Sunday, February 10, 2008

Edwards Endorsement Spells "For Sale" Politics

So, my husband is the political guy in the household - at least that is how he tends to fancy himself. And we started a conversation about Edwards today when I had a ah ha moment, Edwards will endorse Hillary. Think I'm smoking something? Well, I've been trying to figure out how the Democratic Establishment would ensure that Hillary won, even if the momentum, support, and popular vote didn't go her way. Today, it occurred to me, Edwards is the cold water on an emerging fire.

1. Originally, Edwards and Obama followed the rules. If Edwards endorses her, he will tow the party line about every delegate counting, in addition to throwing his her way. Even the small number that he won will be counted. The contest is going to be very close, and I believe his supporters will largely (but not uniformly) follow his recommendation. Hillary will attempt to seat Florida and Michigan, even though the party has said that their delegates will not count. With Edwards agreement, this will be put in the media as 2 of the 3 candidates sharing thoughts about how to get a Democratic candidate at any cost. She campaigned illegally and needs every delegate she can get, even though it was not a true contest. ( As a non-Democrat, this makes my skin crawl - to all heck with the rules.)

2. Hillary needs money. Not that Edwards is a cash cow, but he may have the ability to pull some additional dollars to a campaign that is burning money aggressively.

3. So I'm done with visceral hate for Billary, but I will not vote for them. Some believe that Edwards potentially joining the ticket will attract more
African-American voters, since many had an interest in his campaign. Even if he doesn't join the ticket, his support will mean that he has a been offered a sweeter deal effectively - everyone (including Barack) will be promising him something.

4. Imagery. The party has to be seen as unified for the sake of the general election. If Edwards and Hillary unite - the pressure will be much more aggressive for Obama to "take one for the team". The rhetoric has already started with regard to the "true fight" being against the republicans, implying that everyone (regardless of tactics) should unify for the long term.

5. Character balance. Edwards has flaws, but his character has not been in question in the way that Billary has. While people don't vote on endorsements, they may align their thoughts about momentum and inevitability because of them.

I hope I'm wrong, but I believe this week Edwards will come out and announce that he has made the difficult choice to support Hill. When that happens, the media will carry the story into the March primaries and the next election cycle - toting the teflon queen has pulled an upset. No one will think that his effort to end poverty will be placed in the hands of the family that largely failed health care and catalyzed welfare reform in idealism. No one will think that this was a race card - race is only an issue if you are of color - otherwise you can partner with who you want.

Colin Powell implied he might endorse a Democrat or Independent - and the blogs went crazy. Edwards endorsing Billary seems natural on Fox News. Colin encounters everything from "Old Boys Network" to "you knew he would endorse Barack because he's AA" as people spout hate about the idea that Barack could just be the best person for our country at this time - and the reality is, it's getting bad. Bad enough for old politics to prevail.

I'll write about it when it happens. Should it not, I'll write about that too.

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