CHARLOTTE — Remember that guy who was running for president last time and knocked up his staffer-mistress and tried to cover it up? Which would have been a total debacle for the Democrats if he’d been nominated? Remember him?
Gotta say, it was brave for Bridget Siegel to show up promoting her new sex-on-the-campaign-trail novel, “Domestic Affairs,” inspired by her time as a campaign finance director for John Edwards — a name few are inclined to utter around here. But she insisted she was having a great time catching up with old pals. She does love conventions.
“I’m half-jaded, sure,” she told us, “but at the end of the day, I’m a political staffer at heart.”
The author was toasted Tuesday night at a less-than-crowded party: Beloved-but-unbuzzy hosts Real Clear Politics and BlackBerry (she wrote the book on her device!) faced stiff competition from the throwdowns sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America (with a dynamic set by rapper Common) and media whiz-kids-du-jour Buzzfeed (who had a petting zoo). A bright-eyed, coltish 35-year-old, looking very Charlotte-in-“Sex and the City” in a ladylike aqua sequinned skirt, Siegel has toggled between politics and acting since her stint with Edwards’s 2004 vice presidential campaign, and she has not completely forsaken him.
“His message was important — two Americas in one,” she told us. “It’s a theme that continues.” Although it stars a seductive Southern pol, her book was meant less as an Edwards tell-all than “an inside story on campaign fundraising,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone’s written a novel about that before. You have all these big numbers, and it’s these 25-, 30-year-olds bringing them in. . . It’s the stories before and after Rielle that no one hears.”
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