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February 10, 2008

Sunday Late Nite: Will John Edwards Endorse?

Posted in: 2008 Election,Barack Obama,Democrats,Hillary Clinton,John Edwards

Apparently our two remaining Democratic candidates for President value an endorsement from John Edwards, and maybe sooner rather than later.  Both are making visits to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Senator Clinton made the first trip:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton flew to North Carolina on Thursday to meet with former Sen. John Edwards, a Clinton official said Sunday, part of a lobbying campaign expected by both Democratic candidates. Details of the meeting were spare. But a Clinton official said the private session took place despite Edwards’ decision not to endorse either her or Sen. Barack Obama before the Super Tuesday races. 

FDLers commented last night while watching Senators Clinton and Obama at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Richmond that they heard echoes of John Edwards in both excellent speeches. And Clinton spoke favorably of John Edwards in Maine yesterday:

Yesterday in Maine, during the question and answer session, a former Edwards supporter said she’s supporting Clinton now because she’s "a fighter" hopes Clinton will support some of Edwards’ policies. Clinton said she’d ask Edwards to be part of "anything I do.”

“Let me thank you for your support and let me also compliment Sen. Edwards, who is a fighter and really made poverty an issue that our country has to deal with again,” Clinton said. “We haven’t had a serious conversation about it in quite some time…. There is a lot that John and I have in common, and I hope he’ll fight. And I intend to ask John Edwards to be part of anything I do … when I’m in the White House.”

I wonder if "part of anything I do" came up during the discussions on Thursday in Chapel Hill?   More indications that Edwards may be close to an endorsement:

The Thursday meeting, which took place at Edwards’ home in Chapel Hill, was followed by a Saturday night session during which the former North Carolina senator and several longtime advisers discussed many issues, including which candidate he should endorse.

At a Chapel Hill party yesterday for Edwards supporters, he gave no indication who he might endorse, or whether that endorsement is imminent. Some advisers are encouraging him not to endorse. 

Powerful House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, the senior Democrat from Wisconsin and one of John Edwards’ premier Capitol Hill supporters, declared on Thursday:

"People will, and should, make their own choices, but I believe that, while both remaining candidates would make outstanding presidents, Senator Obama has the best chance of giving this country the new beginning it so desperately needs." 

A number of John Edwards’ LGBT supporters endorsed Barack Obama before SuperTuesday:  

A critical mass of John Edwards’s LGBT steering committee is going public with support for Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton. Twenty-two members of the Edwards campaign’s 59-person gay and lesbian committee will now be working for Obama victories next Tuesday and throughout the rest of the primary season. 

The new Obama converts include Eric Stern, who headed up Edwards’s LGBT steering committee, and longtime gay activist David Mixner, who famously campaigned for Bill Clinton in 1992, holding some of the very first gay fund-raisers for a U.S. presidential candidate. 

John Edwards’ campaign manager, former Congressman David Bonior, had this to say on Amy Goodman’s radio program immediately after Edwards ended his campaign:

Well, I think John is concerned primarily about the issues that he’s fought for, and he wants to listen and hear and see how the two remaining candidates stand up and fight for those issues. And we’ll see what they do and how prominent they, for instance, tonight, focus in on the issues that he cares about. And so, I don’t know what his future is with respect to endorsements, but my sense is that probably it’s not going to happen—if it does happen, it won’t happen right away, and if it happens at all. And so, we’re listening, and we’re waiting. We’ll be continuing to pressure our two candidates in the party to speak out forcefully, with passion, and—on these issues to make them essential parts of their campaigns. And we’ll see what happens from here.

And CNN got itself **updated** rather quickly today, with what sounds like a call from Elizabeth Edwards herself:

Two friends close to Elizabeth Edwards say she has been in support of Barack Obama, whose campaign has been touting a list of endorsements from former Edwards backers.

UPDATE: In response to such reports, Elizabeth Edwards flatly denies she favors Obama, saying she has "not even come close" to suggesting anything like that to any friend. Edwards adds that she has "no idea" why friends of hers would say that because it simply isn’t so.

I hope Candy Crowley was the recipient of that update.  I wonder how far away from her ear she had to hold the telephone.

 Barack Obama travels to Chapel Hill to chat with John Edwards tomorrow, the day before the Potomac Primary, having lost whatever benefit privacy might have conveyed:

NBC News also confirmed that Obama will meet with Edwards there tomorrow.

My question to you is this:

Does a John Edwards endorsement matter to you? Why?

Let’s not slay pixels hashing over who should get his endorsement, shall we?I’d really like know the value of John Edwards’ endorsement going forward in the primary campaign. Were you a supporter of John Edwards? Would his endorsement matter?

Would you be happier with our eventual nominee knowing s/he was endorsed by John Edwards?

Finally, if you haven’t cast a primary vote yet — would John Edwards’ endorsement sway your vote?


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