Silky v1.0: Ambulance chaser. Silky v2.0: Al Qaeda chaser. Bob Novak says he and Obama struck a deal to make him AG in return for Edwards sticking around, stockpiling whatever delegates he can, and then handing them to the Messiah at the convention on the off chance that no one has a majority. Parliamentary politics, in other words. Any reason to believe Edwards is taking that scenario seriously? Actually, yeah:
It is the sort of math that Joe Trippi, senior adviser to Mr. Edwards, said the campaign is banking on. “I think 200 delegates on Feb. 6 is our over-under,” Mr. Trippi said. Although he continues to insist that Mr. Edwards has a chance at securing the nomination, Mr. Trippi concedes it is a long shot. More probable: arriving at the convention with enough delegates to tip the scales in favor of either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama. “Edwards is the primary force keeping Clinton under 50%,” Mr. Trippi said. “Worst case? We go to the convention as the peacemaker, kingmaker, whatever you want to call it.”
As Mr. Trippi figures it, if Mr. Edwards gets more than 200 delegates through the Feb. 5 contests — just more than 10% of the total 1,700 delegates at stake that day — he has a long-shot chance of playing kingmaker. If he gets 350, Mr. Trippi said Mr. Edwards is almost assured of playing that role.
And indeed, a new e-mail from Silky HQ touts his campaign stops on the way to Super Ultra Mega Tuesday. Doesn’t the wisdom of this tactic depend, though, on the assumption that Edwards is taking more votes from Hillary than from Obama — an assumption which, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t been proved? I always figured he drew more from Obama because both are to Hillary’s left and because even some Democrats are voting for Anyone But Hillary, but now that the Clintons have helped make it a racial contest, maybe that logic no longer holds. Maybe Edwards has begun pulling more from the “white” candidate (whose base, like his base, includes lots of union support), which would be a tasty irony indeed. To wit:
Clinton leads 43% to 23% among White Voters. Obama leads among African-American voters 62% to 19%…
Edwards attracts support from 19% of White Voters and 6% of African-Americans, 19% of men and 14% of women, 15% of Democrats and 19% of Independents.
Hard to draw any conclusions because Obama leads slightly among men so Silky’s hurting him too, albeit probably less so than he’s hurting Hillary with whites. But then there’s this, from South Carolina:
Edwards also is up in a SurveyUSA Election Poll taken Tuesday and Wednesday.
He claimed 22 percent of the vote, up 7 percentage points from a week ago. Obama continued to lead at 45 percent, unchanged from last week, and Clinton tallied 29 percent, down 7 percentage points.
Hillary’s loss is Edwards’s gain. I looked around for poll numbers on whom his supporters list as their second choice, thinking that’s the surest gauge of who he’s pulling from, but didn’t find anything. Anyone seen any relevant data recently? I’m guessing based on Trippi’s comment and the Survey USA figures that he’s now a thorn in Hillary’s side more so than Obama’s.
Exit question one: He’s going to soldier on through for another two or three grueling months, just to be Obama’s AG? Really? Exit question two: Could it be that even Edwards has no sense of which way his supporters would break? That would explain why he thinks it’s better to stay in, bank their votes, and then exercise his own control over the delegates rather than just get out and endorse/start campaigning for Obama.
Update: Unrelated to the subject matter at hand, but a classic takedown is a classic takedown — Krauthammer on Edwards. “It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world. But for four percent of the Nevada caucuses?”