Civilians see sleaze; speechwriters see another rough day at the office—in the story of Wendy Button, the former John Edwards speechwriter. She testified earlier this week that she wrote her old boss when she heard his disgruntled former aide was coming out with a book.
According to The Daily Beast:
“Friends reach out to friends when times are tough,” Button explained to the court in her gentle tone. “I sent him an email and said, ‘If you wanted, this would be a good time to say something.’” Attached was a proposed statement that would have Edwards admit paternity and apologize to both Fred Baron and Andrew Young for involving them so deeply in his messy extramarital affair and coverup.
Over the next six weeks there were “countless phone calls” as Edwards and Button massaged the statement.
Button recalled that about a month into the process Edwards was satisfied enough that he passed around the long version of the statement to about a dozen close associates for feedback. Included in that version was Button’s line: “I never asked Mr. Baron for a dime. (But) I stood by and watched him support Quinn. I will pay him back.”
After the feedback came in from Edwards’s confidants the statement was trimmed again so that it focused mostly on the paternity issue. The money line, as Button called it—referring to Fred Baron’s seemingly never-ending largesse in helping not only Hunter but the Young family remain in hiding—had morphed from its original “I knew other people were supporting Quinn…” to, “I knew other people—without my knowledge—were supporting Quinn…”
“I struggled with taking out the (original) Fred line,” Button testified.
“This disturbed you,” asked prosecutor Higdon.
“Yes, this was a statement that was supposed to tell the truth,” she said emphatically.
“Why were you concerned?” Higdon prodded.
“I knew it wasn’t true,” Button replied, adding that she had been “deeply” disturbed by the event.
Yep, she’s a speechwriter all right.