UPDATE at end of post: Edwards scandal could lead to a Clinton coup!
With Hillary Clinton talking about demanding a full delegate vote at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, the John Edwards sex scandal has the potential to further interfere with the unified and harmonious nomination of Barack Obama media clearly seek.
After all, the case can certainly be made that if the Edwards affair had gotten the press attention it deserved back in October when the National Enquirer first broke the story, the former senator would have been forced out of the race sooner likely giving Clinton enough delegates early in the process to prevent the eventual groundswell for Obama.
The only question is how many media outlets desperately hoping for a civil convention in a few weeks are going to raise this question as ABC's Brian Ross and Jake Tapper did at the Blotter blog Monday (emphasis added throughout, photo courtesy AP):
Sen. Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic presidential nominee if John Edwards had been caught in his lie about an extramarital affair and forced out of the race last year, insists a top Clinton campaign aide, making a charge that could exacerbate previously existing tensions between the camps of Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.
"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," former Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told ABCNews.com. [...]
"Our voters and Edwards' voters were the same people," Wolfson said the Clinton polls showed. "They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama."
Two months earlier, Edwards had vociferously, but falsely, denied a story in the National Enquirer about the alleged affair last October, and few in the mainstream media even reported the denial.
The lie "certainly had an impact on the election," Wolfson said.
Much like many conservatives around the country wondering why the press ignored this issue for so many months, Wolfson was also scratching his head:
But he says he is mystified about the failure of the national media to pursue the story as it has allegations of other candidates' affairs.
"I can't say I understand the rules of the media and I'm not sure they do either," he said.
If more press outlets begin discussing the possibility that Edwards' lie cost Clinton the nomination, this could seriously complicate matters heading into the Convention:
Many Clinton supporters are already resentful of Obama, whom they see as having only won the nomination with the support of a sexist media and democratic establishment. Wolfson's argument that these same players helped keep Edwards in the race, thus hurting Clinton -- a highly debatable contention -- will likely only fan the flames of Democratic division.
Will press members clearly embarrassed by their lack of journalistic integrity concerning Edwards' indiscretion look to make amends by fully exploring how their silence might have cost Clinton the nomination? Or, will such speculation be kept to a bare minimum in order to get Obama the successful coronation in Denver the media have been working at for months?
*****Update: My dear friend Thomas Lifson over at the American Thinker has much more on this issue, "Evidence accumulates favoring the possibility of a Hillary coup at the Denver convention, and it is being noticed among the sharper observers of politics." Read the whole thing.