Thursday, May 15, 2008

Edwards and Obama

Never let it be said that Barack Obama doesn’t at times have a great sense of timing.

The endorsement by John Edwards came was perfectly timed to step all over Hillary Clinton’s victory tour after she beat Mr. Obama 2-1 in West Virginia and as she was giving and interview to Brian Williams of NBC to explain why she’s staying in the race.

The conventional wisdom is that endorsements don’t really matter. (I’ve argued the same point myself.) Of course, that depends on who’s doing the endorsement. If it’s a celebrity, big whoop. But if it’s someone who has nineteen delegates for the upcoming Democratic convention when every delegate counts, that might be a little more important. And like Bill Richardson before him, it’s not hard to imagine that Mr. Edwards is angling for a position in an Obama administration; attorney general or even vice president.

In the long run, it’s not a huge deal to have John Edwards on board at this time; it’s taken for granted that by the time of the convention, all but the hard-core fringers would be on board with their party’s nominee. But you have to give Mr. Obama a good deal of credit for knowing how to steal a scene.