004 Presidential race including the friction between Kerry and Edwards on the strategy and content of the campaign. However this is not a book about politics or statesmanship, its main focus is on scandal and human fraility.

If you have seen the Youngs making the rounds of all the talk shows, you won't need to buy or read this book.

Two things we can be grateful for given all the poor judgment mentioned in this book:

  • The Edwards never made it to the White House.
  • Andrew Young never got the high level Washington post he was seeking.

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