Edwards Endorses Obama; Now For Some VP Speculation
The timing of the endorsement was either fortuitous or great planning, a maul used to blunt momentum from the Clinton victory, their largest margin yet, in West Virginia last night. (Where Edwards got 7% of the vote.) Edwards supplies 18 regular delegates to the Obama numbers, which would put him over 1,900 total and within ten of a simple regular-delegate majority of 1,627. The important psychological delegate number is 2,000, not 2,026, and Obama now only has to get 30% of the remaining uncommitted pool. You always have to wonder what price was paid, and the VP slot would seem a little steep. A Cabinet position would be reasonable, and Edwards would be the most progressive Attorney General imaginable.
Now the winnowing process begins for the running mate. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia (retired Navy Commander, son served two tours in Iraq, took seat away from a Republican incumbent) offers a great suite of gap-fillers. But he's a first-termer from Congress. Ohio's governor Ted Strickland has been bandied about because he closes all the obvious gaps--he now runs a key state that has trended Republican, is moderate, well-respected, over 60, white and got an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association. But he's a Clinton supporter, which may discount him, and also a first-termer, which doesn't help the inexperience angle.
So, looking down the list of Democratic state governors, there aren't many that fit the bill as nicely as Tennessee's Phil Bredeson. He brings everything Strickland does and a boatload more: he started Health America, which became a 6,000-employee publicly traded health care management company; he is noted for spending wisely on education programs; he's a Presbyterian from smack dab in the demographic and region Obama has struggled in; he won his last gubernatorial election 69-30; and he does not draw his gubernatorial salary. He's a small-town boy from Appalachia made good with the credibility, physics degree, contacts, and drive to take on the health care mess.