Edwards’s new image was sullied by a trio of interrelated imbroglios that bubbled up in 2007, which his advisers dubbed “the three H’s”: the house, the hedge fund, and the haircuts. The house referred to the new mansion, a two-building complex totaling 28,200 square feet, with an indoor basketball court, swimming pool, and squash court, two theatrical stages, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.” The hedge fund referred to Edwards’s deal to be a “senior adviser” to Fortress Investment Group, in New York, from which he reaped a minor fortune. And the haircuts referred to the story that he’d received two $400 cuts from a posh Beverly Hills stylist who later revealed that he’d once charged Edwards $1,250 for a session.
Edwards’s advisers were certain—and they were correct—that the Obama and Clinton campaigns were driving three H’s, planting the stories in the press at the national level and in the early states. But whatever the sources of the controversies, all three reinforced doubts about Edwards’s substantiveness and authenticity.
How this Ken doll got as far as he did in politics is a disturbing case study. If a few votes in a few states had gone the other way in 2004 he might have been Vice President.