EDWARDS AIDES PLANNED SABOTAGE…. I haven’t followed all of the details of the story surrounding John Edwards’ affair, though it seems to be generating quite a bit of renewed interest in light of Elizabeth Edwards’ book and Oprah interview. That said, from a political perspective, the basics seem pretty straightforward: the former senator had an affair, knew the information might go public, and ran for the Democratic nomination anyway.

On ABC’s “This Week,” George Will noted, “Think about what a tragedy it would have been if he had won.” George Stephanopoulos reported something new: Edwards campaign aides weren’t going to let that happen.

I’ve talked to a lot of former Edwards staffers about this. Up until December of 2007, most on Edwards’ staff didn’t believe rumors about the affair.

But by late December, early January of last year, several people in his inner circle began to think the rumors were true.

Several of them had gotten together and devised a “doomsday” strategy of sorts.
Basically, if it looked like Edwards was going to win the Democratic Party nomination, they were going to sabotage his campaign, several former Edwards’ staffers have told me.

They said they were Democrats first, and if it looked like Edwards was going to become the nominee, they were going to bring down the campaign.

Edwards was pretty consistently the third of three, so such a scenario probably never got beyond the talk-about stage, but I can’t help but wonder what the “sabotage” might have consisted of.

In either case, it’s something for future reckless candidates to think about.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.