John Edwards and the next president
Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters wonders how the John Edwards flap has affected the 2008 Presidential race:
…the case can certainly be made that if the Edwards affair had gotten the press attention it deserved back in October when the National Enquirer first broke the story, the former senator would have been forced out of the race sooner likely giving Clinton enough delegates early in the process to prevent the eventual groundswell for Obama.
Well, it’s not terribly clear to me. I like math. Math makes things black and white. However, when it comes to caucuses and primaries, math doesn’t always mean much. So, all we can do is guess at what might have happened. I’ll use the first primary, Iowa, as my example. Going into the caucuses, the polls were fairly split between the top three. Although the assumption in the article is made that Clinton and Edwards were appealing to a seperate demographic than Obama, the numbers don’t really support that. Obama was just beating them both straight across the board, not by a whole lot. So, in my opinion, if Edwards had been completely out of the race, Clinton and Obama would have simply split that voting block. The result of the vote however, did not reflect the polls. When it was all said and done, Obama got more delegates than Clinton and Edwards combined regardless of the parity of the polls and irrespective of the fact that Hillary and Edwards got more votes when combined. So, assuming Hillary got every single one of Edwards’ votes in Iowa, the delegate distribution is not guaranteed to have changed by one single vote.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, Edwards hung on for dear life. But, he was effectively done. The media immediately focused on Obama and the collapsing Hillary saga.
Now, this story also has added entertainment value in that Edwards has done this immediately before the Democrat National Convention. The only reason this has any importance at all is that Hillary has still not taken her name off the ballot. The only reason she would not at this point is hoping for some act of God to intervene. Could this be the act of God? Could this motivate all the Edwards delegates to jump to Hillary?
Even if they did, it wouldn’t change a thing.
Some Hillary supporters are making a deal of this. They need to just get over it and stop looking for some vast left wing conspiracy. Fact is, Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary and Edwards combined in regards to the primaries. Now, the intangible here as I see it is not that it would have changed the Democrat nomination process, but a bigger picture emerges. If you do toss in the Edwards peeps directly into the Hillary camp, it means Hillary would have beaten Obama nationwide by over one million votes.
Now, the argument will be for unity at the Convention. And, there will be a certain amount of unity going into the fall. But a good percentage of people have a hard time supporting a candidate that just beat their candidate. Especially when their candidate won the actual war that it was all supposed to be about.
Getting a million more votes and losing the election rings some bells for a lot of folks my age. Seems like it happened not too long ago. Everyone knew the rules going in, and it still wound up in court and being drug out way longer than most people knew it should have been.
And, for the most part, those are exactly the same players that were involved in the election of 2000. All this speculation is doing is playing into their hands that the election was rigged for Obama the whole time, reinforcing their resolve to not vote for the guy who stole their election, again.
Now, given most media would NOT pursue Edwards during October of last year, I fully expect that same media to NOT pursue the bitterness a lot of Clinton supporters might be holding over the revelation that the guy who lost the race is the guy they are expected to support. But, we don’t have to worry about whether or not media decides to report on the results in November.
Just don’t act surprised.