Thursday, May 15, 2008

Edwards Finally Bows

John Edwards has officially come out and endorsed Barack Obama in what is a blatant attempt to bring the voters on board that Obama cannot win. It can't be said, however, that Edwards' endorsement is not sincere-just late in coming. The endorsement is likely "sincere" in the sense that John Edwards' primary goal would seem to be fostering partisan unity among the Democrats:

It would have meant more in February or March, but John Edwards'
endorsement of
Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination waswelcomed nonetheless by a politician eager to turn the page.

A person close to Edwards, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he
wanted to get involved now to begin unifying the party. Edwards and Obama spoke
by phone Tuesday night, and Edwards agreed to fly to Grand Rapids the next day.

Edwards didn't even tell many of his former top advisers of his
decision because he wanted to inform Clinton personally, said the person close
to him. His wife, Elizabeth, who has said she thinks Clinton has the superior
health care plan, did not accompany him and is not part of the

No one should operate under the illusion that Barack Obama is really John Edwards' first choice for the presidency aside from himself. While I am quite sure Elizabeth Edwards is very much her own woman, I would venture to say that she and her husband do think very much alike. John Edwards made no early endorsement of Obama or Clinton because he likely isn't overly fond of either one (remember that he would have won Iowa were it not for Obama's turnout machine there, and the race might be very different today) and deliberately wanted to wait the process out.

In talking to a few of the voters Obama needs to win over this morning, I discovered that they shared the opinion that I just expressed-that Edwards is picking the logical candidate now that it appears that the delegate math is strongly in Obama's favor, and that this was an obvious partisan move designed to foster some sort of unity within the party-"he just picked the winning side," one person pointed out. Most also said, however, that Edwards' decision didn't change their minds one bit about Obama and they wouldn't be voting for him in the fall. James Carville seemed to underscore that reality this morning:

Political strategist and Clinton ally James Carville said Edwards' endorse
was a psychological boost for Obama, but unlikely to sway many voters.

"I think it certainly helps in terms of the psychology of the
superdelegates," Carville told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday,
referring to the elected officials and party leaders who will ultimately
determine the Democratic nominee.

John Edwards made the logical political move for John Edwards-a move I doubt he liked. He also knows that his endorsement will not win the voters that Obama needs to win in November.

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