Trippi on Edwards as Kingmaker and Feb. 5 Strategy

The Wall St. Journal interviewed Joe Trippi (free link), John Edwards senior campaign advisor, on Edwards' role as "kingmaker" at the Democratic Convention and his Feb. 5 strategy.

On the kingmaker issue: Trippi says their make or break delegate number for Feb. 6 is 200. He says it will be tough fro Edwards to win enough for the nomination, but that it is still possible.

More probable: arriving at the convention with enough delegates to tip the scales in favor of either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama. "Edwards is the primary force keeping Clinton under 50%," Mr. Trippi said. "Worst case? We go to the convention as the peacemaker, kingmaker, whatever you want to call it."


As Mr. Trippi figures it, if Mr. Edwards gets more than 200 delegates through the Feb. 5 contests -- just more than 10% of the total 1,700 delegates at stake that day -- he has a long-shot chance of playing kingmaker. If he gets 350, Mr. Trippi said Mr. Edwards is almost assured of playing that role....."Every delegate we get over 200 on Feb. 5 is a step toward a scenario that at worst gives us a shot at influencing the final outcome of this race," Mr. Trippi said.

What will Edwards do if he's "kingmaker"? Who will he throw his support to? Trippi doesn't say.

The second interesting part of the article is about Edwards' strategy for Feb. 5. It's the same as Obama's -- instead of concentrating on the mega-states, go for the small ones.

Look for Mr. Edwards to take the contrarian route: Mr. Trippi said the campaign has strong support in smaller states such as Oklahoma, Kansas, Idaho, Missouri and Alaska.

Obama's strategy, as I wrote Wednesday, is to go for the six caucus states (Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska and Idaho)while Hillary's is to go for the bigger fish(New York, California, New Jersey and Arkansas.)

So Edwards will be competing directly against Obama in Kansas, Idaho and Alaska. Here's what I want to know: Do those states matter enough that if Edwards takes delegates from Obama in them, Obama sustains a direct hit? Or is Trippi pipe-dreaming?

And, a poll is below: Who do you think Edwards will throw his support to if he makes it to the DNC with enough delegates to play "kingmaker?"

< Rezko A Media Issue; If There Is A Clinton Involved | 5 Year Old Cuffed, Taken From Kindergarten to Psych Ward >


Who Will John Edwards Endorse as Kingmaker?
Barack Obama 33%
Hillary Clinton 16%
Whoever Offers Him the Biggest Bang for His Delegate Bucks 50%

Votes: 24
Results | Other Polls
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    No info on what % of (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:14:49 AM EST
    Edwards's supporters read the WSJ, but if were one I'd be moving away from Edwards now.  Who wants their vote brokered?

    good point! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Judith on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:16:27 AM EST
    I don't know (none / 0) (#7)
    by Nasarius on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:23:53 AM EST
    I still haven't decided whether I'm voting Edwards or Clinton in New York, but I do think there's potential for some kind of quid pro quo here. Not a VP slot or anything like that, but perhaps giving his delegates to Obama if he'll take up Edwards' health care plan. So a vote for Edwards is still a vote for moving the race to the left.

    I For One Do Not Want My Vote Brokered (none / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:26:15 AM EST
    That is why I'm still not sure who I will vote for on Feb. 5th. I had narrowed my vote down to Edwards but the idea that it might be bargained away and cast against my wishes has put that vote in doubt. I had taken this under consideration before the WSJ article. So this idea is not new to me. I hate being undecided this close to casting my vote. Not my SOP and not one I'm comfortable with either.

    Pretty simple reason (none / 0) (#21)
    by PSoTD on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:42:24 AM EST
    if you want to see more commitment to Edwards' positions taken than either other candidate is taking, brokering is better than just a straight win by a candidate that promises no further commitment.

    But, which candidate, if either, (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:56:42 AM EST
    could/would follow up on the promise?

    cool - if Obama... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Judith on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:15:55 AM EST
    then we get to blame Edwards for everything that happens in an Obama administration.  Great Move, Trippi!  Your client will be reviled when the dream bubble pops.  

    Trippi (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:17:58 AM EST
    has acted the fool this entire campaign and that interview is no different.

    He should never, ever, be off leash (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:22:30 AM EST
    in public.  Heard him on the network that carried the NV Dem. debate.  He was critiquing the debate, along with Axelrod and a spokesperson/surrogate for Clinton.  Not a good spokesperson for Edwards.

    Why should this campaign. . . (none / 0) (#11)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:26:34 AM EST
    be different from any other campaign?

    And in 2004 as well (none / 0) (#17)
    by koshembos on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:51:29 AM EST
    I've said it before... (none / 0) (#5)
    by andreww on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:21:07 AM EST
    If it's this close in the delegate count the Clintons will steal the election claiming they won Michigan.  Folks like Taylor Marsh are even laying the groundwork - just yesterday she noted that Clinton had won "three in a row".  

    And, it looks like Clinton may be doing a little Florida work.

    They would rather win dirty than lose fairly.  

    How would this qualify as (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:23:59 AM EST
    "stealing the election"?  

    Stealing the election? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:24:32 AM EST
    Stop that crap.

    Not here.

    Take that to daily kos.


    Were you as surprised as I was that (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:27:16 AM EST
    Edwards handily won the latest straw poll there?  Seems like most of the fighting is about Obama and HRC.

    Edwards Has Consistently Won The (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:32:48 AM EST
    straw polls there. Nothing new.

    Not Crap (none / 0) (#26)
    by andreww on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 01:17:21 PM EST
    BTD - this is not crap.  Agreeing that a state will not count (as all the dems did with MI and FL) and then claiming victory in those states is tantamount to stealing an election.  Read Jeralyn's most recent post.

    Did They Agree That The Votes Would (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 01:24:38 PM EST
    not count or that they would not campaign in those states? Big difference IMO.

    They agreed (none / 0) (#28)
    by andreww on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 01:33:15 PM EST
    that they would follow and adhere to the National Democratic Party's decision.  The National Democratic party's decision was actually related to  delegate seating.

    The no-campaigning thing was an additional piece the candidates threw in. Being the Clinton's that they are, Hillary stuck this in her back pocket just in case she would need it.  


    No I Think That The Pledge Was (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 03:09:03 PM EST
    not to campaign in those states.

    But six major Democratic candidates have signed a pledge not to campaign in those states unless they comply with party rules.

    Now if you can provide me with a link to a reputable source that says that they signed a pledge where they agreed the votes should not be counted, I will agree that your point is indisputable.


    From My Reading (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 03:49:49 PM EST
    None of them expected or expect the votes not to be counted.

    Obama has been (none / 0) (#13)
    by athyrio on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:29:21 AM EST
    advertising on CNN which is broadcast in Florida for several weeks now....which isnt suppose to be allowed...

    HIs campaign sd. there is no way to (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:33:48 AM EST
    run a nationwide ad and not have it run in FL.  Haven't heard anything from TV media about whether that is accurate.

    Dirty Work (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 02:13:51 PM EST
    Oh really? Sounds more conclusive than your inconclusive link.

    Seems like your Clinton hate is getting the better of you.


    trippi is tripping :-) (none / 0) (#16)
    by Klio on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:40:31 AM EST
    Anecdatum:  I can't say how Edwards is really doing on the ground in some of the other 2/5 small states, but I'm in Oklahoma.  And to my eternal surprise, Edwards is not doing well here.  Clinton is leading him by 20% in the latest polls.

    Edwards campaigned in Oklahoma quite recently,  but I don't see increases in his support here.  Hillary is already running terrific ads, is phoning to identify volunteers, has a video interview on the local Sunday politics show that's being heavily promoted.  And Bill Clinton will be in town next week.

    And based on the most recent polls, I'm wondering if Edwards is reaching viability in a number of the upcoming races.  Here's the LA Times  My google-fu is off this morning and I'm not findind the results I was looking for.  Does anyone know whether all the 2/5 states have a viability threshold?  Is it 15%?  

    Oklahoma (none / 0) (#24)
    by miriam on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 12:52:22 PM EST
    Edwards did not do at all well in the Oklahoma primary in 2004.  Wes Clark won Oklahoma then and Clark's endorsement of Hillary Clinton might mean something now.  Clark has been actively campaigning/appearing for Hillary.  

    Clark won, you're right (none / 0) (#29)
    by Klio on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 02:06:59 PM EST
    but Oklahoma has a long history of populism [an ugly populism, to be sure].  I expected Edwards to catch on here and he hasn't.

    nothing new here folks. (none / 0) (#18)
    by hellothere on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10:56:08 AM EST
    joe is simply trying to get a slot in the cable wars after edward's campaign is over.

    i dont watch cable (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Judith on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:06:36 AM EST
    so this kind of thing goes right over my head.  For all the popel mocking the pundits on cable they sure do watch them a LOT. :-)

    judith, i now watch cable less and (none / 0) (#25)
    by hellothere on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 01:12:24 PM EST
    less. i hope that it also goes over the average voter's head also. the cable pundits are beltway insiders just like the politicans and bring nothing to the table with some rare exceptions but their elbows.

    here's hoping with fewer watching, cable might get  the message. anyone know the stats. i know with countdown msnbc is doing much better.


    Dobbs says he would be a candidate (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 02:08:07 PM EST
    "of last resort."  Looking for a different job perhaps?

    i cannot imagine dobbs (none / 0) (#36)
    by hellothere on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    running in an election. yes, he has certain views he would like to see implemented but he wouldn't get elected in a general election for sure.

    then again looking at some of the senators from red states like kansas, i might have to rethink this.


    He allowed as how he didn't have the (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 08:51:28 PM EST
    proper temperament to make it through the debates though.

    that is very true. he is one who (none / 0) (#38)
    by hellothere on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:30:03 AM EST
    will state his case whether others like it or not.

    I dont know - (none / 0) (#35)
    by Judith on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 04:30:50 PM EST
    I am not knocking anyone for watching, btw.  I just dont care what some blob says for ratings.

    With Edwards losing (none / 0) (#23)
    by felizarte on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 12:28:59 PM EST
    that would be two in a row for Joe Trippi who was also with the Dean campaign.  If he is not careful, he could be easily classified as a Jinx.  So much for his advise.

    According to Wiki, he's never backed a winner. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 02:08:45 PM EST
    popel - us people (none / 0) (#20)
    by Judith on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11:07:02 AM EST
    wow, weird.