EDITORIAL: What May Be Lying Ahead for Edwards
As John Edwards' home-county paper, perhaps we're a little late in commenting on his endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president a week ago.
But then, we're not the only tardies. The consensus among many observers is that Edwards took his own sweet time in coming forth with his announcement, with the result that it carries less weight.
It has been fully four months since former Sen. Edwards dropped out of the presidential race after seeing the handwriting on the wall: There was no way his campaign was going to pick up enough steam to put him ahead of either Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination.
If he had expressed his opinion earlier, before Obama gained a virtually insurmountable lead against Clinton, when throwing his support to one of his former rivals could have actually swayed the outcome, it would have had more meaning. As it is, he looks to many as if he's doing what our cartoonist, Mark Brincefield, showed him doing Sunday: running to jump on a train that was already leaving the station.
'On My Team'
Having waited as long as he did, it must be said that Edwards chose an apt moment to break his silence. Or maybe the timing, coming just after Clinton beat Obama soundly in West Virginia, was Obama's idea. It did have the effect of blunting Clinton's victory and keeping Obama in the news.
Edwards quoted Obama as saying, "I want you on my team." What that might mean is anyone's guess. The most obvious possibility is that Obama may be considering Edwards for his running mate. He could do worse, though he might be hesitant to go with the man who ran and lost as John Kerry's running mate in 2004.
Obama and Edwards looked good together on the stage last Wednesday, even if their hug seemed a little forced. They could make an effective team on the campaign trail -- both young and fit and able to convey an air of sincerity in their desire to "tear down that wall and make one America," as Edwards put it.
He wasn't talking in Reaganesque terms about the Berlin Wall. He had in mind the supposed wall between those "two Americas" that he spoke about so eloquently as a candidate -- the barrier between privilege and poverty. He could clearly help shore Obama up with an important demographic in which he has shown some weakness: working-class whites.
Aiming for Attorney General?
Just as he waited a long time to jump on the Barack bandwagon, Edwards also remains inscrutable about what he might be expecting or hoping for in terms of a quid pro quo. In an interview back in January, he replied "No, absolutely not," emphatically shaking his head, when asked if he would consider the vice-presidential spot or a Cabinet job.
But it's hard to imagine the youthful Edwards passing up an opportunity (how many others does he have?) to stay in public life. And a recent report in The New York Times claimed that Edwards has privately told aides "he would consider the role of vice president, and favored the position of attorney general."
The ambitious and charismatic Edwards has always played his hand for whatever it's worth, and this appears to be another example of making the most of the situation in which he finds himself. Moore Countians will be watching with interest to see where it might land him.
More like this story