With the South Carolina Democratic Party refusing to put Colbert's name on the ballot, Edwards has been given a wonderful opportunity to get some free, positive press, appeal to the Colbert crowd, and simply do the right thing for the Democratic Party.
At the SEIU Convention in Washington DC, members took a straw poll and chose John Edwards as their candidate. This is not a formal endorsement; the Executive Board of the International will make a decision next week about who the endorsed candidate will be.
But SEIU has always been a "bottom-up" organization, and Andy Stern has told candidates in the past that to get their support they must earn it - by engaging their rank-and-file members. If John Edwards gets the SEIU endorsement, it will be a huge boost.
I wrote this for today's Beyond Chron, San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily.
With Hillary Clinton leading among Democratic primary voters, pundits are asking the same question they asked about Howard Dean four years ago - can she win the general election? In response, some have pointed to the matchup polls both nationwide and in swing states, proving that even Hillary can defeat the Republican nominee. But that's because Republicans are in such disarray that whoever gets the Democratic nomination - Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama - is favored to win. Hillary could still get elected President, but it would be a much closer race than if Edwards or Obama were the party's nominee. Moreover, Hillary will hurt down-ballot Democrats in red states (and even swing states) and give Republicans a shot in the arm - making it difficult for 2008 to be a year of progressive realignment. For activists who say they're in it for the long haul, a President Hillary Clinton will not help in 2010, 2012 and beyond.
John Edwards kicked off his 31 county, seven day, Iowa Bus Tour today in Des Moines.
"Over the next seven days, Edwards will talk about his vision for our country. Each day of the bus tour will focus on a different critical issue facing America - ending the war in Iraq, restoring economic fairness to rural America, rewarding work, delivering true universal health care, creating a new energy economy, strengthening education and building a One America where every person has a chance to succeed."