Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Politician, by Andrew Young

The Politician is a fascinating tell-all book that hit the best seller list immediately. Young tells of his strong desire to work with and for John Edwards for about a decade in the hoped-for ascent to the White House. Young was Edwards' most trusted aide and did what was needed for the Edwards campaigns for senate and President. It is a well written story of the seductive side of John Edwards and the enabling character of Andrew Young. It also is about dishonesty by the Edwardses and the pain of disillusionment for Young as he participated in the cover-up of Edwards' adulterous relationship with Rielle Hunter.

Young describes the close relationship he had with John and Elizabeth Edwards in their home and on campaign locations. As Edwards gradually exhibits what Young calls a sense of entitlement, narcissism and self-centeredness, Young shows his poor judgment in crossing employee boundaries to assist the Edwardses in many personal tasks. Young tells most of the story by letting events unfold into a novel-like tale. His commentary about events goes through the book and is more pronounced in later pages of the book as he reflects about the things he and his family lived through in service to Edwards.

John Edwards seems like a tragic character whose flaws overshadow his powerful charisma and talent. Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter is described as self centered and demanding. Elizabeth Edwards is shown first as a loving person who said Andrew was family, and later when the stress of terminal cancer and attempts to believe her husband's lies get the best of her, a nasty shrew.

In this book we see the clandestine romance of John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. We see Rielle Hunter spend the later part of her pregnancy in hiding with the Edwards family. We see Edwards denying the relationship and his child born to Hunter. We see Edwards denying paternity. We see Young's and his wife's difficulties in dealing with Hunter and Mrs. Edwards.

I don't often read tell-all books, but this one is a winner. It is eye opening for people who supported the Edwards campaign promises and then saw his fall. I, too, was excited by his campaign message.

It may be noted that at the end of the book, Young had possession of the Edwards/Rielle sex tape that has made the news, and John Edwards had not yet admitted that he was the father of Rielle's child. I believe that Edwards confessed paternity as the book became available to the public.

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