It's about time Edwards made this call:
Former Sen. John Edwards is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidacy Wednesday evening, in a dramatic attempt by the Obama campaign to answer concerns regarding Obama's appeal to working-class voters, several senior Democratic sources tell ABC News.
It's good timing - Obama needs this boost at this juncture - he's very close to closing on the nomination.
If I recall correctly, Edwards has already indicated that he doesn't want the VP slot - and those kind of statements aren't worth squat in politics. If offered, I suspect he'd accept - and this endorsement should get the rumor mill going.
Reaction from the Clinton camp (same link as above):
Edwards and his wife had publicly praised Clinton's healthcare plan, but Edwards' anti-corporate message seemed a better fit for Obama's outsider campaign.
Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe responded to the endorsement this evening both during a quick press availability outside of the Senator's residence, and in a paper statement.
"We respect John Edwards," McAuliffe said, "but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over."
A source close to the Clinton campaign said the Edwards camp gave the Clinton folks a heads up.
"Clearly it's upsetting," the source tells ABC. "He brings the workers" to Obama.
"Well I don't think it's good news, but there's a lot of news in this business and we move forward and move past it. It's not great news," a Clinton senior advisor said.
Asked what effect the Edwards endorsement might have, he said: "We don't know. We'll see. We'll see how much of it is transferable," referring to Edwards' popularity with white working class voters.
"We would've preferred it," to be our endorsement the advisor said. That's not a secret.
Clinton met today with six uncommitted superdelegates at the DCCC offices on Capitol Hill.
This advisor said the Clinton campaign believes superdelegates are concerned about Obama's loss in West Virginia last night and other swing states.
"No question -- that started with Ohio and increased with Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia," he said. "All I can say is, I don't want to overdramatize it, but starting with Ohio the remaining superdelegates started really focusing on the 270 electoral vote issue and how do we best assemble that and it's made a marked impression."
But then in a moment of candor the advisor conceded, "I'm not sure it's gonna be enough."
Update: Obama and Edwards are trying their best to kill the buzz for Clinton as she comes off Tuesday's 41 point romp over Obama in West Virginia - meanwhile the following bit of conjecture may explain why Edwards didn't go the distance in his bid for the nomination:
David "Mudcat" Saunders, a chief adviser for Edwards on rural affairs during the presidential campaign, said the endorsement should take some sting out of Obama's resounding loss in West Virginia.
"For Barack Obama, I think he ought to kiss Johnny Edwards on the lips to kill this 41-point loss," Saunders said.
I'm not so sure that's the best way to shore up Obama's sagging approval ratings in rural America.
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