If only Clinton had stopped and smelled those roses … According to the new book, Mellon — the heiress to the Listerine fortune who became a style icon and art collector — was so miffed at Clinton’s perceived dis that she threw support behind Edwards in the Democratic presidential primary.
Animosity wasn’t her only motivation, though, Gordon writes. Edwards’s initial visit to her Upperville, Va., mansion in 2005 gave the Kennedy confidante shades of Camelot. “It brings back the excitement of the day John Kennedy walked into the house, before he was elected president,” Mellon wrote at the time to Bryan Huffman, her friend and decorator who would later help her pass checks to Edwards, according to the new book.
Edwards would eventually be indicted on six charges of breaking campaign-finance laws relating to misuse of funds to cover up his affair and child with a campaign videographer named Rielle Hunter, though the government dropped its case against him in 2011. Mellon, then more than 100 years old, still seemed enthralled by the excitement of it all.
“Bryan, just imagine, if we go to jail for this we could get cells next to each other and do them so attractively,” she wrote to her designer pal, as if discussing plans to redo a room in one of her fabulous homes. “Very spare, attractive, and warm, we could talk through the bars.”