There's nothing like a country club WASP who ridicules the tastes of the nouveau riche. Tucker Carlson, whose father married a Swanson's Foods heiress and lived across the street from Pamela Harriman, went after Elizabeth Edwards with typical relentlessness.
If you missed Tucker on Friday, here is an excerpt which concludes with the MSNBC host explaining the bigger sociopolitical implications. For a better perspective, you can also read a Washington Times clip which describes Richard W. Carlson's Georgetown Greek revival-Federal four-story town house, which had a dozen fireplaces, a basement swimming pool and a separate eat-in kitchen for the live-in help.
[Henneberger from Slate], you have such an interesting piece. It's an interview with Mrs. Edwards, John Edwards's wife. And you pointed all sorts of things but most striking to me, you actually went to their house, this famously enormous house with the squash court. What was it like?
HENNEBERGER: I didn't see the squash court. It's vast. It's a really large home.
CARLSON: Is it well-done? Honestly? It's a sincere question. Would you live there?
HENNEBERGER: I don't do interior decoration. I would move in and sell it.
CARLSON: You would? But going to the house, I mean, a lot has been made of the house. Do you think having been there that it's fair that so much has been made over the house?
HENNEBERGER: I do and I don't. I thank that it's a blind spot that particularly she, more than her husband, because it -- really it's her house. She's the one who drew up the plan, she's the one who really wanted to build it and he let her build it. She really makes that case that she grew up in dinky rooms and military housing and she wanted this vast place and her husband, you know, said you go for it.
But she also says it's a homey place, you can bring the dogs. I don't, you know, I don't see it as a place you could bring the dogs.
CARLSON: You could fit a lot of dogs in 28,000 square feet.
CARLSON: You can have your own SPCA...
It's such a syndrome, no? I've seen it so many times having grown up around rich liberals. It is absolutely some kind of psychological condition where the people who live in the most excessive possible manner are also the people with the most left-wing redistributionist politics who want to control how much money you have.
Tucker's father, Richard W. Carlson, who headed up the Scooter Libby's legal defense fund, was clearly not afflicted with "some kind of psychological condition." So, presumably, he did not live in the most excessive possible manner. When he was head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the early 1990s, his Georgetown house, a mere 11,000 square feet, had a hall closet large enough for several hundred winter coats.
"The visitor steps through 10-foot-high double doors into the reception area, where the eye is carried upward by an impressive marble column with Corinthian capital that rises along the carved banisters of the three-story staircase. A large rectangular skylight in the ceiling of the top floor over the stairway sends a shaft of warm light through the center of the house.
"There are many ways to wander on the first floor, but the library draws the visitor like a magnet. It is a classic room. There are floor-to-ceiling hand-carved bookcases on all the walls, soaring 14 feet high. A small alcove within the library contains more shelves, as well as a library ladder for reaching the volumes at the top.
"Light penetrates the library through the glass doors of a Florida room that leads either to the garden, which has a slate patio, a pond and fountain, or to the kitchen.
"One floor below is the billiard room, with the aura of oak and a reminder of the days of Gatsby; the room boasts a fireplace, hardwood floors and a massive wet bar that many pubs would be proud to possess.
"A glass wall opens from the billiard room to a lap pool, where a mural of the view of Tangiers from Malcolm Forbes' estate is painted on the stone walls.
"Just off the pool is a sauna; in the other direction is a walk-in vault with a silver-storage room. A little farther is a suite with bath." The Washington Times, September 23, 1994
By the time the Washington Times article appeared, the Georgetown house had been on the market. The Carlsons had already purchased Tulip Hill, a 22-acre estate in McLean, Virginia. They must have needed more space.
What else is there to say? No wonder Tucker Carlson has such a following.