I never saw any political operative happier than the time I was out having a drink with a staffer from a “rival campaign” and, when the bartender collected our tips, he thanked us and spontaneously made a joke about how “a few more like this, and I’ll be able to afford a John Edwards hair cut.”
“That’s what I call penetration,” the operative said.
Sitting in the Kennedy airport, I just overheard the couple next to me just started discussing the HRC campaign’s decision to return the $850K bundled by erstwhile fugitive Norman Hsu. “It’s about time,” she says.
In case you thought this was a completely inside-the-beltway story.
(This was also the reaction of someone in yet another “rival campaign,” btw.)
UPDATE (VERY LATE): I wasn’t in the DC-NYC corridor, actually, but in the terminal that connects Kennedy to such metropolises as Bangor, Altoona, Buffalo and — my eventual destination — Portsmouth.
As for the commenter that wondered how I “felt” when the bartender made that joke, well, I felt grimly amused and a little sorry that Edwards, who undoubtedly has his share of faults, was having to deal with the popularization of one of his more boneheaded moves rather than answer questions about, say, his healthcare plan. But this scene took place pre-front page story in the Washington Post; as great as the penetration of the meme might have been even then, I did not necessarily take that moment to Ponder the Journalistic Responsibilities We All Share. Rather, I did that here.