Obama Speaks About Seeking Edwards' Endorsement

Barack Obama expanded a bit today in Ohio on his meeting with John Edwards to seek his endorsement this weekend. He doesn't sound very confident he has it.

The courtship of John Edwards has been entirely inconclusive, Sen. Barack Obama said this afternoon...Edwards is not likely to endorse Obama or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton soon, the Illinois senator concluded after visiting with Edwards and his wife Elizabeth.

....he suggested that the value of Edwards's backing would have its limits.

After saying he would "love to his support, he adds:

"But right now, what I think is most important is for me to make sure that I am getting out and talking to voters."

Calling all tea-leaf readers. Was he turned down, is Edwards undecided or just not ready to announce his decision?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Makes no sense (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:38:12 PM EST
    for him to endorse and I think Obama is trying to play down the value of the endorsement.  

    That 'ole expectations game. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:15:22 AM EST
    Gore Got Burned Badly (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:40:31 PM EST
    by his early (Dec. 03) endorsement of Howard Dean. It was at a point when everyone thought Dean had the nomination locked up.

    I hope he's learned his lesson.

    In that spirit.. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ajain on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:43:06 PM EST
    Lets hope Ted Kennedy gets burned for his endorsement of Obama if Obama loses.

    How can Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:51:04 PM EST
    support BO's health care plan with a straight face?  

    It is not universal and saying so is misleading.  NOt to mention the hiring of Jim Cooper who helped kill UHC in the 90s.  Krugman has a bit about it here

    Because (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by ajain on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:04:32 AM EST
    All he really cares about is that the Kennedys remain the quintessential Democratic dynasty. If Hillary wins and actually pulls off yet another successful Clinton presidency that mantle will have vanished.

    This is still going on? (none / 0) (#19)
    by dmk47 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:30:06 AM EST
    Here is a letter signed by 80 public health experts, social scientists, and doctors averring that there is no meaningful difference between Obama's and Clinton's plans in terms of the proportion of people they will cover, and in particular, that the presence or absence of individual mandates does not support the Clinton claim that the Obama plan leaves out 15 million people. One of the signers is Theodore Marmor of the Yale SOM, the foremost expert in public health, whose book "The Politics of Medicare" is the gold standard on the subject. (I know this because my father was Marmor's editor.)

    A Hillary Clinton mailer doesn't stand up very well against it.

    Krugman's beef with Obama on healthcare --- apart from his Obama Derangement syndrome --- stems from a study by Jonathan Gruber at MIT that Krugman appears not to have read. If he had read it, he would have discovered that the study is utterly uninformative and question-begging about the efficacy of mandates.


    From the letter: (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:42:47 AM EST
    Regardless of our feelings on this issue, what is clear from the evidence is that mandates alone, without strong incentives to comply and harsh punishments for violation, will have little impact on the number of uninsured Americans.

    Seems the authors are describing voluntary compliance, not mandates, which HRC states would require enforcement, such as by pay roll deduction.  


    this is all I need to hear (none / 0) (#30)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:24:57 AM EST
    "Everyone will buy insurance when it's made affordable."

    Talk about hope.


    Edwards endorsement value (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by herb the verb on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:51:06 PM EST
    That Obama says the value of Edwards endorsement has its limits is a strong tell. Obama would be dumb to say that if he thought it still was in play for himself.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:04:42 AM EST
    it's just a fact, isn't it?

    It's value is reduced with every day that passes...unless, of course, we go to the convention with a virtual tie.  Then it may indeed matter.

    Edwards doesn't want to make the wrong choice and doesn't know what the winning play is.


    He's going to huddle with Gore and (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:12:25 AM EST
    others and broker the nomination.  Ha.  I don't expect either HRC or Obama to listen to them though.

    Obama will (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:44:07 AM EST
    for it will give him the nomination.

    Hillary would if they would deliver it to her.


    I don't see the insiders, even if (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:47:57 AM EST
    fronted by Gore, completing a deal out of the eye of the rest of the delegates and the public.  

    If these party 'elders' (none / 0) (#24)
    by felizarte on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:17:12 AM EST
    Gore, et al really are concerned for the democratic party, they should arrive at a way to resolve the Michigan and Florida voters' representation. Unless of course their agenda is really to keep Hillary out of the whitehouse.

    Either way, Obama shouldn't (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:55:30 PM EST
    be discussing John Edwards's intentions, but I agree with you.

    It seems odd to do so, doesn't it? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:10:27 AM EST
    Not good form, as the Brits say.  And it was odd that there were helicopter photos of the meeting, when the reason given by Obama last week for cancelling the meeting with Edwards was that the word had gotten out, and Obama didn't want choppers hovering overhead, etc.  

    But if it gave poor Britney Spears a break from the paparazzi, all to the good.


    I'm still laughing that the news reported (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:13:57 AM EST
    Obama couldn't campaign in WI due to the weather, so, instead, he took the opportunity to "sneak away" to NC.  

    It sounds a little like sourgraping (none / 0) (#26)
    by felizarte on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:30:38 AM EST
    to me and I agree that it is impolitic.  He could have said, "we had a very good discussion; I would love to have his endorsement . . . but it is John's decision to make and his prerogative.

    He almost sounds determined to alienate John Edwards.


    I agree re: "has its limits". (none / 0) (#27)
    by BrandingIron on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:09:51 AM EST
    Though, Obama's been sneaky before, so who knows.

    All I DO know for sure is that if Hillary loses today, even if it's a "close" win for Obama, everyone will be jamming the Death Knell of her campaign down our throats and I don't want to hear/read any of that cr@p.  The defeatist negativity does no one any good with Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania coming up.  The way everything's been going, it's pretty split/neck and neck, and if it keeps on going that way, then we're in for a fight on our hands.

    BTW, what significance does the Washington state primary that's being held have?  I noticed that Washington is having its primary today, too...I know that the delegates are tied to the caucus, but what's with the primary?


    He Didn't Get It (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:15:36 AM EST
    What that means for the future, is unclear, but nobody downplays an endorsement they expect to announce shortly.

    If he thought Edwards would be endorsing him in the next couple of weeks, he'd played Edwards up or kept entirely quiet on the subject.

    Not only didn't he get the (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:18:13 AM EST
    endorsement, he actually never wanted it in the first place.  So there.

    Good to know! (none / 0) (#22)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:45:13 AM EST
    Y'all know I loves me some Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:23:55 AM EST
    but I think she would also downplay the nod if she didn't think she was getting it.  It's the way the game is played (which is to say that I agree with most--Edwards isn't giving him the nod or Obama would never say something like this)

    Is it too late to be useful?  I don't think so.  Those who are firmly in the Obama camp don't know what it's like for us over here in Clinton Land who see her constantly trashed and misrepresented on the news.  I'd love to see John Edwards come out and confirm what I strongly feel: that she is the best choice to get our country out of this republican nightmare.  There have to be others like me, and maybe they've been on the fence and this will persuade them that they shouldn't jump.

    ...a bit on the media, I see that I wasn't the only one who noticed the "real" news (Entertainment Tonight) covering the plagiarism story.

    Edwards won't endorse (none / 0) (#1)
    by magster on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:35:47 PM EST
    IMO he has problems with both and likes the Gore approach.  As each primary passes, his endorsement means less and less anyway.

    Edwards is seeing which way the wind blows (none / 0) (#4)
    by goldberry on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:42:14 PM EST
    I don;t think Edwards is as prescient as Gore.  I think Edwards is holding back on his endorsement because he wants to preserve his political power.  
    The thing I want to see is not an endorsement from either Edwards or Gore.  What I want to hear is Al Gore say to the American public, "Stop listening to the twits in the media and make up your own mind"
    That's the only kind of endorsement that is of any value and Gore could have his revenge.  

    Revenge against whom (none / 0) (#9)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 11:58:39 PM EST
    and for what?

    I am quite mystified.


    The GOP-media ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by goldberry on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:24:29 AM EST
    that cost him the election.

    I kind of agree (none / 0) (#33)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    I kind of agree with both Obama's assessment and with the idea that Edwards is looking to keep what power he has by backing the right horse.

    As a former Edwards backer I think Obama is right that Edwards' endorsement is a lot less valuable by the day. Back before Super Tuesday he might have changed a lot of minds, but by now I think that most of his supporters have divided themselves up between the two remaining candidates.

    Any endorsement for either candidate will be accompanied by speculation of some kind of deal for an appointment. That further weakens his possible endorsement.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Edwards as Attorney General, or in the Department of Labor cleaning that horrid mess up. He should be welcomed in either administration.


    serious question (none / 0) (#34)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    What political power does Edwards have?  He's been out of the senate for ages, he lost the VP slot and he didn't win the nomination this time around.  I'm saying those things as facts, not to dig, because I think he is a brilliant and articulate man.  If by "power" you mean galvanizing his supporters, then I can agree with that, but I don't see him as having much sway inside the DNC.  Not like Al Gore, for instance.

    Also, there is the issue of Edwards 20+ pledged delegates.  I think they would give him a fair hearing on where he wanted them to go.  Going by CNN's delegate math (and who knows if it's correct) if Clinton got the pledged Edwards delegates, she would be ahead in the count right now.


    Photo Op (none / 0) (#28)
    by Arabella Trefoil on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:10:13 AM EST
    Obama didn't even get a photo op with Edwards, unless you count the grainy shot-from-a sattlite picture of Obama clutching Edwards' hand in the driveway. There is big black car behind Edwards and a burly male figure facing him. Maybe there are other photos, but I didn't see them.

    It reminded me of the Godfather.

    I think Edwards is staying out of this until the convention. I would put a lot of weight in his endorsement, should he make one. He knows both candidates very well from the senate, and also from being with them during the primaries.

    Edwards' endorsement... (none / 0) (#31)
    by mike in dc on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:29:14 AM EST
    ...had a peak value just before Super Tuesday, in my opinion, still had substantial value before today's primaries, and will be almost completely worthless in terms of moving the polls after March 4th.  So, if he's going to endorse, he'll have to do it within the next two weeks.  It's not clear to me how much of an impact it will have, other than a positive news cycle for one of the candidates.

    I think Clinton has to sweep Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, probably by decent margins, in order to have any viable claim on the nomination.  If she splits Mini-Super-Tuesday with Obama(he wins or ties in Texas, she wins Ohio and RI by single digits, he wins Vermont), I'm not sure she'll survive to Pennsylvania.  6 weeks is a long time to stay in the race when the establishment begins to clear its throat about her dropping out.  If the media picks up that narrative, it may even impact the electorate in PA and cost her a win there.

    An upset win by Clinton in Wisconsin, followed by blowout wins in TX and OH would probably put Obama on the spot, but I suspect he'd stay in until Puerto Rico.  

    As an Edwards supporter who has not (none / 0) (#32)
    by hellskitchen on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 08:44:28 AM EST
    transferred my allegiance to either Clinton or Obama, I have wanted him not to endorse anyone and
    would stay above the fray.

    One of the news stories after his suspending his campaign was that he didn't want to be the spoiler at a historic moment - first AA president or first woman president.

    After considering what posts he might serve in either an Obama or Clinton administration, I think he serves his ultimate goal by staying away from both of them - both in the election and in the assumed administration.

    What I'd really like to see is Edwards, perhaps joined by Gore, work as a leader/coordinator of all the progressive interest groups - civil rights, trade, labor, healthcare and so on - to bring fighting power to counter the lobbyists and hold the winning feet to the fire.

    I realize that we have organizations like PFAW, but their effectiveness is limited.  I'm thinking more a progressive version of the DLC gaining clout with the administration and with both houses of Congress.  They could lobby, bring lawsuits, recruit candidates for office.

    Edwards would be dynamite at that.

    Its too late! (none / 0) (#35)
    by larryharriet on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 09:56:22 AM EST
    If Edwards would of endorsed somebody... he should of done it before Super Tuesday. Its too late. His endorsment won't have an impact now. It would have but not anymore.

    If he wasn't going to endorse (none / 0) (#36)
    by g8grl on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 11:20:34 AM EST
    why invite them both in for a face to face?  I would think he'd only do that to make up and break up with one or the other (i.e. bad form to do that over the phone).

    Right... (none / 0) (#37)
    by americanincanada on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:04:47 PM EST
    if Obama didn't want the endorsement, he would not have lobbied for it. He is downplaying it now because he was not going to get it. I am assuming he thinks Clinton is. otherwise why bother saying anything at all. No need to downplay an endorsement no one will get.