Paths To the Nomination
Speaking for me only.
Barack Obama is the strong frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. His smashing win in Iowa has been the catalyst. In the RCP average, he holds and 8 point lead over Clinton and a 19 point lead over Edwards. His path is clear. Win New Hampshire big. Roll the big Mo to South Carolina and and then hold the upper hand on Super Tuesday February 5.
Hillary Clinton has a conceivable path to the nomination. Run close to Obama in New Hampshire (if she keeps it within 5, I think she can spin it to a draw maybe), perform well in South Carolina and beat Obama on Super Tuesday. I think the chances are slim of any one of these things happening, let alone all of them.
John Edwards has no conceivable path to the nomination in my view. Even if he has a miracle second in New Hampshire, Obama will have buried him. Moreover Obama is already the change candidate and Edwards' reluctance to go after Obama, both in Iowa and in New Hampshire, demonstrated to me at least, that Edwards really is not running for President, he is just running against Clinton.
More . .
And I have to take Edwards to task for this. John Edwards does not have a progressive record. I know he likes to think that being a trial lawyer and having won cases against big corporations makes him a progressive, but I do not see it that way. When you make your fortune doing something, it s hard for me to see how you argue that that makes you progressive. You can of course still be progressive, but it will have to be manifested in other ways.
John Edwards' Senate record was not particularly progressive. Not surprising for a Senator from North Carolina. His 2004 campaign was progressive but not in the Fighting Style he has demonstrated in 2008.
So what is the Edwards argument about in 2008? His policy proposals were quite progressive. And he forced the other candidates to follow his lead. Interestingly, on the big domestic issue of the campaign, it was Hillary Clinton who followed Edwards to the most purportedly most progressive position, mandates. Obama did not.
I can not find a dime's worth of difference between the candidates on other issues.
So what has Edwards' campaign become in the last month? To me, a revealingly cynical campaign. But not even 'good' 'trying to win' cynical. It has been a campaign against Clinton.
This has been defended by Edwards supporters as first, necessary to knock down the "inevitable" candidate to change the dynamic of the race and now that Obama is the frontrunner, that rationale has been totally abandoned to say that Edwards is trying to knock Clinton out to get a two man race with Obama.
Now, these Edwards supporters seem to sincerely believe this makes sense. Any reasonable person knows it does not.
First, Edwards is gonna knock Clinton out of the race? In whose dreams? Why would she drop out before February 5? She has the money and the polling to justify going on. And if we know anything about campaigns, they continue until someone has no rational at all for going on.
Second, if knocking Hillary down as inevitable was the rationale in Iowa, how come knocking down Obama as inevitable is not the rationale in New Hampshire? Indeed, no candidate who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire HAS EVER failed to win the nomination. Talk about inevitable.
Third, Edwards has ALWAYS been competing with Obama for the mantle of change. It is no different today. When Edwards knocks Clinton down, it is not to his political benefit, but to Obama's. All he is doing is extending Obama's lead over HIMSELF and Clinton.
Fourth, the CENTRAL question that Edwards can now bring to the campaign, if winning is not his purpose, is how to effect the change called for by all the candidates. In this, his argument is largely with Barack Obama. Edwards has abdicated from fighting that issue. It leaves his campaign without purpose.
In short, not only is there no chance for the Edwards campaign, there is NO PURPOSE. I believe he has discredited himself at the end.
POST SCRIPT - Some believe Edwards is angling for VP. My own view is that you can do that only once. Moreover I seriously doubt that Obama would pick him as it would be a jarring contrast to his own campaign theme.
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