Don’t Read Too Much Into It

Obama “secretly” visited John Edwards, ostensibly to seek his endorsement.  Personally, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

For one, we already knew that Obama was supposed to see Edwards anyway given they had to cancel once.  This is nothing new, and shouldn’t exactly be taken as an omen that Edwards will soon be back on the stump in support of Obama.

Next, as time goes on, Edwards’ endorsement becomes increasingly irrelevent.  In fact, thus far it seems as though endorsements for either candidate have been rather low on influencing the outcome of the campaign.  An Edwards endorsement would likely result in positive media coverage for either candidate, however, it’s hard to believe that there would be an appreciable bump.  This especially because I believe the former Edwards supporters have already picked a camp and aren’t likely to relocate.

There are still undecideds, however I’m wary of believing that Edwards’ decision will really change their minds.

Finally, if the AP report is any indicator, it looks as though Edwards may be leaning more towards Clinton than Obama.  I’ve already weighed in on this once; after much consideration I do think that Edwards endorsing Hillary would be something of a hypocritical move.  But the following paragraph bothers me:

The couple has been impressed with Clinton, who has more effectively courted them since the 2004 vice presidential nominee dropped out, people who talk to the Edwardses say. Obama has been less attentive, they say, and some of those close to the Edwardses have been annoyed that Obama has continued to ridicule him for once saying his biggest weakness is that he has a powerful response to seeing pain in others.

The first sentence above makes it pretty clear; Edwards has a choice, endorsing based upon his principles, or endorsing based upon what he can get out of it.  On principle, Edwards could endorse Obama or stay neutral.  It would be hard for him to endorse Clinton based on a foundation of principle after spending much of his campaign pointing to her as part of the problem with government and DC.  On the other hand, if he’s willing to overlook his principles because he can get wooed with a plum job in Washington, well, that only just heaps more upon the pile of hypocrisy that continues to build here.

In any case, I don’t think it’s going to matter.  At best he has until March 4th to make an endorsement before he becomes completely irrelevent, and at this point, it may be best if he just stays out of it altogether.

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