Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is John Edwards to do?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

John Edwards, it seems, is conflicted, agonizing over whom to endorse, Clinton or Obama. As ABC News is reporting, he may be leaning towards Clinton, though he "appears deeply divided" and may "ultimately stay neutral in the race". (Or it could be that he wants to endorse Clinton but is worried that Obama may be pulling too far ahead. I suspect his conflicted agonizing is genuine, however.)

I like Edwards a lot, even supporting him through much of the campaign, if not all that enthusiastically, but -- so what? His supporters have already moved en masse to Obama, and it's not at all clear how much weight an Edwards endorsement would carry at this point. Some, I suppose, particularly among progressives (that is, if there are any uncommitted progressives left), but it may be too late to make much of a difference. He may still want to "play a major role in the race" -- and Ohio and Texas, two states that could decide the race, are still to come -- but, simply put, he may have missed his moment. Yes, he meant a great deal to the race, as I argued here, but now is not the time to try to re-insert himself into it.

Basically, then, I think he should stay out of it. On this, I'm in agreement with Yglesias: "[T]he most reasonable course of action is to not endorse... [I]f he feels torn because there are things he likes about Clinton, but then there are other things he likes about Obama, then he should probably just say that." And then work clorely with whomever the nominee happens to be -- hopefully, the next president -- on the issues that matter most to him, like poverty and health care.

Edwards can still matter, just not right now.

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  • What is the evidence of movement "en masse" of Edwards supporters to Obama?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 PM  

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