Thursday, May 01, 2008

Joe Trippi: What I Should Have Told Edwards

Joe Trippi, who was senior adviser to the John Edwards 2008 campaign, confesses in a recent article [Campaigns and Elections] that he has regrets that he didn't tell former Presidential candidate John Edwards, before Edwards left the primary race, that he had the feeling that Edwards staying in the race would mean perhaps winning 300 or so delegates by Super Tuesday. He may have then had perhaps "a one-in-five chance of forcing a brokered convention." Mr. Trippi says that the path ahead would likely have been extremely painful, but could very well have put Edwards and his causes at the top of the Democratic agenda.
"I should have told him emphatically that he should stay in. My regret that I did not do so-that I let John Edwards down-grows with every day that the fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues."
The honesty, the soul-searching, and his support for Edwards' agenda shows clearly through Mr. Trippi's words. He knew that "grinding out delegates only to be in a position to cut a deal at the convention for his own gain" wasn't why Edwards had gotten into the race for president. Still, he's wishing he'd pushed the idea of Edwards continuing to campaign despite all the hard realities. Mr. Trippi says:
"[John Edwards] had entered it to push causes like ending poverty, championing health care for every American and fighting for working people, and it just wasn't him to turn it into a selfish quest. I really respect that, and it helps explain why I so fervently wanted John Edwards to become president. The man cared deeply about those causes, and he did not want to see them tarnished because of a string of embarrassing losses.

My mistake was not seeing more clearly then what is so obvious to me now: He could have kept his agenda in the forefront by staying in the race and forcing Obama and Clinton to focus on those issues because he, John Edwards, would hold the key to the convention deadlock. And maybe, just maybe, a brokered convention would have stunned the political world and led to an Edwards nomination.

If I had expressed these thoughts to the senator, it's possible that he would still be in the fight and leading Obama and Clinton on the issues....."
I think this is a gutsy statement on Joe Trippi's part. I don't fault him for anything that occurred and I concur with him about his reasons for having supported John Edwards all along. I feel much the same as he feels about the state of the Democratic race today. I wish there could've been more pressure put on the two remaining candidates to make and take the case for ending poverty to the American people. I agree with Elizabeth Edwards that Senator Clinton's Universal healthcare agenda is the most needed and effective plan of the two between the remaining Democratic candidates.