John Edwards and his mistress, Rielle Hunter, traveled together during Edwards' 2006 Presidential announcement tour. On December 28, 2006, blogger and AP photographer, Robert Scoble
, unknowingly documented at least one such trip with his camera.
Scoble blogged Friday about the four-day presidential announcement trip, after Edwards admitted the romance with Hunter. Wrote Scoble, "I had no idea that when former Senator John Edwards invited me to come along on his plane back in December of 2006 that I would have had a front-row seat to a sex scandal."
Edwards recently admitted to the affair with Hunter and said he told his wife, Elizabeth about it in 2006, although he has not disclosed the exact date.
Jonathan Darman, writing for NewsWeek
, says the first time he saw Rielle Hunter they were both on a commuter flight with John Edwards, on the way to Des Moines, Iowa, and Hunter "was flirting with a candidate for president of the United States."
Darman says he was the only "national reporter" covering Edwards in Iowa for two days in July 2006. Hunter showed up at the first event with her video camera:
She was trying to get as close to the candidate as she could. "Does she work for the campaign?" I asked Edwards's press secretary, Kim Rubey. "Oh, she's working on a documentary project," said Rubey. "We're not sure if it's going to work out." But it was soon clear that she was on Team Edwards. When it came time to drive to the next event, she rode in the car with the candidate. I drove behind in a rental car.
Darman chatted with Rielle Hunter at the next scheduled event. She asked him what his astrological sign was and she spoke freely with him about her life. According to Darman, she is an astrology devotee, has been a spiritual adviser, a seeker and "is a firm believer in the power of truth."
Fox News reports that a "former" close friend to Hunter, Pigeon O'Brien, says the affair began "months before she was hired to work for his campaign," although Edwards claims that their liason began only after she was hired to film internet documentaries.
By the time Hunter was signed on to the Edwards campaign as a videographer — for a fee of $114,000 — O’Brien said they were already in a steamy relationship.
The National Enquirer has been working on this story for a year and claims that Edwards is the father of Hunter's 5 month old daughter, which Edwards denies and Hunter refuses to confirm or deny.
It's only a few days since the scandal escalated at warp speed, and pigeons are coming home to roost. Reporters may find treasures archived among old campaign litter and friends may "dish" for their 15 minutes of fame.