Saturday, April 12, 2008

The post-campaign John Edwards: not so great

I don't think my former candidate John Edwards has done very well politically since he's dropped out. I'll bet he's kicking himself for quitting before Super Tuesday. He likely quit to avoid getting drubbed and to hold on to a lot of money given to him that would otherwise be spent in the runup to Super Tuesday, but even a bad showing then could have netted him 50 delegates and significant bargaining power.

As for the whole thing about Obama blowing a potential endorsement from Edwards - I'd score that a minus for Obama and a plus for Hillary on the personal diplomacy front, but also as a minus for Edwards. He should have enough direct knowledge of both candidates to know which one is better, regardless of how well they suck up to him in a personal interview. And it's ridiculous to think that Obama is supposed to privately retract his public assertion that his own health care plan is universal.

Still, Edwards did a good job in moving the Democratic campaign in the right direction. I'm curious what he'll do next. I think he's basically had his shot at the presidency unless and until he gets some new governmental experience.

UPDATE: And while I'm handing out discredits to Democratic presidential candidates, Senator Chris Dodd gets one for his terrible "mortgage relief" bill. As Daniel Gross points out, the majority of the money goes to tax breaks for homebuilding speculators who counted on an unending bubble. The $7,000 tax credit for foreclosure purchasers is almost as bad in my opinion as a foreclosure accelerant. The mortgage holders are even less likely to work deals with current homeowners when they know that people buying foreclosures have an extra $7,000 to work with. Some of those buyers might even be speculators, completing the cycle of stupidity.

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