If this is an example of the political competence of Tom Daschle, then it leaves little doubt as to how he led his party to lose the Senate as well as his own seat. CNN interviewed Daschle on the occasion of John Edwards’ endorsement of Barack Obama, and Daschle almost seems beside himself with glee as he explains the impact of Edwards’ delegates on Obama’s nomination:
First, a one-term Senator who couldn’t win re-election in his home state certainly doesn’t qualify as a “tremendous national leader”, and neither does a man who failed twice to win his party’s nomination for President. If his presence had such impact, Edwards would have carried his home state as VP on the 2004 ticket with John Kerry, as AP noted earlier. He had only garnered a little over 800,000 votes when he withdrew from the race earlier in February after 27,000,000 votes had been cast.
Daschle gets even sillier when telling a credulous Wolf Blitzer how much Edwards’ decision will impact the nomination process. Even if all of Edwards’ delegates followed Edwards into supporting Barack Obama — and nothing requires them to do so — all it means is that Obama has nineteen more pledged delegates than he had this morning. That’s 19 out of over 4,000 delegates that will cast ballots at the convention. Ron Paul has more delegates than John Edwards.
Why do Daschle and the media treat this endorsement as such a momentous event? For one thing, it gives the media something new to report, and for their graphics departments to get a little more work. Mostly, it gives the Democrats another reason to pressure Hillary Clinton into capitulating to Obama. The sheer goofiness of Daschle calling Edwards a great national leader just shows how few of these the Democrats can claim.