Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bill and John

p m carpenter's commentary

Of course if Hillary were really convinced that the country needs experience above all other qualifications, she would have endorsed former congressman, former cabinet secretary, former United Nations ambassador and present Governor Bill Richardson from the git-go.

As she got up every morning, devoting her tender thoughts exclusively to how she could help you, she simply would have initialed Bill's resume and sent a check.

Yet now, it appears, Bill is headed permanently for parts West, thereby narrowing the Democratic field to three, and leading to one final thought: In the run-up to the showdown of Feb. 5, you're going to start hearing the less-than admirable word "spoiler" in regular connection to the remaining fringe candidate, John Edwards.

I'm sorry to see Richardson drop out, but it's been obvious for quite some time that he didn't have a chance. Qualifications and resumé aren't essential to the office of the president. Look at what we've got now. It's all about your political machine.

So long, Bill. Go back to beautiful Santa Fe and relax. Stop in at the Blue Corn and have a Shepherd's Pie for me, Christmas style*.

One down, one to go...

Should you happen to be an Edwards supporter, I hasten to add that I use the descriptive "fringe" not as an insult, but as a mere matter of fact. John is not going to win this thing -- period -- not by delegates, not by brokering, not by any political miracle ever revealed to mankind.

It's over, John, and that's just a political reality. That may be good, may be bad, but either way, that's the way the open field has broken.

Perhaps if Mr. Obama were to whisper sweet vice-presidential promises in your ear, you will reconsider your commitment to finishing the marathon. As a co-candidate of "change," your (as many would read it) heroic withdrawal and subsequent Obama-endorsement over the Democratic personification of Bush 2000 would swiftly decide this race -- and that's hardly a mere booby prize.

You're a young man, John. You'll still be a young man in 2016. It's the smart play -- even smarter than Hillary's.

Carpenter may be right. I don't particularly like it, but the handwriting may be on the wall and this is the way to get Edwards into the White House, even if it's down the hall from the Oval Office. He shouldn't give up quite yet though, at least until Obama offers him a spot on the ticket.

Edwards will be 63 in 2016. It's comforting to know that's 'still young' since I'll be 63 in '08.

*In New Mexico, everything comes with chile sauce. The question is always asked, "Red or Green?". If you like both, as I do, you reply "Christmas style".

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