The John Edwards scandal may have just landed flat onto Barack Obama, regardless of whether Edwards is his running mate or just a bad memory. Jake Tapper at ABC notices that Fred Baron, the man who sent money to both Edwards’ mistress and the supposed father of her child, has been raising money for Barack Obama as well. One has to wonder whether his duties at Team Obama are anywhere near as extensive:
The Dallas Morning News over the weekend profiled Fred Baron, the chairman of Sen. John Edwards’ campaign finance committees in both his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns.
Baron also, as you may know, has been paying significant lumps of cash to Edwards’ former mistress Rielle Hunter, and others involved in the scandal.
Baron claims Edwards knew nothing about it, and Edwards told ABC News Friday the same.
The article states that Baron is currently “raising money for nominee-to-be Barack Obama.”
Well, that certainly raises a few questions. Baron’s largesse towards Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young supposedly never came to the attention of John Edwards, but the implications seem rather obvious. While Edwards denied the affair and the paternity of Hunter’s child, money went to both of the two people who could claim first-person knowledge of the affair through the Edwards campaign. That seems extremely curious, especially given the late-night visit of Edwards to Hunter’s hotel room in Los Angeles last month — when he would have at least been curious how she managed to support herself over the last several months while hiding out from the press.
Now we have Baron raising money for Obama as well. Did Obama and his team know about Baron’s arrangement with Hunter, too? And if Baron knew about the affair, did he let his new boss in on the old boss’ secret, especially when Edwards vied for the second slot on the national ticket, or when Obama and Edwards appeared together?
It seems unlikely that Baron would have let Obama pick Edwards knowing that this explosive situation was ripe for exposure. If Baron told Obama about it, why didn’t Obama cut ties with Edwards before the end of July, when Edwards let himself get cornered by the National Enquirer at the hotel in the middle of the night?
Tapper asked the Obama campaign for some clarification on Baron and his status on Team Obama. Unsurprisingly, the campaign seems a little slow to respond.