Endorsements Trickling In As The Democratic Nomination Battle Heats Up

Last week the big topic of discussion around the blogosphere was that most bloggers are not endorsing candidates yet. While probably coincidence, maybe that gave a push to some bloggers to be contrary and start taking sides. I’ve noticed two recent endorsements around the blogosphere, one of which I agree with.

Steve Soto has endorsed Hillary Clinton, primarily stressing her abilities as a campaigner, as opposed to her views. While I disagree in supporting Clinton, I must repeat what I’ve already conceded that she has done the best job in the debates, and she will be difficult to beat. While Clinton still needs to do a lot more to sell me on supporting her, over the course of the campaign my position has shifted from being able to perhaps consider anyone but Clinton to anyone but Edwards. (If they had a ghost of a chance of winning the nomination I’d also throw Gravel and Kucinich into this category.) Clinton also received a major non-blogosphere endorsement from Diane Feinstein, who I’ve had little respect for after her support for Bush’s disastrous Medicare D program.

Freedom Democrats has made an assessment similar to mine that at present Richardson and Obama are the only candidates who I could see really supporting, as opposed to voting for as the lesser of two evils against the Republicans. We also share a distaste for John Edwards’ new populist image. Their post, like Soto’s, concentrates largely on matters of electability, as well as growing the party. They make a good point that “Barack Obama would be more successful in courting newer professional voters.” They also see Richardson of value in the west, a “region vital to my idea of a liberal-libertarian alliance in the Democratic Party.”

At the moment I’m looking far more at the views of the candidates than questions of electability, allowing the campaign to play out to separate those who are electable. If I were to look at electability, Richardson would appear weaker compared to Clinton and Obama at the present, but looking at his stump speech in New Hampshire gives me hope that this could change. Edwards would be a disaster for the party, and fortunately has fallen behind Richardson in New Hampshire. Just as Obama would help bring in more professionals, Edwards, with the exception of trial lawyers, would drive away large numbers of former “Starbucks Republicans” who are starting to vote Democratic.

If Richardson remains far behind Clinton and Obama, the race very well could remain a contest between these two. The battle between them heated up this week and Obama now looks like the big winner of that scuffle. Obama has reduced Clinton to having to argue that she is not a “Bush/Cheney light” and has helped to reduce any advantage she might have had on foreign policy. Of course if things continue to go poorly in Iraq, Obama’s judgement will trump Hillary’s experience and he could very well beat her in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Scott says:

    I find it hard to believe that someone whose website title talks about defending liberty and enlightened thought would be so adamantly against a democratic candidate due to one’s own perception that the candidate is unelectable when the reality is that all the polling indicates that Edwards is THE MOST electable. Furthermore, polling has also shown that Edwards’ message resonates best with midwestern Americans (ie. Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, an OHIO, etc..)

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Scott,

    I said nothing about Edwards being unelectable. I said the opposite–that I’m not looking at questions of electability right now. Besides, there’s an excellent chance that virtually any Democrat will win in 2008.

    When I speak of Edwards being a disaster, I’m speaking long term, not of the 2008 election, and the direction he’d take the party in.

    At this stage it is possible to come up with polling data to show virtually anything, even the claim that Edwards is most electable (although it was amusing when Edwards made such claims and then couldn’t come up with the data when actually challenged to present it). Once people take a closer look at Edwards is saying he will probably still be able to win in 2008, but he’s hardly the best choice if we were to look at electability.

    Democrats have an ideal chance to win in 2008 because of the war and other memories of the Bush years. This does not mean they have built a new majority. A candidate like Edwards probably will win in 2008, but such a populist platform will ultimately alienate the successful and Democrats will again be the weaker party as they’ve been since the late 1960’s other than when Republicans scandals allowed them to win. So far only Obama, Richardson, and sometimes Clinton they have a clue as to how the country has changed (and Clinton has enough other negatives to make it no contest in preferring the other two at this point).

  3. 3
    Eric Dondero says:

    Richardson had a good shot for the moderately libertarian vote a few months ago. But then he blew it with one stroke of the pen.

    The guy signed into law a statewide ban on all smoking in bars, nightclubs, restaurants, ect… from Las Cruces to Famington. What a Nanny-Stater!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Richardson is definately not a libertarian and there are many examples to prove it. However, this is a bad year for libertarian-leaning candidates and Richardson might be the best choice we have.

    I assume you’d at least agree with me on the advantages of him over Edwards or Clinton.

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