November 17, 2006 - The Associated Press is reporting that former Vice Presidential candidate and 2008 Presidential hopeful John Edwards attempted to use his influence to get a PlayStation 3 at Wal-Mart. On Thursday, a staff member from Edwards' office contacted a Wal-Mart in Raleigh, North Carolina. The staffer identified himself as a member of Edwards' team and attempted to secure a PS3 for the former Senator without having to stand in line.
The potent irony of the situation is that just a day prior, Edwards was part of a union conference call decrying the poor treatment of Wal-Mart employees. Wal-Mart was quick to react, issuing a statement pointing out Edwards' actions. "While the rest of America's working families are waiting patiently in line," the Wal-Mart statement said, "Sen. Edwards wants to cut to the front."
On Thursday, Edwards released a statement denying any such actions: "We instructed no one to contact Wal-Mart on our behalf." Later, however, Edwards admitted that a staff member did contact Wal-Mart. However, according to Edwards, the staffer was attempting to secure a PS3 for himself and not for the Senator.
"My wife, Elizabeth, wanted to get a PlayStation 3 for my young children. She mentioned it in front of one of my staff people. 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," Edwards said. "Elizabeth and I knew nothing about this. [The staffer] feels terrible about this. He made a mistake and he knows he should not have used my name."
With only 400,000 PlayStation 3 units available at launch and millions eager for the new system, demand is at a premium. Long lines began forming Thursday morning at various retailers. Those who failed in their bid to obtain a PS3 can take solace in the fact that even Senators and their assistants aren't having much luck either.
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