Does Edwards Campaign Have Ulterior Motives?
by Jeff Dinelli
I love a good conspiracy theory, especially when it has to do with national politics. I was just reading Daily Kos and Alegre wrote a piece that really got me thinking. Right now John Edwards is attacking Hillary Clinton harder than any Republican would, with accusations of talking out of both sides of her mouth and flip-flopping (echoes of Bush attacks on Kerry) and being less-than-honest on her plans for the Middle East. Latest polls show Edwards falling in Iowa polls, and Obama rising. Is there a connection?
Only six months ago advisor Joe Trippi joined the Edwards campaign, and the argument could be made this new pitbull strategy for Edwards has at least a little to do with Trippi's presence. In 2004 Trippi worked for then-frontrunner Howard Dean, who engaged in a bloody battle with Dick Gephardt while John Kerry slipped past the both of them. According to Alegre's source close to Dean, Trippi couldn't stand Edwards in '04, thought he was a doubletalker who could never win. This source speaks for a lot of campaign observers who are wondering right now why Edwards would dare go so nasty in a state that abhors negative campaigns, reflected in his recent slide.
Here's the catch: Trippi is close friends with Obama advisor David Axlerod. The theory goes something like this: Axlerod and Trippi decide Edwards can't possibly win, so Axlerod sends Trippi to Edwards' campaign to put on a full-blown attack, and like a suicide bomber, Edwards blows up his own campaign, dragging Hillary down in the process with a rallying cry of "Hillary Must Not Win."
Hey, stranger things have happened. I'm jumping on board with Alegre here. What do you think?