Campaigns/Elections

Joe Trippi's Gut-Check Failure

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From the current issue of Politics (formerly Campaigns & Elections and outlet for two damn fine cover stories by reasoners [about Mike Huckabee and the coming libertarian era]), Joe Trippi turns on the waterworks thinking about his experience with presidential washout John Edwards:

For the first time in thirty years of political work, I didn't go with my gut.

I didn't tell him what I should have told him: That I had this feeling that if he stayed in the race he would win 300 or so delegates by Super Tuesday and have maybe a one-in-five chance of forcing a brokered convention. That there was a path ahead that would be extremely painful, but could very well put him and his causes at the top of the Democratic agenda. And that in politics anything can happen-even the possibility that in an open convention with multiple ballots an embattled and exhausted party would turn to him as their nominee. I should have closed my eyes to the pain I saw around me on the campaign bus, including my own. 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….

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.

Whole thing, worth reading for many reasons (including real insight into campaign guys' heads), here.

Me, I'm glad John Edwards is out of the race—he's the Mountain Dew of phoney-baloney pols (to the extreme!) and while a brokered convention would be a good deal of fun (whether it'll ever happen is a very different question), Edwards' dumb Big Gummint ideas were cutting edge back when LBJ was taking craps in front of his cabinet members. Do we really need another moneybagged populist egging Obama and Clinton to go Ralph Nader on an already-flagging economy?

reason on Joe Trippi here.