John Edwards' Endorsement: Better Late than Never

Edwards ObamaJohn Edwards’ soon to be endorsement of Senator Obama is a good example of too little too late. It seems obvious that Senator Edwards was waiting to make sure he picks the ultimate likely nominee to back. His fear of backing the wrong candidate probably resulted in him waiting too long to make the call. His endorsement so late in the game comes across as an opportunistic move to do just enough (so as not to be deemed insignificant) as opposed to providing genuine whole-hearted backing. Not surprisingly as the WSJ reported:

People close to Mr. Edwards have said that he sees deep flaws in both Sens. Clinton and Obama. He thinks Sen. Obama lacks the fire to wage war against special interests in Washington, and objects that Sen. Clinton takes money from lobbyists and is part of the inside-the-beltway aristocracy, which he considers to be the problem with American politics.

From the Obama camps’ perspective, this endorsement would have come in handy prior to the West Virginia primary (or to help divert media attention at the height of the Rev Wright controversy) so some of Senator Clinton’s “hard-working white Americans who had not completed college” might have been convinced to switch camps. At the least, he could have helped narrow the embarrassing margin in West Virgina had he campaigned actively for Senator Obama. In any case, despite the delay in making the endorsement, it is a win-win situation for both men. From Senator Obama’s point of view, this is one more step in his claim to unite the Democratic party. As for Senator Edwards, this move was probably just enough for him to remain relevant and perhaps have a role to play in the event of an Obama Presidency.

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