Opinion: First lunch, then the Lincoln Bedroom?

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Joe Trippi, a senior advisor to John Edwards, is in a bit of a tizzy today over a Hillary Clinton luncheon fundraiser in Washington, D.C. The campaign claims people donating $1,000, or bundlers bringing in $25,000, get to sit down with Clinton supporters — who also happen to be Democratic congressional members of a Homeland Security-related committee — and talk about, well, Homeland Security. In an e-mail to supporters, Trippi wrote:

‘That no one in the Clinton campaign — including the candidate — found anything wrong with holding this fundraiser is an indication of just how bad things have gotten in Washington — because there isn’t an American outside of Washington who would not be sickened by it.’

Trippi launches a pretty good condemnation of the perception that Clinton is selling access — conjuring images of some of her husband’s fundraising activities and the renting out of the Lincoln Bedroom. And this while the Norman Hsu case is still echoing. But then Trippi goes on to suggest supporters counter that purchased access with $25 to $100 donations to the Edwards campaign, which of course carries its own unseemly baggage. Have the Edwards folks ever encountered any events around which they couldn’t build a pitch?

-- Scott Martelle