John Edwards Tries to Cut in Line at Wal-Mart for PlayStation3

Wal-Mart is outing former Senator John Edwards for trying to cut in line to get a PlayStation3 while continuing to campaign against the retail giant.

Yesterday, a staff person for former Sen. Edwards contacted a Wal-Mart electronics manager in Raleigh, North Carolina to obtain a Sony PlayStation3 on behalf of the Senator’s family. Later that night, Sen. Edwards reportedly re-told a homespun story to participants of a United
Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union-sponsored call about how his son had chided a fellow student for purchasing shoes at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart welcomes Sen. Edwards to visit his local Wal-Mart store and explore the extensive line of home electronics as well as the Metro7 line shoes for men and boys.

The Company noted the PlayStation3 is an extremely popular item this Christmas season, and while the rest of America’s working families are waiting patiently in line, Senator Edwards wants to cut to the front. While, we cannot guarantee that Sen. Edwards will be among one of the first to obtain a PlayStation3, we are certain Sen. Edwards will be able to find great gifts for everyone on his Christmas list – many at Wal-Mart’s “roll-back prices.”

PlayStation 3 This story is not hard to believe. After all, John Edwards thinks there are Two Americas, one for rich people who can bypass the line and one for poor folks. Apparently, Wal-Mart is working to change that.

PS3s are available at eBay with bidding starting around $2000 and most selling at nearly $3000. They’re $1421 at WalMart.com but supplies are limited.

UPDATE: Edwards’ fellow Tar Heel Mary Katharine Ham has caught wind of the story, too.

UPDATE: Edwards initially denied the claim: “Through a spokeswoman, Edwards says no such request was made.” Now, he’s blaming it on a young staffer.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that a staff member for former Sen. John Edwards — a vocal critic of the retailer — asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting the potential 2008 presidential candidate a Sony PlayStation 3. Edwards said a volunteer did so by mistake. Edwards told The Associated Press that the volunteer “feels terrible” about seeking the game unit at Wal-Mart a day after his boss criticized the company, saying it doesn’t treat its employees fairly.

“My wife, Elizabeth, wanted to get a Playstation3 for my young children. She mentioned it in front of one of my staff people,” Edwards said. “That staff person mentioned it in front of a volunteer who said he would make an effort to get one. He was making an effort to go get one for himself.

“Elizabeth and I knew nothing about this. He feels terrible about this. He made a mistake, and he knows he should not have used my name,” Edwards said.

Edwards said the volunteer was “a young kid” unaware of what he called flawed Wal-Mart policies. He called the Wal-Mart statement an effort to divert attention from its own problems.

It’s hardly the height of corruption regardless of whether this is Edwards’ final version of the story. Still, it’s a rather amusing situation. Further, the fact that even Edwards’ employees naturally turn to Wal-Mart to buy their boss’ toys demonstrates the degree to which ordinary working people rely on the retailer and its imitators for their daily needs.

OTB Link to Edwards Wal-Mart Story #1 on Fark UPDATE: It looks like I’m really Fark’ed now.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Economics and Business, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. This is probably a non story, but I thought it was funny and decided to share it all with you. Travis travis@rightwinglunatic.com

  2. Jeez, I didn’t even want to do this, but given the events occurring, I must do so in the interest of Great Justice. Mall in Orlando gets Zerged by people shooting for a PS3, unaware they only have 16. John Edwards tries to cut in line.

  3. the rest of his speech, and asks to be handed the shotgun next as the kids cry out “DON’T DO IT! DON’T DO IT!” Best part: he is now suing the government, claiming they had no right to film it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why God made Youtube. JOHN EDWARDS HATES WAL-MART, LOVES PS3

  4. Other Crap says:

    John Edwards Tries to Cut in Line at Wal-Mart for PlayStation3 “Wal-Mart is outing former Senator John Edwards for trying to cut in line to get a PlayStation3 while continuing to campaign against the retail giant.”

  5. Outside the Beltway

  6. This web sux says:

    AMUSING – Sen. John Edwards speaks out against shopping at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart reveals that Edward tried to cut in line to buy a PS3 from them. Advantage: Wal-Mart

  7. Cuppacafe says:

    t aware that Edwards has been to more than one gathering where Wal-Mart was villified, and also wasn’t aware that Sen. Edwards tells tales about their son chiding some other hapless kid about how you shouldn’t buy shoes from Wal-Mart. [Outside The Beltway has more] Edwards is going to have to seriously spin this and keep spinning. I don’t think I’ll support the guy. I don’t care if it WAS just a staffer who didn’t know anything. It proves what I

  8. the front. While, we cannot guarantee that Sen. Edwards will be among one of the first to obtain a PlayStation3, we are certain Sen. Edwards will be able to find great gifts for everyone on his Christmas list – many at Wal-Mart’s “roll-back prices.” [IMG PlayStation 3] This story is not hard to believe. After all, John Edwards thinks there are Two Americas, one for rich people who can bypass the line and one for poor folks. Apparently, Wal-Mart is working to change that.

  9. Oh, and the new Blood Brothers record is shockingly good. The video for “Laser Life” isn’t so hot, but I really don’t know what to expect from music videos anymore. Alright, and one vaguely-titled link to an amusing news story…. I would have voted for him for president.

  10. Double Tap says:

    to refrain from using union labor, doesn’t seem to mind trying to cut in line in front of the “working families” he said he would protect and support as President or Vice-President – all to get a Playstion3 at Wal-Mart. Wal-mart outs him here. (H/T OTB)

  11. Original Article syndicated via RSS from Outside The Beltway | OTB

  12. Possumblog says:

    And while we’re a’taunting… This little gem from James Joyner. As the kids say, “pwn3d!”

  13. Palousitics says:

    need to by avoiding Wal-Mart because they disapprove of its executives’ politics, then that’s their foolish choice. Although, it’s worth noting that when John Edwards wanted to get a Nintendo PlayStation3 for his children, he tried to arrange a backdoor purchase from his neighborhood Wal-Mart so that he wouldn’t have to wait in line like commoners. Snobbery only goes so far. Even the super-rich like to stretch their dollars. In spite of the lowbrow austerity that Costco presents, it occupies such a favored

  14. need to by avoiding Wal-Mart because they disapprove of its executives’ politics, then that’s their foolish choice. Although, it’s worth noting that when John Edwards wanted to get a Nintendo PlayStation3 for his children, he tried to arrange a backdoor purchase from his neighborhood Wal-Mart so that he wouldn’t have to wait in line like commoners. Snobbery only goes so far. Even the super-rich like to stretch their dollars. In spite of the lowbrow austerity that Costco presents, it occupies such a favored

  15. employees. Their tax dollars are helping provide health care for Wal-Mart employees, because Wal-Mart’s not doing it. Their tax dollars are going to provide housing and food stamps for Wal-Mart employees,” Mr. Edwards told a crowd of 400‌ But he apparently LOVES Wal Mart prices Yesterday, a staff person for former Sen. Edwards contacted a Wal-Mart electronics manager in Raleigh, North Carolina to obtain a Sony PlayStation3 on behalf of the Senator’s family. Later that night, Sen. Edwards reportedly re-told a

  16. Anderson says:

    Whatever one thinks of Edwards, I will be very, very afraid for my country if this story turns out to have legs.

  17. I’m certainly no fan of John Edwards, but he may not be at fault here. Perhaps an overzealous staff member was just trying to impress him by getting their hands on a Playstation3 for his kids. I kind of doubt that Mr. Edwards has the time.

  18. Mark says:

    So apparently John Edwards is no longer Anti-Walmart? So much for helping the little guy…

  19. Michael says:

    John Edwards Tries to Cut in Line at Wal-Mart for PlayStation3

    This is outrageous that a US Senator would actually walk in front of people in a line at Walmart, thinking he’s better than them! What was he..

    Yesterday, a staff person for former Sen. Edwards

    Wait, it wasn’t actually him?

    contacted a Wal-Mart electronics manager

    Contacted? What, you mean there wasn’t even a real line of people involved?

    Now, I don’t want to say James is being inflammatory, but why the hell is James being so inflammatory?

    In related new, President Bush calls Communism a Success: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061116/ts_nm/apec_bush_dc_6
    paragraph 4

  20. don surber says:

    A line jumper, just like John F’n Kerry

  21. James Joyner says:

    Anderson: I think the story is amusing more than destructive.

    Charles: A possibility, I suppose–and one that hadn’t occurred to me.

    Michael: Rich people have people to handle these things for them. They don’t actually stand in line, let alone make phone calls to lowly store managers. And, yes, there is indeed a line.

    And Vietnam is Communist these days in name only. Economically, at least, it opened the doors to free enterprise many moons ago.

  22. Len says:

    This would be a funny story if it were true. I really doubt that it is.

  23. charles austin: Thank you for being rational. I can’t believe this even made it to OTB. What a dumb non-story.

  24. Wonkette says:

    Rumors On The Internets: Nice Game Console, Comrade…

    Last vestiges of notoriety not enough for John Edwards to cut the line for Playstation 3 at a North Carolina Wal-Mart. [Outside the Beltway] Jim Webb bored of talking about Iraq war, turns attention to class war. [Winds of……

  25. When It Comes to Playstation 3 John Edwards Likes Wal-Mart…

    To add to my Wal-Mart kick this afternoon is the retailer “praising” former Senator John Edwards for shopping there:
    Just like the millions of Americans who turn to their neighborhood Wal-Mart for their holiday shopping needs, Wal-Mart anno…

  26. Wickedpinto says:

    I, I am rather impoverished, I maintain just enough income/savings to maintain my basics.

    I, can say “SCREW WALMART” or “SCREW SEARS” while still shopping there, because I am not wealthy enough to pick and chose in the same way that Edwards can.

    Were I (I don’t oppose walmart) to oppose walmart, and I were I a millionaire? I WOULDN’T FLOGGING SHOP THERE!!!!

    Edwards proves his socialist LAWYERISTIC leanings. It’s the governments fault, if the market convinces me to shop at a place I hate.

    What a flogging liar.

    In fact, the guy is so well known, and so wealthy, that he doesn’t even have to risk identity theft, he could have early ordered over the net and paid less as John Edwards!, but he somehow, ended up getting one at a local branch, in person, with a camera crew. . . .

    How did that happen?

    who’da’thunk? what? I’m completely confused about how someone who said that Chris reeve (not reeveS, as he said) will stand up and walk if he is VP, would be a complete and total liar.

  27. kenny says:

    “I can’t believe this even made it to OTB. What a dumb non-story.”

    oh come on. It’s clearly far more important to hear about a man who holds no elected office trying to buy a games machines than ,say, 18 allied soldiers dying in iraq this week whilst trying to find those WMDs or those links to 9/11 that we went to war for.

  28. Triumph says:

    This story is not hard to believe. After all, John Edwards thinks there are Two Americas, one for rich people who can bypass the line and one for poor folks. Apparently, Wal-Mart is working to change that.

    So it is not “hard to believe” an unsourced news release from a company who the Senator very publicly criticized last night?

    What’s next, James, reporting information from Ahmed Chalabi as fact?

  29. Michael says:

    James,
    You get the point, you can take any non-story and turn it into inflammatory headlines that don’t at all represent what actually happened.

    Here we have a staffer, who probably called Walmart asking if they could hold a PS3 for him, he probably tells the guy it’s for Senator Edwards. Walmart tells him no, as probably did BestBuy and CircuitCity before the staffer called Walmart. There was no line being skipped (your link it for a California store, I’m sure it was not related to this story), there was no involvement of the Senator himself, just a staffer making an inquiry. It’s a non-story.

    In related new, President Bush gives money to John Kerry!!! (read: a Bush staffer bought some Heinz Ketchup the other day).

  30. Wickedpinto says:

    “he doesn’t even hold office!!!”

    But he might have, he might have held a significant office, and then he turns around, and becomes a hypocrite, ONLY so he might look like an everyman, though he RAN on HATING the very thing he just did.

    Edwards? had a chance at real position in politics, but he became a student of the Kerry school of politics.

    The think is Kerry never needed to earn a damn thing other than Kennedies blessing.

    Good on you you RETARDED left and right retarded dem’s.

    All you democrats who ACTUALLY respect the votes of the people? You will be minimized. Murtha won’t be leader, but he will be leader, just like Moran, just like Durbin, Screw the history.

  31. bobo says:

    GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

    EDWARDS DENIED THIS BS STORY AND STOP BEING A WAL-MART BULLHORN.

  32. geezer says:

    Folks, it’s James’ dime: if you don’t like the stories on OTB, change the channel.

    Michael: having watched these PS3 folks the last two days, you better believe there’s a line, and some of them are committed for reasons beyond greed. One guy from Perth Amboy, NJ, was adamant he was gonna get this thing for his grandkids, because that’s what grandparents do. He’s 35. I’d love to introduce you to him — he and many others will be at our Milford, DE WalMart until at least midnite tonite.

    I wish I’d known about this Edwards story earlier today so I could’ve shared it with these committed supporters of capitalism and got their reactions. And yes, a staffer calling would constitute “line-skipping” since it obviously circumvents having to… um, stand in frikkin’ line.

  33. Michael says:

    One guy from Perth Amboy, NJ, was adamant he was gonna get this thing for his grandkids, because that’s what grandparents do. He’s 35.

    35 year old Grandfather of PS3 aged grandkids? Something’s wrong with that math I think.

    For the record, since everyone seems to think I live under a rock, I know there are lines for the PS3. I know there are people who for some crazy reason will wait outside for days and fight over that little box. But Edwards didn’t.

  34. I think this is like the Bono tax dodge. A lefty will huff and puff about what others should do, but not let that inconvenience them in their life.

  35. geezer says:

    Michael, as far as math goes, it’s known as a “package deal.” You marry the woman, you get to own the whole she-bang. (I did the same thing at 40.) This “grandpa” came off as a legit dude who could’ve pulled off any role “The Sopranos” offered him. Who was I to argue with his reasons? Hell, I’m stupid enough to work at the evil WalMart, so what do I know?

    Edwards is still a shmuck.

  36. Ramu the Wolf Boy says:

    umm, it was a staffer. probably someone way down the chain of command who was asked to do a little research, couldn’t find another store that had it because Walmart cut off the supply chain to all the other electronics stores in NC, and he/she got a little ahead of him/herself.

    y’all are worse with the fake vapors-gettin’ than Faux News.

  37. Ramu the Wolf Boy says:

    It’s a stupid lie, anyway…

    Edwards denies Wal-Mart’s claim that he asked for Playstation 3

    UNDATED Wal-Mart claims that former North Carolina Senator John Edwards asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting a hot new Sony PlayStation Three.
    The potential 2008 presidential candidate has denied it.

    A Wal-Mart spokesman won’t name the person who purportedly called on Edwards’ behalf.

  38. Typical politician, thinking he is above what the rest of us must endure. He’s right about the two America’s though. He just lives in the rich one.

  39. Christopher says:

    Typical liberal.

    Edwards also covered up the cause of death of his son, which was drunk driving. I love the cover story: the “wind” blew over his truck and he was killed. Libs will stop at nothing to show that they live perfect lives when in fact they live lives of total untruth.

    They re-elected a congressman caught with bribe money! One of their committee chairmen will be a judge that was impeached! They party is full of communists and traitors! lol pathetic. PS3 cutting in line? All too easy to believe.

  40. patco13 says:

    You people have time to read and comment on stuff like this?

  41. geezer says:

    patco13: yup. It’s called “freedom.” It ain’t taxed, is only regulated by the owner and gives us a good excuse to beg out of watching chick flicks with our wives.

    Please tell us you don’t have a problem with that.

  42. Christopher says:

    patco13: you have time to read and comment on people who read and comment on stuff like this?

  43. Tano says:

    “Folks, it’s James’ dime: if you don’t like the stories on OTB, change the channel.”

    BS.
    Its his dime, but he has a comments section because he obviously wants comments. And this is a post that really cries out for criticism. I suspect that most of us who read and comment here, even though we have different perspectives, do so because there is an expectation of a certain level of posting and of discourse, a level higher than what is found in the usual political sewer sites. He fell down on this one, and it needs to be said.

  44. geezer says:

    Christopher: that may be Zen, Monty Python, or I just need to go to bed. In any event, wish I’d said it.

  45. geezer says:

    Tano, I think we feel your pain. The next time I PAY my cable bill, BUY dead-trees-media or monetarily compensate anyone for something that annoys me I’ll think of this thread.

    For the moment, enjoy the freedom of commenting on something that cries out to be commented on, paid for by someone else. Enjoy and savor this freedom, while it lasts.

  46. Machine Operator says:

    John Edwards is a stupid ass. Way before this little nothing thing thing happened.

  47. Michael says:

    Tano, I think we feel your pain. The next time I PAY my cable bill, BUY dead-trees-media or monetarily compensate anyone for something that annoys me I’ll think of this thread.

    For the moment, enjoy the freedom of commenting on something that cries out to be commented on, paid for by someone else.

    geezer,
    See those google ads at the top of the page? Right now there is a huge image ad for Discover Card above the form I’m typing in. Or how about that new U2 book, since Bono has already been mentioned in this thread.

    It may not be much, but it’s the business model James chose. Every new complaint on this thread brings him something.

  48. Michael says:

    And this is a post that really cries out for criticism. I suspect that most of us who read and comment here, even though we have different perspectives, do so because there is an expectation of a certain level of posting and of discourse, a level higher than what is found in the usual political sewer sites. He fell down on this one, and it needs to be said.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed a slide in the quality of the discourse here since the elections. I get that some of you are still hurting from the loss and all, but come on. Does anyone here really think Edwards told a staffer to go directly to Walmart, step all over the poor people there, and get him a new Playstation? Think about that, can you actually convince yourself that this is the real situation?

  49. The staffer ran into the WalMart while Edwards waited in his limo. Plausible deniability rules!

  50. The Knucklehead of the Day award…

    Today’s winner is former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards….

  51. Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii…

    The battle of the videogames – and for the wallets of parents – has begun, as Sony and Nintendo begin their Christmas season marketing battle. And “battle” is the word for it, at least when it comes to shoppers………

  52. Janis Gore says:

    Big boys have their secretaries buy gifts all the time.

    Edwards told a staffer he needed a Playstation for the kids, the staffer told a junior to go do it, and the junior made some moves that conflict with the Senator’s agenda.

    It’s not a big deal, and in no way classes Edwards as a hypocrite, but come on, kids, isn’t it just a little funny?

  53. G A Phillips says:

    Edwards,Dude, Its a PS3 , I understand, you don’t have to cover it up, I understand.

  54. Leon says:

    Sure Edwards. Blame the little guy. the shopping line – the great equalizer.

  55. Mike says:

    I know three millionaires, multi millionaires, they dont shop at Sax or Tiffany’s – they shop at Wal Mart. And they stand in line like everyone else. People who have worked hard for their money, know its value and look for as good a deal as they can find. It’s often at Wal Mart. Wal Mart’s job is to keep prices down and make items affordable. If an employee has better skills, find a better job – no good person ever faulted anyone for making themselves better equipped to compete in the job market through better education, experience, talents, etc. They manage like a million and half employees – can you imagine that- not every employee/manager/supervisor is going to be perfect. From the stock boy to the CEO, the customer is the reason they are there, not for an exercise in communalism. If this story is true, I applaud Wal Mart for humbling Edwards. I think it is fundamental nature for a politician to abuse power – rich, poor, republican or democrat. I really believe if you have even one dollar to spend, you’re equal in the eyes of Wal-Mart and in this country – that’s ok, that can’t be said in some retail stores. When the minimum wage is raised – as customers, our prices will go up or else the company has to fire workers. When they are forced to provide more healthcare benefits, our prices will go up or they will have to fire workers. Leave Wal Mart out of it and go after whoever is responsible for $20 a pill tylenol or $2000 a night at hospital stays, Wal Mart is not responsible for this. The customer expects the greatest value for their dollar – if the prices go up they will shop somewhere else. There won’t be a loyalty premium for Wal-Mart goods people will pay. Look at what happened to American car makers with imports, or even the “buy American” program Wal-Mart already tried. Wal-Mart can’t foot the bill on the criticisms they have received. I’m tired of hearing Wal Mart is the bad guy – they do a good job in competing for my dollar. The CFW may make working there a little more profitable in the short term, but how will you explain it to the ones who get fired, in order to keep costs low, and the extra demands in productivity of the remaining ones. Because the consumer just won’t pay higher prices when there are other equal alternatives. This is the root of the union dilemma – if every worker was unionized, cost of products would be more equal – competition would have the extra costs factored in, but when one company is not unionized, it has a competitive advantage over those who are. I find it hard to believe that working at Wal-Mart is equivalent to the coal mines of West Virginia. And it is the CFW who is leveling all these criticisms, and who is donating to Edwards 08 campaign. By the way, this story is no harder to believe for me, than the story Wal-Mart doesn’t care for its employees, for others. I’m sure that working at Wal-Mart is not all fun and games – I’m sure out of so many employees there are bad coworkers, managers and supervisors – but that will happen anywhere. Wal-Mart gives a lot of hardworking people a chance to be productive, dignified and independent and thank you for helping me buy more for my money.

  56. just a farker says:

    I just came here from Fark, and this is the first article that I have ever read from your site. Now… Fark often has links to some pretty outrageous stuff, but this is an utterly inflammatory yellow press non-story. This article was sooo bad that I’m actually going to make the effort never to come to your site again.

  57. Doug says:

    First the Murtha debacle, now this. And that’s just a couple of days. I can’t wait to see wht the next two years will bring. For those thought the Democrats would be our salvation, a quote from Pete Townsend is in oreder: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

  58. yehudasf says:

    For any interested, here is a link to “More makeup please” Edwards admitting to the veracity of the story. Of course, in typical nazi-leftist fashion he blames it on an underling.

  59. yehudasf says:

    herewith missing link

  60. Aaron says:

    This is definitely a non-story. Until he lied about it.

    He may be a little hypocritical, but that’s not the story, all liberals are hypocrites. The story is him lying and trying to cover up such a dumb thing. If he will lie about a small thing like that, he will lie about big things.

    Libs are so use to lying they don’t even know when they do it.

  61. Dan says:

    What I find nice about the story is that he poked fun at the kid wearing Wal-mart shoes who goes to school with his kid. I consider it BS that his kid goes to school with someone of the economic status that he would have to wear the Wal-mart shoes, but what is really the point is how low of an opinion he has of people that cannot afford the same shoes that his kid wears. What a jerk.

  62. […] Finally, John Edwards the former vice-presidential hopeful who is currently looking for a presidential run apparently tried to get a PS3 for his family using his political clout.  That said, though, it’s more likely that one of his staffers was trying to use John Edwards’ political clout to get the thing for himself. […]

  63. Tano says:

    “Does anyone here really think Edwards told a staffer to go directly to Walmart, step all over the poor people there, and get him a new Playstation? Think about that, can you actually convince yourself that this is the real situation”

    Of course they can’t. But they can’t resist getting in a few cheap shots, and proving their mettle as political gunslingers.

    Then they complain when politicians lie and decieve all the time. Ironic, no?

  64. Bart Winkelford says:

    Came here from Fark, boy are you capitalist flunkies up to your necks in your own BS.

  65. Jason says:

    “When the minimum wage is raised – as customers, our prices will go up or else the company has to fire workers.”

    Please stop spreading this myth (lie). Studies have proven roundly that, in all the previous years that the minimum wage was increased, this did NOT happen. There was a SLIGHT increase in UNEMPLOYMENT OF TEENAGERS. That’s it.