Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

Reports: Edwards to Endorse Obama Tonight

Several sources reported this afternoon that former presidential candidate John Edwards is expected to endorse Barack Obama tonight at a Grand Rapids, Michigan joint appearance.

"I would anticipate that this will help Obama's case with what has been his weakest area lately -- working-class white voters," said University of Iowa political science professor Dave Redlawsk, who is an Edwards national delegate.

"At the same time, it probably makes no real difference at this point in the primary campaign," Redlawsk added. "I would expect Edwards to campaign actively for whoever was the nominee in any case."

The Michigan site is significant, as both Obama and Edwards took their names off the Jan. 15 Michigan primary ballot because the state violated party scheduling rules. Obama has been making Michigan visits in recent days as he trys to work through the issue of seating the state's delegates -- an issue Hillary Clinton repeatedly raises.

Last Friday, Edwards was grilled at length on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program and said he would endorse the candidate he had voted for in the May 6 primary in his home state of North Carolina. Edwards repeatedly evaded the question of who he had voted for, but near the end of the interview appeared to say, "I just voted for him this week." He later denied he had said "him," saying the syllable was an  "`em." But it clearly was not a "her."

Edwards joins fellow former candidates Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson in endorsing Obama. Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich have not yet endorsed, while Mike Gravel has 1) endorsed a Green candidate 2) changed his affiliation to Libertarian and 3) continues to appear on Democratic primary ballots.

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