Remember John Edwards' famous $400 haircut? It was that story, leaked to Politico back in April of 2007, that helped bring down Edwards as a "man of the people" kind of candidate in his second bid for the White House.
And where did that tip come from? The Obama campaign.
Politico's Ben Smith, who initially reported the "hair apparent" story, writes that David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama's race for the White House, fesses up to the Obama campaign's role in leaking the story:
I was always interested in candidate Obama's relationship with the dark(er) political arts and asked him at his first campaign press conference why he'd hired opposition researchers; he responded that they were to check out the candidate himself and to examine high-minded policy questions.
That was not, exactly, the whole truth. Indeed, Obama's campaign had a particularly capable opposition research shop, a source of tips to many reporters, not all of them on policy. And Plouffe, in passing, outs the campaign as the source of a brief item I did in April 2007 off an Edwards campaign expenditure -- probably driving as much traffic, chatter and grief as anything that short I've ever written.
"We did much less of this [opposition research] than other campaigns did," Plouffe writes a bit self-servingly, "but there were times we indulged -- it was our researchers who found John Edwards's infamous $400 hair cut expenditures."