THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Bridge to…

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 15, 2008

The surprising endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama by former Senator and presidential aspirant John Edwards yesterday has been the talk of presidential circuit.  What does it mean? What will be the impact? Is it a signal to Sen. Hillary Clinton that the race is now certainly over and it’s time to heal party?  Or is it a bridge to working blue collar white voters that Clinton says will not vote for Obama?

It is probably a little bit of all those, but the most fascinating question is the concept that the Edwards endorsement will help Obama with a group of voters that seem to have slipped from his grasp.  While running well with these voters in early primaries and caucuses in states like Iowa, Utah, North Dakota and Kansas according to recent exit polls he has struggled with White votes of that ilk in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

With Kentucky coming up fast and with the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia being swing states in the fall, if Clinton’s assertion is even partially correct those voters could be the margin of a Sen. John McCain victory.  So the Edwards choice and timing could be critical to help give Obama gravitas in that group and blunt enough of white blue collar voters’ concerns, questions and stereotypes to give Obama the needed lift to win what promises to be a tight general election. 

If Edwards is willing to stump in those states and pockets where those voters live the impact will be interesting and give the former Senator quite a political chit to cash in December as a President-Elect Obama chooses his administration.  While many think Edwards is angling for another VP shot, and he may, we think Attorney General of the United States may be more to his liking now.  it is an office that allows his unique skill set to be used in a number of policy areas.  He could also be a “Poverty Czar” heading up an official government effort to cut poverty which has become his pet issue since he and Sen. John Kerry  lost their presidential run four years ago. 

Whatever the reason for the endorsement the immediate impact of the announcement will be tested on Tuesday when the state of Kentucky holds its primary with many white blue collar voters going to the polls and we’ll see if they take the Edwards bridge to Obama’s side or if the the bridge is one to no where.   video of edwards endorsement

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