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Wendy Button: Edwards Critic, McCain Supporter

Former John Edwards speechwriter Wendy Button’s mini-memoir of the “mess” is worth reading, especially her account of how he replaced her words — “I lied” — with the anodyne and empty “these words will never be enough.” But after reading it, I wondered where I’d heard of Button before. And then I remembered the rambling, so-sad piece she wrote for the Daily Beast the week before the 2008 election announcing her support for the McCain-Palin ticket, and the follow-up piece she wrote about how mean people were to her. The first article looks, in retrospect, even sillier.

I can no longer justify what this party has done and can’t dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It’s wrong and someone has to say that. And also say that the Democratic Party’s talking points—that Senator John McCain is just four more years of the same and that he’s President Bush—are now just hooker lines that fit a very effective and perhaps wave-winning political argument…doesn’t mean they’re true. After all, he is the only one who’s worked in a bipartisan way on big challenges.

Hard to make the case now that a few jabs at Sarah Palin can match — let’s leave Edwards aside — the conservative attack against the “lightweight” Sonia Sotomayor, or “Big Sis” Janet Napolitano, or Nancy Pelosi. And amusing to picture the “bipartisan” John McCain after his year of trench warfare against Obama policies and nominees. Fooled by John Edwards once; fooled by everyone else the rest of the time.

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