John Edwards' Bromance with Andrew Young

Dispatches from John Edwards' trial over campaign finance law violations continue to come out. Today's episode takes an interesting romantic turn. 

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Dispatches from John Edwards' trial over campaign finance law violations continue to come out, reminding us again and again that John Edwards was not a very nice man. Not only was he cheating on his dying wife, he took money from a 101-year-old nearly blind woman to keep his mistress in organic food and fancy clothes. And he totally messed with his former aide, Andrew Young, as well. Or at least that's what the defense lawyers hope to convey, suggesting that Andrew Young was so desperately "in love" (buddy love, or political love, if not romantic) with Edwards that he would do anything for him, and is now so heartbroken that he's bent on revenge.

As Tara Palmeri writes in the New York Post:

A former top aide to the disgraced former senator admitted during testimony yesterday that he had a bro-mance with the presidential contender — and felt like a spurned lover when he was sucked into the coverup of the pol’s tawdry affair.

“You fell in love with John Edwards?” defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked Andrew Young in the first day of cross-examination.

“We all did. A lot of people in the country did,” Young admitted.

Young adored Edwards so much, according to the defense attorneys, that there was almost a Single White Female thing going on, except of course Young is married and a man. The lawyers "accused Young of bizarrely modeling himself after Edwards — even getting the same stonework on his house." Young, who'd been dubbed "Rose Petal" by Edwards' staff as a jab at his adoration of the big guy, called Elizabeth Edwards "Ursula" (The Little Mermaid's villain), which is interpreted by the lawyers as proof that he was jealous of her. And some of his comments do seem positively lover-like:

“He said he loved me and that he knew that I knew that he would never abandon me,” Young testified earlier yesterday.

In the end, it was too much pressure, however, or that's how the story goes. When asked if he'd fallen "out of love" with his boss, Young said yes. And then came the typical vengeful former lover-type comments, like the charming one Young made to a journalist "that he wanted to 'sh-t on' Edwards’ head."

Alternatively, of course, it could be that Young was in some ways as sleazy and questionable in his morals as Edwards, and that this line of defense (along with his immunity for testifying, of course) clears him of wrongdoing. Still, it's not every day we get to see the inner-workings of a political "bromance." Let's revel in it (you can read more about their little affair, 2,300 words more, in this Politico piece from 2009). A tidbit on their relationship, from Ben Smith:

When John Edwards returned to North Carolina in the course of his long quest for the presidency, Andrew Young always met him at the airport in Edwards’s big black Chevy Tahoe. Young drove, and Edwards rode shotgun, silently raising his left hand whenever he wanted a Diet Coke, which Young would wordlessly supply.

This is the stuff of Nicholas Sparks books! Via the Post:

The last time they spoke to one another: “He looked at me and said, ‘You can’t hurt me, Andrew, you can’t hurt me’ ” — and then the two parted ways, Young testified.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.