Wall Street Journal writer Christopher Cooper has found that some of John Edwards' Fortress Hedge Funds included investments in companies that have foreclosed on Katrina victims. When Cooper informed him of this, Edwards pledged to divest from those funds and to provide direct aid to the one-time owners of the 34 homes affected by foreclosure.
All fine now, I suppose. Except the implicit takeaway from the article is that investing in companies that engage in predatory lending is perfectly OK as long as you happen not to have strong feelings about predatory lending. Cooper writes:
Mr. Edwards is hardly the only presidential candidate to field criticism over his business. Republican Mitt Romney has come under attack for his time at Bain Capital, a private-equity firm that has purchased companies and forced layoffs. He and Mr. Edwards, along with Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, have taken hits for investing in companies that did business in Sudan. Republican Rudy Giuliani has fielded criticism for his consulting company's or his law firm's associations with troubled businesses and with Venezuela, whose socialist leader harshly criticizes the U.S.
Some blogger out there should do a quick count of all the stories that have been written about John Edwards' hair, his house, and his hedge funds (all of which have intended to imply some sort of hypocrisy) and compare that number to the number of stories that have been written about Romney and Bain, Obama and Sudan investments, and Giuliani and Venezuela. I think the results of that count would be... enligthening.