Impact of Edwards Affair on 2008 Race

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Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Blame Game

Former Clinton communications director and FOX News contributor Howard Wolfson says had John Edwards' extramarital affair been revealed earlier and actually covered by the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton would be the candidate accepting the nomination in Denver later this month.

Wolfson tells FOX News that details about the affair would have forced Edwards out of the race and Clinton would have become the Democratic nominee, quote: "The outcome would have been different." Wolfson said, "Edwards' voters were more like ours demographically, older, union voters."

But entrance polls in Iowa suggested that 43 percent of those who voted for Edwards would have picked Obama as their second choice. Obama won the Iowa caucuses ahead of Edwards, while Clinton finished third.

Penn and Tell Her

Hillary Clinton was advised by top campaign strategist Mark Penn to portray Barack Obama as having a "limited" connection "to basic American values and culture."

Politico reports an upcoming article in The Atlantic Magazine quotes extensively from an internal memo Penn wrote back in March, including this quote: "Does anyone believe that it is possible to win the nomination without, over these next two months, raising all these issues with him? Won't a single tape of [the Reverend Jeremiah] Wright going off on America with Obama sitting there be a game ender?"

The article -- to be published in September -- lays out how the strategy backfired. It references campaign meeting notes and e-mails that show quote, "the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an epic meltdown."

Missing in Action

An event at the Beijing Olympics this weekend included one less scheduled competitor. That's because Iranian swimmer Mohammad Alirezaei dropped out minutes before the 100 meter breaststroke heat -- in which Israeli Tom Beeri was also competing.

Iran could have faced sanctions from the International Olympic Committee if the Iranian said he pulled out because an Israeli was competing. The swimmer told IOC officials he was ill.

Iran has not competed against Israel in any Olympic event since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 2004 at the Athens Olympics, Iran's judo world champion refused to compete against an Israeli out of solidarity for the Palestinian cause. Iran's president at the time -- Mohammad Khatami -- said the athlete's actions would be "recorded in the history of Iranian glories."

Crustacean Invasion

Pacific Ocean shellfish, mussels, snails and clams are heading for a mass invasion of the North Atlantic Ocean according to two California scientists.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the two scientists cite vanishing Arctic Sea ice as the reason for the invasion, saying the shellfish exodus could alter the entire ecology of both oceans.

But the National Snow and Ice Data Center says Arctic sea ice has actually increased over the past year. Last month, the center reported about half a million more square miles of ice than in the summer of 2007.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.