Local Politics

Analysts: Kerry's Obama Endorsement Latest Blow to Edwards

Posted January 10, 2008

— Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Thursday announced his support for current candidate Barack Obama, a move many political observers in North Carolina described as a slap at Kerry's former running mate John Edwards, the Tar Heel State's former senator.

"Barack Obama can be, will be and should be the next president of the United States," Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, said at a rally in Charleston, S.C.

Edwards was Kerry's vice presidential running mate in 2004. Despite their political alliance, the two men weren't close personally and differed behind the scenes on campaign strategy during a race they lost to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"There's been some bickering back and forth between Kerry and Edwards about who did what during the campaign," said Rob Christensen, a political columnist for The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

The endorsement came in Edwards' native state, and the former senator from North Carolina also was making a campaign appearance in Charleston.

"The timing is very damaging to Edwards because it comes in South Carolina, where Edwards may be making his last stand," Christensen said.

A new poll out of South Carolina shows Obama, a senator from Illinois, garnering the support of 42 percent of likely Democratic voters. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton polled at 30 percent of the voters, while Edwards trailed at 15 percent.

Obama and Clinton split primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Edwards has pegged South Carolina as important to his campaign. He won the state in 2004, his only primary victory.

Edwards responded to Kerry's move by saying that he respected the decision and announcing that more than 80 "state and local community leaders" in South Carolina had endorsed his campaign.

“I continue to believe that this election is about the future, not the past, and that the country needs a president who will fight aggressively to end the status quo and change the Washington system and to give voice to all of those whose voices are ignored in the corridors of power,” he said.

North Carolina State University political science professor Andrew Taylor said Edwards has much bigger problems than Kerry's endorsement of a rival. Obama and Clinton appear to be pulling in the African-American vote that helped Edwards four years ago.

"It's got to hurt in the stomach and the heart, but does it really make that much difference? Probably not," Taylor said of the endorsement. "It's a very different kind of equation in 2008 than it was in 2004."

Christensen said Edwards' losing the powerful casino labor endorsement in Nevada to Obama is more damaging than Kerry's turn. The challenge for Edwards now is remaining relevant, he said.

"The helium is coming out of that balloon, and he's losing altitude by the hour. Edwards is in big trouble right now," Taylor said.


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  • DaddysAngel27 Jan 12, 2008

    To my opinion only AMERICAN born should be able to be OUR President..........

  • DaddysAngel27 Jan 12, 2008

    There is allot more to Obama than the public knows. Do the research! I feel as though if he is voted in we are going to be put in direct danger.

  • jackadoo Jan 11, 2008

    mlipi...wral will miss him too. He is irrelevant, and they are the last ones to realize it. No I take that back, johnboy is, will be, the last one. He just does not get it.

  • jackadoo Jan 11, 2008

    sweetsea...you got it.

  • N2theM8trix Jan 11, 2008

    Poor Obama!

  • beachboater Jan 11, 2008

    This might be good news from the Hilary camp. Edwards still has money to blow, so he'll stay in until he's in his own pocket. I don't see Kerry's endorsement meaning much anywhere except his liberal home state.

  • Offshore Jan 11, 2008

    The Republicans are now sending thank yous to John Kerry.

  • sweetsea Jan 11, 2008

    What Johnny really needs to jump start his campaign is another custom hair cut. Then maybe folks would start soaking up his snake oil. What a jerk.

  • oldschool Jan 10, 2008

    "Analysts: Kerry's Obama Endorsement Latest Blow to Edwards"

    Boy, I think that headline says it all.

    How bad of shape are the dems really in if JK's endorsement matters?

    As we said in the old country - oof da.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Jan 10, 2008

    Everyone knows that Edwards and Kerry hate each other so why is this considered to be a surprise? If anything, Obama will be calling Kerry and ask him to take it back.