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Could 'Mr. Change' really endorse 'Ms. Status Quo'?

February 14, 2008 |  8:45 am

The folks over at ABC News have an online story up that delves into John Edwards' reluctance to endorse after pulling the plug on his own campaign ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries. And they say he is torn ovDebate_photoer a "heart-versus-head split" (fitting for Valentine's Day, no?).

The heart goes for Barack Obama, whose political rise essentially meant the end of Edwards' ambitions as the charismatic senator from Illinois adopted a populist message that echoed Edwards', wrapped it in the trappings of a movement and used it to build a massive grass-roots campaign -- leaving the telegenic Edwards in the dust.

The head goes for Hillary Clinton, which has to have a few people scratching their own. Edwards spent a lot of time and energy painting Clinton as part of the problem in Washington. For him to line up behind her now could be a tough sell, and probably raise questions about his own credibility. Particularly if part of the thinking involves which decision would carry the most political heft, as the ABC item says Edwards is contemplating.

It's one thing for a team player to back the party nominee once it's settled, but it's something entirely different to swallow an entire campaign approach and back a former rival as a function of cold calculation.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times