Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Americas. One Endorsement.

Quite a difference nine days can make, eh?

It's Official: John And Elizabeth Edwards Will Not Endorse In Prez Race
Greg Sargent - May 5, 2008, 6:20PM

John and Elizabeth Edwards have finally made their endorsement plans -- or lack of them -- official.

On the eve of potentially decisive voting in Indiana and North Carolina, with political tensions at white-hot levels, John and Elizabeth revealed all in
an interview with People magazine, of all outlets.

The news in the interview is that they confirmed they will not endorse either candidate in the presidential race, because they are "saving their political capital for their own causes -- his, fighting poverty; hers, fighting for universal health care," reports, um, People mag.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 14 (Reuters) - Former U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards will endorse fellow Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday, a campaign spokeswoman said, giving a big boost to the Illinois senator in his effort to rally the party around his bid for the White House.

Smart timing. Should make people forget West Virginia pretty quickly.


  • I'm thinkin' some ones teein' up a VP spot, No?

    By Blogger Nbob, at 7:46 p.m.  

  • He certainly has quite a smile. No doubt, he hopes to be the VP nominee.

    According to Real Clear Politics, the polls show that both Clinton and Obama are equally likely to beat McCain (47% to 43%). However, Obama’s and Clinton’s core support differ. Obama’s choice of VP will reflect his strategy.

    Will it be a Southern white guy? Or, a Hispanic guy from the west?

    The south is ready to roll for Democrats who are not socially radical.

    “AP) Democrat Travis Childers won a north Mississippi congressional race Tuesday, giving Democrats their third takeover this year of a House seat held by Republicans.

    Childers defeated Republican Greg Davis in a special election runoff. He will fill the last several months of a two-year term the GOP's Roger Wicker started in January 2007. Wicker had served in the House since 1994.

    Republican Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to the U.S. Senate in December after Trent Lott retired.

    With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Childers had 50,401 votes, or 52.2 percent, and Davis had 46,160 votes, or 47.8 percent.

    Childers' victory marks the second time this month for a conservative Democrat to win a Deep South congressional seat that had been held by a Republican. In Louisiana, Democrat Don Cazayoux won a special election May 3, bolstering his party's majority on Capitol Hill by taking a seat Republicans had held since 1974.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:50 p.m.  

  • Childers...hmmm.. he's the guy who went out of his way to say he didn't know Obama - what was it, last week?

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 11:26 p.m.  

  • "to say he didn't know Obama - what was it, last week?"

    Hmmm! Would you happen to have a link?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:43 p.m.  

  • This is a huge loss for GOP. This is the equivalent of the Conservatives losing rural Alberta or the liberals losing downtown Toronto and all of this is while they ran ads on Rev. Wright!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 a.m.  

  • actually this riding was blue from reconstruction til the gingrich revolution, but nice attempt at spin!

    As for Edwards, his base is overwhelmingly supporting senator clinton in the late stages of the campaign. He frankly should have stayed quiet. I guess he doesnt wanna run again.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3:32 p.m.  

  • ya Edwards should have stayed quiet.....Hillary is done, she is the Ignatieff of the Democratic Primaries, all hype no delivery, surrounded by terrible people who know nothing about politics.

    Not really sure the correlation between Edwards running again and whether he stays quiet or not. The United Steelworkers of America disagree with your statement Antonio, as they followed Edwards over to Obama.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:44 p.m.  

  • Edwards would make a good VP for Obama, because of his strength among working class white voters, however, remember that the vice presidency is a contested position (like with delegates).

    Normally, when there is a single nominee with a strong lead in delegates, the VP question is a non-starter - the president gets to pick their Veep. However, in practice, the way it works is the same as the party nominates a president - delegates vote and whoever gets the most delegates wins. The last time that happened was in 1956 - Nixon, who had been VP before, managed to stay on the ticket only by winning over a majority of delegates (that was why he needed his Checker's speech).

    Clinton does not have to convince all that many super-delegates to swing her way in order to take the vice presidency. Considering that many super-delegates formerly endorsed her, and that they sided against her only under considerable pressure and duress, it is unclear that a different candidate would be in the same position.

    So "why doesn't Clinton just quit?" Because doing so would leave her out of the lion's share of Kentucky and Puerto Rico delegates, plus runner up prizes in Oregon, Montana and whichever Dakota hasn't gone yet (plus she has an outside chance of winning the popular vote by most counts if Puerto Rico turnout is high).

    Finally, the other thing she gets to do with a lot of delegates is influence the policies Obama will run with. This - not by dragging out a convention fight (which she won't do) is how she can 1. win street cred and 2. ensure Obama will lose the election. Essentially by influencing policy decisions with her corer of supporters, Clinton can push Obama even further to the left, tying him to positions (like universal healthcare) that are anathema to the general public.

    So, Clinton lost the big prize - but there are some runner up prizes to be had. She can be a powerful vice-president, and/or make Obama lose the election, setting herself up for 2012 (where her chances would be fairly good - she would have "I told you so" credibility since Obama lost, and towards the end of the primary campaign really managed to find her stride, and define herself beyond being a vaguely uncharismatic b****).

    It sure beats packing up and heading home - or returning to the senate, where she will clearly never be majority leader (look at who the senate superdelegates backed), and may be something of a pariah (unless she organizes a centrist rump caucus that can, like the Southern Democrats in the 60's and 70's, exert considerable influence in congress).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 5:52 p.m.  

  • Sorry, actually it was Kefauver (over John F. Kennedy) who was selected by convention in 1956 as the Democratic nominee (Adlai Stevenson did not announce a candidate). What is special about Estes Kefauver (and an instructive example here)? Kefauver had run for the nomination in 1952, and actually led on the first ballot (this was the olden days when delegates were party bosses). Anyhow, a lot of the delegates in 1956 were the same delegates as in 1952 - which gave Kefauver a strong initial lead, in addition to his other advantages over Kennedy. So if, like Kefauver, 40% of delegates are die-hard Clintonites, it is hard to see Edwards prevailing in a contested VP race...


    Obama doesn't name a preferred VP (since his candidate losing would be embarrassing), but encourages multiple people to run against Clinton, including some that can pick away at her core constituencies (eg. Richardson to pick up the hispanic super-delegates; Edwards for the working class; Biden for DLC folks).

    Of course, knowing that Clinton has multiple nuclear options like this, I would think that if she wants the vice-presidency, he'll give it to her, as he would be foolish not to (party divisions strike me as the only possible way Obama is going to lose this presidential election).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 6:05 p.m.  

  • Endorsing a candidate when the hay's in the barn does seem rather pointless. Speaking of pointless, Edwards' campaign was basically a repudiation of nearly all of his previous positions. It lacked credibility and got him nowhere. The only people who think this endorsement means anything is someone who doesn't follow politics.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 7:36 p.m.  

  • "actually this riding was blue from reconstruction til the gingrich revolution, but nice attempt at spin!"

    It's possible that this is another revolution on the scale of Gingrich's Contract with America.

    The GOP don't fear Clinton, because she is predictable. They know how to handle her.

    They fear Obama because he is not predictable. So far, Obama has rewritten the playbook for the Democratic nomination. Can he do the same in November with the changes on the ground?

    What's Obama's slogan, "Yes We Can!" Obama is the strategic thinker. Clinton is the tactician.

    From wikipedia,

    "In American politics, a conservative Democrat is a Democratic Party member with conservative political views.
    21st century conservative Democrats are similar to liberal Republican counterparts, in that both became political minorities after their respective political parties underwent a major political realignment which began to gain speed in 1964. Prior to 1964, both parties had their liberal, moderate, and conservative wings, each of them influential in both parties; President Franklin D. Roosevelt had proposed a realignment of the parties in the 1940s, though the trends which brought it about did not accelerate until two decades later. During this period, conservative Democrats formed the Democratic half of the conservative coalition. After 1964, the conservative wing assumed a greater presence in the Republican Party, although it did not become the mainstay of the party until the nomination of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The Democratic Party retained moderate and conservative wings through the 1970s with the help of urban machine politics. This political realignment was mostly complete by 1980. After 1980, the Republicans became a mostly right-wing party, with conservative leaders such as Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, while the Democrats became a mostly left-wing party, with liberal leaders such as Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi.
    The transformation of the Deep South into a Republican stronghold was effectively completed after the Republican Revolution of 1994, which saw Republicans pick up Congressional seats all over the country. In 2005, Georgia Senator Zell Miller, arguably the last traditional conservative Southern Democrat, retired."

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:44 p.m.  

  • Analysis done on May 17th based on the polls listed in Real Clear Politics

    Here's the analysis of the 18 battleground states as of May 17th. Which candidate (2 Democrats and 1 GOP) has the best chance? Bear in mind that the numbers will change as the campaign proceeds. Any good/bad effort by the candidates can affect the outcome.

    The other 32 states have not been included. A new analysis of all 50 states has to be done when Obama has been confirmed.

    Either Obama or Clinton will win (which doesn't matter) - California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Minnesota
    McCain will win - New Mexico, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia,
    Obama has chance but not Clinton - Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan,
    Obama will win, Clinton uncertain - Oregon, WA,
    Clinton has chance but not Obama - Florida, Ohio,


    Obama/Clinton will win - 4 states (101 electoral votes)
    McCain will win - 5 states (52 votes)
    Obama or Clinton has chance but not the other - 5 states vs. 2 states (48 vs. 47)
    Obama will win but Clinton uncertain - 2 states (18 votes)


    The Democrats are off to an early head start (101 electoral votes to McCain's 52 votes). It doesn't matter if its Obama or Clinton.

    The two Democrats have different strengths. Obama may win in 5 states, but Clinton may win in 2 big states. Value? Obama stand to gain 48 seats and Clinton 47 votes. A wash! It doesn't matter which candidate runs in November.

    Add 48 or 47 votes to McCain's 52 votes and the GOP is level with the Democrats. That's what happens when you have two highly polarized Democratic candidates.

    Clinton's tactics of desperation are deplorable. But, the fundamental problem is that both Obama and Clinton are controversial leaders.

    Here's Obama's advantage. He is likely to win in 2 states (18 votes) that Clinton has to fight for.

    Conclusion # 1: Despite 8 terrible years under the GOP, it is not a walkover. Both Obama and Clinton have to fight hard to win in November because of their liabilities. It is absolutely crucial that Obama and Clinton make peace once the nomination contest is over.

    There's no place for any crazy-talk about Clinton sabotaging Obama so that she can run in 2012. She won't be getting the slot in 2012 if she betrays the Democrats.

    Conclusion #2: Obama has the larger margin for error because he is the stronger candidate. Obama has greater strengths in strategy, organization and marketing than Clinton or McCain.

    Conclusion #3: In a close contest, every candidate needs a breakout plan. Clinton (the tactician) used negative tactics against Obama. She has no ability to change the game strategically. McCain (purported an independent) has committed himself to the GOP mainstream. No new strategy here! Just more attacks against Obama.

    Conclusion #4: Obama is the one to watch. Will he coast to the finish based on his strengths? Or, will he try to change American politics in a fundamental way?

    So far, he has given a lot of hope but not many specifics. At this stage, he's still flexible. Pro-Choice America (the pro-abortion umbrella group) has endorsed him, not Clinton. Will he go with the Democratic mainstream? Bear in mind that the Democrats have veered left since the Great Depression.

    Guys like Obama are the dangerous ones. Too bad for Clinton that she wasn't watching the rear view mirror.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:50 p.m.  

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