John Edwards is getting hammered now for--gasp--accepting money to speak at universities about poverty.
But if you compare the relatively modest $55,000 fee paid by UC Davis for a presentation about poverty in America in January 2006 to Rudy Giuliani's $100,000 per-engagement fee to pawn his "principles of leadership", I think you can get a sense for what a joke this story is.
I guess the difference is that Rudy Giuliani is understood to be a for-profit, if not craven, self-promoter, while John Edwards (as I discussed here) is substantive, sincere, and driven to policy solutions. Some people love nothing more than taking down the true believers who just might get something done, and so Edwards is targeted for being a wealthy man who wants to do something about poverty.
Can you imagine John or Bobby Kennedy trying to run for president today? Can you imagine the pot shots their idealism and their belief in a greater good would attract? This is trash journalism meant only to debase our public discourse. What a disgrace.
Update: Yeah, here's Ed Morrisey saying, effectively, that only poor people should talk about poverty:
Democrats should already be asking themselves why someone who runs on "Two Americas" and as a champion of the downtrodden feels it necessary to live in a 28,000-square foot mansion. Now that they know it got funded by $55,000 lectures on the evils of poverty, it should make the equation even more clear.