May 14, 2008
If you know how vindictive the Clintons can be, you know that John Edwards won't be getting any Christmas presents from Chappaqua, New York this year. Senator Clinton was all excited about capitalizing on her landslide win in West Virginia (with ample support of white working class union members, no doubt), and then smiley-faced John Edwards ruins everything by announcing he's endorsing Barack Obama. That 41-percent victory margin in the Mountaineer State went for nought, and the expected momentum shift was negated. See Washington Post. Significantly, Edwards' wife Elizabeth was not present at this announcement, and it is believed that she is not happy about this move.
So now, the few remaining Democrat primary states such as Montana and South Dakota are counting more than anyone had expected, and the Obama campaign is putting a heavy effort into those states, not taking anything for granted. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is sending letters and e-mail messages to voters in the Prairie State, asking them to vote for Obama on June 3; see sd.barackobama.com. (Hat tip to Dan.)
Liberal elites (including some in the news media) seem very nervous at what a drawn-out battle for the remaining delegates might do to party unity, and they are rapidly tilting in Obama's favor. So here's what we have: a party that prides itself on voicing the concerns of common people via open elections deciding its party's nomination by back-room deals on behalf of a candidate whose main support comes from elites. Talk about an identity crisis!
If the economy weren't in such bad shape, John McCain would be in an excellent position to win handily this November, but as it is, he is going to have to fight hard. On both sides, perhaps the biggest question is whether the party organizations can stay unified and bring all factions together, getting everyone out to the polls on Election Day.