John Edwards Says He Won't Accept VP Slot

John Edwards today said he will not accept the vice-presidential nomination. Nor would he endorse either Hillary or Obama.

Ideas on why he wouldn't accept the VP slot? Here's mine: He doesn't think either Hillary or Obama will win in November and he wants to keep his path open in 2012. By being a good soldier and campaigning for the eventual nominee this year, but not sharing the ticket, he gets to be a team player but avoid blame for a loss, which may increase his chances next time.

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    He's been on a losing ticket once before (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:10:40 PM EST
    It'd be political suicide to go that route again, although I can't give him a lot of credit for political judgment this time around, running in this election as a middle aged white guy.

    Or as BHO called him (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:14:38 PM EST
    Son of the South.....

    See, BHO does make everything sound better! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:18:56 PM EST
    sound (none / 0) (#20)
    by Nasarius on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:29:47 PM EST
    I don't know...when someone says "son of the South", I hear Dueling Banjos in the background.

    I hear (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:32:51 PM EST
    'Song of the South' which is why I always got a chuckle when Obama said it.

    That was Hillary (none / 0) (#53)
    by ghost2 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:42:20 PM EST
    She called him a true son of the south with an inspring life story.

    Referring to the debate (none / 0) (#62)
    by BarnBabe on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:35:56 AM EST
    Twice when he was saying the race was about a woman, a black, man and then he could not find the word and said, ,,,,,,,,,John.   Later he repeated the same sentence but this time he said a woman, a black man, and a Son of the South. Edwards made a face both times. He was not amused.

    I think he is very smart.. he has things to (none / 0) (#68)
    by FlaDemFem on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 10:19:19 AM EST
    do, which will reflect well when he runs again. He is interested, and involved, in rebuilding New Orleans, and in energy conservation and finding alternative energies. He should keep working on both and team up with Al Gore to do it. Then he will be in a very good position, with credentials outside the courtroom, to run again. Perhaps as the VP on Gore's ticket?? Either way, he is being very smart to stay above the fray. Personally, I would like to see him as Attorney General in the new Cabinet..lots of cleaning up to do there.

    Well, actually, that's not a bad strategy. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by derridog on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:11:14 PM EST
    I don't see him winning next time, however. I think his chance is over.

    Probably a wise decision but certainly not too (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by athyrio on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:11:21 PM EST
    brave on his part lol.....I really like him, but wish he would endorse Hillary....

    No - (none / 0) (#18)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:27:07 PM EST
    imho - it would create more perceived divisiveness considering Obama supporters cast the Edwardses and Clintons as racists many months ago.

    Ha Ha (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by waldenpond on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:12:57 PM EST
    I thought the same thing.... November is going to be one to watch not participate in.

    Yeah - he didn't even want to be (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:23:22 PM EST
    an attack dog tearing up Bush, I imagine he has even less stomach for it on McCain.

    Also, Obama's VP is going to be doing a lot of defending of Rev Wright.  That should be a real picnic.


    John Edwards (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:19:05 PM EST
    would be a great AG. I'm not surprised he's over the VP thing.

    Actually, he wouldn't (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:22:38 PM EST
    be a good AG. He doesn't have a background in criminal law and his position on crime issues is far from progressive. Better he be in charge of health insurance or labor unions or poverty fixing.

    Secretary of Labor (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by AmyinSC on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:24:04 PM EST
    Would be a great position for him...

    Agree completely with this - (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:31:48 PM EST
    just because someone is a lawyer does not make him or her attorney general material.  

    I do think as VP to Hillary, Edwards could use the position as a bully pulpit to drive health care reform; Hillary's going to have too much other stuff on her plate to be able to devote the kind of time it will take to really move it along.

    I like him as Labor Secretary, or Sec of HHS - he needs a position that plays to his strengths, which is fighting for the little guy against Big Business and the corporate lobby.

    My fear is that if by some fluke Obama would be the nominee and win the WH, the issue of health care will be on life support, with neither he nor his VP doing a whole lot more than making an obligatory visit to the ICU to tsk-tsk over how bad things are.

    Oh, how I wish Edwards was in this race.


    Hmmmm.... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:32:23 PM EST
    interesting thoughts.

    He was very good at going after corporations, though.


    He'd offer a good ideological and (none / 0) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:09:51 PM EST
    intellectual match up against John Roberts.

    AG wouldn't be my pick.  SCOTUS could be though.


    He'd be better (none / 0) (#19)
    by digdugboy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:29:05 PM EST
    than Alberto Gonzales

    So would (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:30:36 PM EST
    any random commenter on this blog.

    Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:33:26 PM EST
    At least we don't think the Geneva Conventions are "quaint."

    Edwards as AG (none / 0) (#41)
    by aztrias on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:06:51 PM EST
    He would a be a great AG.

    Edwards understands the politics of the position and could go after the corruption in business and Gov't including the DOJ and abuses of prosecutorial prower.


    I don't think he would be a good AG because (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:55:33 PM EST
    he has no background in criminal law; also, I don't see him as a particularly strong personality, which I think that position requires.

    RFK (none / 0) (#58)
    by phat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:22:02 PM EST
    Would you consider RFK a bad attorney general? I don't know that he had much of a criminal law background.

    I would..... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:42:55 PM EST
    well not necessarily bad, just shady.

    I don't think it was too cool to go after the mob after they helped elect his brother, who then appointed him AG...talk about a two-timing double-cross.


    Name... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Alec82 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:20:29 AM EST
    ...a recent AG progressive on criminal issues. Trick question, of course; you can't.  

     I don't know that Senator Edwards would make a good AG.  Spitzer would have, certainly, but for his fall from grace.  

     Do you have a percentage breakdown on criminal versus civl work at the federal level?  It is not as if the AG is not responsible for enforcing civil regulations.


     Jim Hood (MS)

     Patrick Fitzgerald (IL) (reaching across the aisle)

     Anyway, for whatever reason this position doesn't jump out at me.  


    Seriously (none / 0) (#65)
    by phat on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 02:28:48 AM EST
    I can't think of an attorney general in my lifetime with a solid Crim. Law background.

    Maybe that's a problem. Maybe that's the problem with the AG. But as it stands the AG is a political position. It is good to have a good politician in that office. If things go well, that politician should be a progressive.


    Yeah.... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 01:44:33 PM EST
    Ron Kuby, otoh, would make a great AG.

    John is another example of media (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:19:20 PM EST
    Hillary gets buzzed by the media. John couldn't even get the media buzz except when he got a hair cut. He was the right candidate but the fix was in. His wife Elizabeth is Presidential material too.

    Eh (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:20:19 PM EST
    I think he didn't have a great experience as the VP candidate in 2004, and he probably feels this is not the right time for him to go through that again.

    It's not like Edwards is such a shoo-in for 2012 that he could afford to play games.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:22:04 PM EST
    I doubt he'll run again in 2012.

    Not so sure. (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by scarpy on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:47:29 PM EST
    I don't think his decision's as calculated as all that. Don't forget, his wife is really ill, and running for VP is no less grueling than running for POTUS. And the reward is to spend four years as glorified human furniture. Just not worth the trouble under the circumstances, I'd think.

    Exactly my thought (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by fuzzyone on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:37:42 PM EST
    I'm not sure people realize how sick his wife is.  My wife is an MD and basically, she is dying.  Its just a question of how long.  She is an amazing woman and I can see them making the tough decision for him to go for the top spot despite her condition, but not for number two.  I always liked him and this makes me respect him even more.  

    My sister has the exact same thing (none / 0) (#69)
    by FlaDemFem on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 10:28:47 AM EST
    that Elizabeth Edwards has and hers is in remission like Elizabeth's is. Her doctor says she can live a  normal life, with normal life expectancy, if it doesn't flare up again. She has to take medication to ensure its continued remission, but other than that, she has no sign of illness. If it does flare up again, they will treat it again, and hopefully it will go again into remission. But my sister is not dying. She has an illness that can be terminal, but is in remission at this time. Just like Elizabeth Edwards.

    I do not mean to discount the gravity of her condition, just making a point about the immediacy of it.


    Huffpost is ripping (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by bjorn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:49:19 PM EST
    John Edwards with comments like "who cares, who asked him?"  And much worse.  I have to make a vow never to go back there.  Kristin Breitweiser has a great post on Obama's interview with Matthews and they are just ripping her to shreds because they don't know anything about 9/11.  What is their demographic at huff post? It can't be educated people or people with any kind of life experience.  Kristin was brave to post anything over there.  Please, god, help me to never go back there! It made me cry they are so evil and cavalier with their comments.

    I am so sorry to hear that. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:54:28 PM EST
    She is an incredibly brave woman. Arianna should be ashamed.

    When will they wake up and realize what they've become? They sound just like Freepers with their  mindless hatred.


    Arianna was once a conservative (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by hairspray on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:37:58 PM EST
    Reppublican.  I don't think she has any real ideology except self promotion.

    Arianna has a list of things (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 08:54:24 AM EST
    to be ashamed of that would make a very long book. She's led the way in the Hillary hate and made Huff Po a part of the Obama campaign. I stopped going there a long, long time ago. Read the comments and you'll need to take a bath.  

    Like pit bulls on the porch, (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:03:13 PM EST
    snarling and growling and snapping at anyone who dares encroach on "their" territory; you can speak soothingly, not act with aggression, offer a friendly hand, and all you get is sharp teeth.  Rabies shots, anyone?

    It's just not worth the fight, especially when the blog owners encourage, contribute to and foster that kind of environment.


    In defense of pit bulls :) (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:16:23 PM EST
    they should be busting their butts with wiggles trying to get to you and smear ya with kisses after they accidentally knock you to the ground  ;) typically the breed is VERY people loving and trusting. they have to be to be used in the ring. the Vick pits are being placed in homes and some are training for therapy work (for example). pits are also known as the "nanny dog" for a reason :)

    sorry for the OT!


    I think they're the same college crowd (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:23:58 PM EST
    that have taken over the comments areas of any sites that have comment areas. You can tell they're young because they're just rude and have no real arguments to make. They think they can determine who the nominee will be by shouting everyone else down. And maybe they can. But their nominee can count on them to oversleep on election day and not vote. History repeats itself.

    What did Britweiser write about? (none / 0) (#38)
    by litigatormom on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:54:51 PM EST
    Or are you going to make me go look?  :-(

    She was analyzing (none / 0) (#39)
    by bjorn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:58:14 PM EST
    his answer to Matthews question about getting a call that a plane is headed for the pentagon.  What would you do?  He said he wouldn't answer hypotheticals.  He also said 9/11 could not be predicted.  She then compared that to Condi Rice who said the same thing, in the face of tons of evidence that is was fairly predictable. And more...but mostly she did not like his answer because he did not seem prepared.

    Did he not watch the 9/11 hearings?! (none / 0) (#44)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:10:10 PM EST
    Condi was lucky I wasn't in the room. Or maybe I was lucky because I still have my freedom, ahem.

    Britweiser (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by bjorn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:11:44 PM EST
    questioned whether he had ever read the 9/11 report.  They were also pissed because she talked about how hard Clinton worked with the widows to get transparency.

    I should go over there and read (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:21:57 PM EST
    but I'll have to refrain from the comments. I'm trying to stay 'happy' . . . at least Hil's on soon :)

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by americanincanada on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:51:55 PM EST
    he didn't say he would not endorse either Clinton or Obama but that he declined to say whether he would.

    Edwards makes no sense as a VP for (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by litigatormom on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:54:02 PM EST
    Obama because he doesn't nothing for Obama's perceived inexperience in foreign affairs.

    Edwards doesn't make much sense as Clinton's VP either because I don't think he gets her any demographic she doesn't already have.  I agree that his background doesn't immediately make one think "Attorney General," but you don't have to be former criminal prosecutor to be AG.  That said, I think his better calling is to be Sec'y of HHS.

    As for why Edwards would say now that he has no interest in such a position?  I don't know. Maybe someone is offering it to him in exchange for an endorsement?  But I don't think he's trying to preserve the ability to run for President again in 2012. Why would he think he'd be a more attractive candidate then than he was this time around? I think he's just tired of campaigning, and wants to be with his wife and kids.

    Edwards: Been there done that (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Prabhata on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:14:26 PM EST
    I think Edwards wants to move on.  He failed this time to get the nomination, and I don't think he'll try a third time.  Another reason would be to spend more time with his wife whose future is uncertain.  I would guess he is looking for a Supreme Court job in a Democratic administration or AG.  I nominate him for the next opening in the Supreme Court.

    I think it is pretty simple and (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:15:37 PM EST
    straight forward...

    Edwards had a miserable time with the Kerry campaign.

    I don't think he wants to go through that again and I think he has significant enough policy differences with both Obama and Clinton to make an offer to run as VP look just as problematic as it was for him in his run with Kerry.

    I think he is taking his cue from Al Gore and he and Elizabeth are going to do their thing from the private sector.  Elizabeth's shot at McCain is I believe just the first of many shots we'll see from this duo on their two key issues healthcare and economic fairness.

    Probably more worried that they'll win (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by weldon berger on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:19:14 PM EST
    Why would he want to spend the next four or eight years playing second banana to someone with whom he obviously has fundamental disagreements on the issues most important to him? He would be essentially neutered as an advocate. This way he preserves his integrity and his options in the event the Democrat does lose, or wins and proves such a disappointment as to be vulnerable to a primary challenge. Throw in his family situation, and it's not at all surprising he wouldn't be interested.

    Good decision (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MichaelGale on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:42:23 PM EST
    This race is so divisive that anyone who offers an endorsement will be crucified by one side or the other. I think right now it is political suicide to endorse and I think John Edwards knows it. I'm gald he is above it and I hope it stays that way.

    However, Elizabeth endorsed Clinton's health care plan over McCains and Obamas.

    Edwards for Labor Secretary (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by cdalygo on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:03:20 PM EST
    As an employment lawyer, I can tell you right now he would do the most good at the Dept. of Labor (DOL). We need someone who actually gives a damn about the American worker in charge over there. That department wields a lot of power because its responsible for almost everything, including workplace safety,whistle blowing, veteran's rights, and wage and hour.

    Though I suspect the unions might want him over at NLRB. However, in my mind, that would be a waste. If he still wishes to try working within the public sector he can do the most good at DOL.

    (He can't be AG. We need a well respected criminal lawyer who can clean house over there. Frankly, I would put Fitzgerald in charge and then duck.)

    Whatever he does, I wish him and Elizabeth the best. They deserve it.

    Pretty close... we call it poverty czar!! (none / 0) (#71)
    by TalkRight on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 11:07:29 AM EST
    Hillary to create "Poverty Czar" a cabinet position just to deal with poverty..

    This is like Kremlin watching (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by phat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 11:37:37 PM EST
    I have this gut feeling (I realize, that's not always the best gauge) that if Obama is the nominee he'll pick someone truly awful, like Sebelius (please, let her stay in Kansas). I like Sebelius, but I cannot picture her in the middle of what this GE will likely be. She is a good Governor in Kansas.

    I don't seem to get that same feeling about Clinton.  Her options seem better to me.

    But that's just a gut feeling.

    But will the hair be there (1.00 / 2) (#5)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:13:05 PM EST
    ...for us?

    Right call for him (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:17:49 PM EST
    The VP job for either one of these candidates is not going to be much fun - neither one of them particularly likes to share a spotlight or credit.

    I think he probably has other uses in mind for his considerable talents.  I hope so anyway - best of luck to him.  

    Also, maybe he is getting out of the way for the so-called dream ticket?

    I am not sure about your assessment (none / 0) (#12)
    by maritza on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:20:57 PM EST
    I think that both Hillary and Obama have promised Edwards the Attorney General job thus he has no reason to run for Vice President.

    Again, he has no interest (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:24:24 PM EST
    in being AG to the best of my knowledge. You provide no source for your claim. It's not what he is interested in. He's interested in poverty, labor and universal health insurance.

    Hillary (none / 0) (#26)
    by Nasarius on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:35:18 PM EST
    Has said something to the effect of "he'd have a place in my administration." No idea if he'd accept, but it might give him the opportunity to be a Spitzer-like AG, fighting corporate abuses.

    Yes, Hillary did reach out to him (none / 0) (#27)
    by madamab on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:36:50 PM EST
    but didn't say what he would do if she became President.

    I can see him more as (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:42:35 PM EST
    some kind of special appointee for a committee like the 9-11 commission for poverty, or something like that rather than a cabinet secretary.

    No source but Edwards as AG would be great (none / 0) (#42)
    by aztrias on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:07:59 PM EST
    Maybe the VP slot offer (none / 0) (#28)
    by Coldblue on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:41:20 PM EST
    hasn't been forthcoming from either of the candidates.

    Anyway, John Edwards might be more effective as an 'Al Gore' type that champions his cause in the private sector.

    I could see him waiting to run again in 2012. (none / 0) (#30)
    by tigercourse on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:43:35 PM EST
    His main opponent would be someone like Mark Warner (Obama won't run again after losing the general and I think Clinton will have had enough of being kicked around) who he has a better shot against then someone with the demographic strengths of Obama or Clinton.

    OTOH, Obama has said a lot of things (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by LHinSeattle on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:52:33 PM EST
    and then unsaid them later. And then unsaid those later again, ala hearing some of the flaming sermons.

    And don't forget he said (none / 0) (#70)
    by FlaDemFem on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 10:33:53 AM EST
    he wasn't going to run for President until after he had served one term in the Senate. That didn't last long, did it?

    If you see (none / 0) (#32)
    by waldenpond on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:47:35 PM EST
    Edwards moving in to any area away from politics in the near future, working with a foundation etc.  you can bet it is because he doesn't think McCain will give him a position in his administration.

    So what happens to Edwards Delegates? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Saul on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:33:27 PM EST
    Can he direct them in the direction he wants even though he does not endorse  anyone or are the delegates completely free to choose and are they also in the same category as the supers that they can change their mind down the road even if they choose one candidate tomorrow.

    Good decision (none / 0) (#55)
    by MichaelGale on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:43:47 PM EST
    This race is so divisive that anyone who offers an endorsement will be crucified by one side or the other. I think right now it is political suicide to endorse and I think John Edwards knows it. I'm gald he is above it and I hope it stays that way.

    However, Elizabeth endorsed Clinton's health care plan over McCains and Obamas.

    I don't think that's the case. (none / 0) (#63)
    by DawnG on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:43:47 AM EST
    I think it's more reasonable to assume that maybe he doesn't want to be type-casted as "Americas VP candidate".

    He would rather run for the big chair and I can respect that.  Plus, I think he had a really REALLY bad experience being Kerry's Veep (from what I've heard).

    If he DOES run again, I'll be the first (none / 0) (#66)
    by allimom99 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 08:35:34 AM EST
    to sign up for his campaign. If I were the nominee (regardless of who it is) I would let him punch his own ticket - let him decide where he wants to be. I was with the AG idea at first, but upon reflection, HHS OR DOL would be great!

    A little OT, but I noticed Obama throwing Al Gore's name around like he was on the team. I'm guessing Gore wasn't consulted. anybody know anything about this?

    I think Jeralyn is likely spot on (none / 0) (#74)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 04:32:40 PM EST
    though I also think that John Edwards, following in the Al Gore school of thought, will likely redouble his efforts to make poverty more politically visible. The Clinton anti-poverty czar post seems to have John in mind. Still I am not sure that John would want to be so closely associated with any Administration.

    If John Edwards does run again, I'd urge to move to New Orleans and make New Orleans the issue. Let the country become fully aware of the disaster that NOLA remains.