John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama tonight in a masterstroke of Clintonian gladhanding. The timing of the endorsement certainly shouldn't improve Edwards' reputation as a slick, ambulance-chasing lawyer. He waited until the Democratic presidential hopeful had a virtual lock on the nomination, but not so long that his endorsement would be totally useless. Thus, he preserved the chance to be a part of Hillary Clinton's cabinet for as long as that looked possible, but still managed to score some points with Obama. I'm not saying he planned it all along, because who knew Clinton would stay in the fight this long, but he certainly seized the opportunity she presented to offer a very-low-risk endorsement with significant potential personal upside. Also: Major gripe with the Edwards endorsement coverage in the Times and Washington Post:
It doesn't say which state primaries are next. Oregon, Kentucky and South Dakota, it turns out, all places with more than their share of the blue-collar, more conservative white voters to whom Edwards appeals. True, Edwards' endorsement is being spun as mainly a way to encourage superdelegates to stick with Obama, but some more context here would help the newspapers stand out from, say, the noticeably crisper coverage in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.