Why John Edwards Hasn’t Endorsed

Paul Krugman has a post on his NY Times blog today citing Jeralyn at Talk Left on why John Edwards hasn’t endorsed either Clinton or Obama:

Via Jeralyn at Talk Left, John Heilemann on why John Edwards hasn’t endorsed anyone yet:

So appalled was Edwards at Clinton’s gaudy corporatism—her defense of the role of lobbyists, her suckling at the teats of the pharmaceutical and defense industries—that he’d essentially called her corrupt

But then why didn’t he endorse Obama after dropping out?

According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it. Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat. Clinton, by contrast, engaged Edwards in a lengthy policy discussion. Her affect was solicitous and respectful. When Clinton met Edwards face-to-face in North Carolina ten days later, her approach continued to impress; she even made headway with Elizabeth. Whereas in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

The Plank has more on the Elizabeth Edwards connection to John Edwards reticence to endorse:

…the idea that Elizabeth Edwards would get into a heated discussion with Obama over health care policy rings true. She is a well-known health care wonk. Just this weekend, as a matter of fact, she gave the keynote address at this year’s annual conference for the Association of Health Care Journalists–in which she offered a blistering, dead-on critique of John McCain’s health care plan.

During the campaign, Elizabeth had played a key role in shaping her husband’s health care policy. She lobbied hard for a single-payer plan, according to my sources. And when that didn’t fly, she pressed for the most comprehensive plan possible. That’s one reason the official Edwards plan–like the one Clinton eventually endorsed–included a requirement that everybody obtain insurance.

So it makes sense that Elizabeth would consider Obama’s arguments–that mandates for everybody aren’t essential right away–a “crock.” And given her passion for the subject, it also seems plausible that she’d make a big deal out of it.

On Saturday, “Pressed by reporters to detail any endorsement plans, Edwards declined to even say if he would endorse a candidate before North Carolina’s May 6 primary.”

“When I have something to say, I’ll let you know,” he said.

I’m not holding my breath on an Edwards endorsement of either Clinton or Obama at this point, but if he were I’d tend to think he’ll veer towards Clinton because of her stance on health care and the economy, which is closer to Edwards own position on both issues.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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14 Responses to Why John Edwards Hasn’t Endorsed

  1. Gilbert Martinez says:

    I don’t think Edwards aligns much with Obama on anything. Sure Obama talks big about corruption, but his hands are pretty dirty. Edwards early attacks on Hillary were most likely that he and his advisors felt confident that they could beat Obama one-on-one (and were probably right). His bt hope to take out Clinton early.

  2. Peace Out For Unity says:

    John Edwards is an honest,straight foward leader for NC and well respected down south ! We won’t forget and he may not agree with Clinton on everything but he’s intelligent enough to evaluate and compare the two on policies and agenda. My guess is he’ll step in when NC goes to the polls to vote or before as a leader for the state, to guide. He’ll get along better with Clinton’s agenda and she’s more caring for the issues he stands for. Not to mention her education agenda and on all issues ten times more detailed than Obama. Clinton’s more open to welcome thought and solutions to make it happen! She’s all business but caring for the stands Edwards believes in and he needs to get in there and help her! He’s got time to watch and evaluate as this race unfolds! What is Obama saying in Greensboro that the Trinity Church Of Christ is 99% white for ?The judgements and choices of Obama? This statement was flashed on CNN and hope Edwards checks that out for truth or false! Butterfield stepped up to bat in NC for Obama but no other yet, has done so per the New York Times and reported by CNN on 3/31/08.Hope Dan Besse for Lieutenant Governor is for Clinton! It’s a team spirited innovational agenda to make a difference and get in there to make it happen! Get your ideas into the Clinton agenda and she listens and cares!

  3. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Headed for a convention? Please make a decision !! Does anyone want super delegates to make the decision ? 1968 Chicago ? Kinda reminds me of absent voting when it counts not to make a decision!

  4. Janis says:

    Let’s not forget that many of the SD’s that have come out for Obama are all men who has run and LOST either the presidency or the nomination. 🙁 Not the best group of people to be choosing a winner, methinks. If Ted Kennedy thought that he still had a snail’s chance after Chappaquiddick, then it doesn’t surprise me that he’s capable of thinking that Rev. Wright’s diatribes aren’t going to stop Obama’s run cold.

    I know why the SD’s were created — because the Dems have a history (aside from Clinton) of picking real losers. And not the voters, but the party itself; you always know who the backroom kingmakers want you to choose.

    It seems to me that sudenly giving them the job title of “superdelegate” isnn’t going to make their judgment trustworthy. I’m not too fond of the idea; it’s like deck chairs on the Titanic.

    *shrug* We’ll see.

  5. bjerryberg says:

    Obama’s recent appearance in NYC was emceed by corporatist privatizer Mayor Bloomberg.

    Bloomberg, of course, provided the money and the manpower that re-elected Joe Lieberman in 2006 over Ned Lamont.

    Bloomberg is a post-partisan, privatize-everything Wall Street Billionaire kind of guy.

    Why would Obama want such a person to introduce him?

    What is Sen Obama’s actual economics?

    Sen Obama and his wife’s financial connection to the University of Chicago and its Milton Friedman and George Schultz tradition gives me pause.

    Obama has spent his Hillary-bashing campaign chanting ‘Yes , we can,’ without being very specific as to who the ‘WE’ is?

    If Sen. Edwards has any principle at all–and I think he does–how could he endorse that kind of Wall Street-scripted vagueness and call himself a Democrat?

  6. The game is not checkers, it’s politics.

    My first choice would be to use a Constitutional Convention to reinvent the entire system, and give our society a jump start down a far better road than that which we’re on.

    Barring that, the only two real choices seem to be to either succumb to apathy, or to find something to help block out the worst of the smell, and climb on down into the swamp. Oh, and be grateful about the decision to not swim in the right wing sewer.

  7. Janis

    Sorry but not all of the Superdelegates for Obama are former presidential candidates. Most Superdelegates are elected officials and party heirarchy.

    I think we all could have done with out the right wing talking points about Kennedy. He’s been a strong liberal leader in the Senate for decades. I don’t agree with his choice to back Obama but regardless he still has my respect and support in the Senate.

  8. bjerryberg says:

    Interesting comment, Darrell.

    But there is not any thing wrong with the Constitution–there is something wrong with the Democratic Party.

    Nancy Pelosi is cheerleading for the Nazi-like regime imposed in Tibet by the Dalai Lama. Cheney agrees and seeks war, over it with China.
    ( The Brad Pitt character in the movie’ 7 years in Tibet’ was a Nazi Intelligence operative.)

    No wonder that Pelosi, the ‘private equity fund manger’s’ wife blocked any and all efforts to impeach Cheney!

    If you do not wish to swim in the right-wing’s sewer–avoid at all costs Wall Street’s favorite Dem, Hedge Fund Manager, Al Gore–the now wealthy man– who threw the 2000 election.

  9. bjerryberg

    I’ve seen Seven Years in Tibet – it is a great movie about the Dalai Lama in his younger years. Do you know anything about Tibetan Buddhism? I think not or else you would not be repeating these foolish claims about the Dalai Lama.

    Enough with the Dalai Lama conspiracy theories please – I am very short on patience today and have a lot of paper work to catch up on tonight.

  10. bjerryberg says:

    Let the record show that the Cheney-protecting, War-against-China promoting Speaker of the House Pelosi prefers Senator Obama.

    Say what you like about Brad Pitt’s movie career–in the real world of 2008 those promoting the politically dubious Dalai Lama are promoting Cheney’s war plans against China.

    Why should it be surprising that the same Speaker Pelosi who declined to prosecute VP Cheney for his many crimes now supports his next war?

    Did you think that the the neo-cons love of war ended in Iraq?

  11. bjeryberg: There’s something wrong with (among many other things) the two party system. Until we fracture the political “duolith” by hitting with a force as substantial as a constitutional convention we are not going to help people to regroup with others who really share their limited core interests. And when that happens we’ll be able to form enough parties to successfully pull off the conversion to a Parlimentary System. At that point we would gain political accountability to a degree that seems only like a mirage to us.

  12. Kendall Johnson says:


    Hopefully Pennsylvania will make the point about Pastor Wright.
    If not then, they’ll get the point when she sweeps the rest of the mid-west and KY and WV..The upcoming states in her favor are big compared to the ones Obama would win. Obama’s states have about 13 million. Hillary’s states have about 27.5 million people.

    I’m just hoping that the superdelegates will sit it out long enough for these contests to take place. And that the media hasn’t brain washed the balance of the electorite by then.

    These superdelegates make me very nervious. I’m afraid that the good old boys will stick together and go with Obama. Howard Dean was encouraging them to align with a candidate sooner than later. He impresses me as being against Clinton too.

    We have to make it clear that if they shove Obama down our throats, we won’t vote for him!!!!!!

  13. bjerryberg

    So you have a problem with Tibet having a freedom because you think it promotes the neocon agenda? Good gracious — now I have heard everything. This whole line of thought is insane here Jerry. The Dalai Lama has been a leader in exile for what 50 years now (promoting peaceful resisitance) and some how he’s involved with the Nazi’s. 🙄

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

  14. Oh and Jerry — this is WAY off topic.