Category Archives: John Edwards

Obama’s Conversation with Men’s Room Attendant Spurs Talk of Joint Ticket

by Jake Maccoby

As speculation as to who presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will choose as his Vice Presidential running mate continues to ramp up, with time edging nearer to the traditional summer selection period, some insiders and pundits believe the Illinois Senator may have already made his choice.

During dinner at the Olive Garden, Senator Obama had a cordial conversation with men’s room attendant Arthur Finklestein, who reportedly told the Senator that he was “planning on supporting” him, perhaps “even doing some handing out flyers if the hip cooperates.” The declaration, believed to be tantamount to an endorsement, had the political classes buzzing as the towel jockey’s pros and cons are weighed in comparison to other entrants in the Veepstakes.

Some believe that Finklestein’s humble background would attract those hard-working Americans, white Americans, that Senator Hillary Clinton largely dominated in the Democratic primaries.

“For someone who talks about changing Washington, this would be a very exciting pick,” said James Carville, who had previously characterized an Obama-Clinton ticket as “a very exciting pick” that would “in no way destroy the Democratic Party and leave the nation a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland.”

Another factor working in Finklestein’s favor was his breadth of experience. At 73-years old, a year older than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the bathroom attendant boasts an impressive resume, having lived through a World War, a Cold War, the Vietnam War and the Olive Garden-Red Lobster conflict of 1992, when the seafood chain moved in across the highway, touching off a fierce battle before the Olive Garden drove it to relocation in May, 1993.

Margaret Carlson, a journalist at Bloomberg News, agreed that Obama’s conversation with Finklestein showed that the hygiene professional was regarded by the Obama Campaign as a “top-teir contender.”

Earlier speculation for the vice-presidency had swirled around New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson after his endorsement in April, former Senator John Edwards after his endorsement in June, Senator Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and, following a successful box-office release, The Incredible Hulk. It is also speculated that if the search drags on, a successful July 18th weekend would see Batman thrown into the mix, as well.

Wolf Blitzer, a CNN reporter and host of “The Situation Room,” was similarly effusive.

“Yeah, we were pretty sure about Richardson, Edwards, Clinton, Gore, [Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck] Hagel, [Ohio Governor Ted] Strickland, and [Virginia Senator Jim] Webb—but Finklestein? This is the guy, for sure.”

When asked whether Finklestein was under consideration for the position, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

“Arthur is a dedicated, tireless public servant,” said Obama campaign spokesman David Plouffe. “Naturally, he would be on anybody’s shortlist.”

Finklestein played down the likelihood of his selection, but refused to rule out the possibility.

“Right now I’m happy to serve the good people of Olive Garden,” he said. “I’m not seeking the vice presidency, I’m not expecting to be offered the vice presidency, but if Senator Obama thinks I’m the best candidate, then we’ll have that conversation. Until then, I’ll just go on and on about the pesto pasta and my nominally athletic grandson who scored a lucky goal last weekend in the in-town soccer league.”


On Eve of N.C. Primary, Edwards Endorses Garnier Fructis

by Jordan Zakarin

Just a day before a crucial Democratic presidential primary in his home state of North Carolina, former senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards finally made public his much contested and long-awaited endorsement, announcing his support for Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner.

Speaking at a rally in his hometown of Chapel Hill, Edwards explained the decision while effusively praising the green-bottled product, which retails for approximately $4 per 13 oz. bottle. “Today I’m proud to stand behind this fine brand of two-in-one haircare product,” Edwards said. He continued, admitting that, “while it took a long time – longer than some of y’all in the media and with the campaigns may have liked – this decision, I feel, is the right one for America. With millions of Americans suffering from split ends, suffering under the oppression of humidity, we need a product that will fight for clean, smooth hair for all Americans.”

After months of calls from campaign surrogates and the candidates themselves, Edwards outlined a number of reasons why he threw his support behind Fructis. “I truly believe that this is the one haircare product that will help bridge the gaps that divide us and heal the wounds from years of petty fighting.”

Mentioning Fructis’s Active Fruit Concentrate a number of times, the 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee appealed for unity in a deeply polarized country. “By combining both shampoo, which will clean the hair, and conditioner, which will strengthen and smooth every strand, Garnier Fructis is a true window into our future, where every man, woman and child has a chance to have healthy, voluminous and shiny hair.”

Political analysts, bloggers and hairdressers hurriedly began analyzing the impact of Edwards’ announcement, which came just 18 hours before voters from both his home state and Indiana went to the polls. Leading salontologist Meghan Overdeep remarked that Edwards’ choice was a good one, both because Fructis spares the hair from heaviness typical of some other leading shampoo and conditioners and because the demographic most likely to be influenced by Edwards’ decision is a crucial one in tomorrow’s contest.

“[These voters] they are relatively with it, not necessarily into the most expensive products, but willing to spend more than they would on White Rain for example,” Overdeep said, alluding to a cheaper, less effective shampoo and conditioner.

That comment points to one of the main questions that surrounded the speculation over Edwards’ endorsement. Still seeking a place on the national stage, perhaps as Attorney General if a Democrat is elected President, the former Senator most likely tried to steer clear of fancier, more expensive beauty products as he tries to shake the impression that he is more vain than your average self-obsessed politician. That was likely a large strike against Vidal Sassoon, who worked hard for the North Carolina power player’s backing.

More surprising, though, was Edwards’ ability to resist the urge to herbal.

Edwards was also quick to point out that this was his decision alone, and not one necessarily shared by Elizabeth, who has been more vocal than the senator himself since Edwards dropped out of the race after a poor showing in his native South Carolina. “Elizabeth is her own person, with strong opinions, and she’ll endorse if and when she’s ready. But I can tell you who she won’t be supporting, and that’s Aussie Mega,” he said, referring to the shampoo used by right wing author and columnist Anne Coulter, with whom Elizabeth Edwards had a televised argument last fall.