If John Edwards Was Smart . . .
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | John Edwards — Comments (5) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Then he would have issued his endorsement of Barack Obama last week, in advance of the North Carolina primary. After all, North Carolina is Edwards's home state. Everyone knew that Obama was going to win it--the only question was whether Hillary Clinton might have made it close. Edwards ran virtually no risk whatsoever endorsing the candidate favored to win in North Carolina, who coincidentally happened to be the candidate favored for the past few months to win the Democratic Presidential nomination. And if he did endorse in advance of the North Carolina primary, he might have gotten some credit for Obama's larger-than-expected win there and for the fact that in the aftermath of North Carolina and Michigan, a flood of pundits rushed to the cameras to declare Obama the nominee.
Instead, Edwards waited until today. His endorsement is so much bandwagoning--the results in last night's primary in West Virginia were entirely expected and even as Hillary Clinton was rolling to victory, pundits and their pet canaries were busy reminding us that a win in West Virginia does nothing to change the electoral math in Clinton's favor. Politics and positioning is all about timing. While Barack Obama is doubtless pleased to have Edwards's endorsement, one cannot help but think that Edwards missed a crucial chance to help himself the most by appearing to have helped Obama at a tremendously critical time in the run-up to the North Carolina primary. And by the way, John Edwards is not going to be able to do a thing to solve this problem for Barack Obama.