Edwards still standing
by ericlee, Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 10:10:35 PM EST
"He doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn fight!" - Apollo Creed's trainer, "Rocky" (1976)
For once the pundits and the pollsters seem to have gotten it right. South Carolina was a big win for Obama; Clinton did take second place; and Edwards got nearly precisely the numbers predicted for him in the last Zogby/CNN poll. They can now calmly return to doing what they were doing before, confident that what they say is true and that everyone is doing what they have been scripted to do.
Except that John Edwards is not doing what he is supposed to do. He doesn't know it's a damn show. He thinks it's a damn fight.
Edwards is staying in the race, as he has always said.
His advisors are saying things like "look at the polls in Oklahoma" where Edwards is running a strong second, where Obama has little support. And people like myself have been saying for some time that one of the two celebrity candidates, the ones getting all the media attention, is likely to pull out of the race at some point, possibly as soon as the morning after Super Tuesday. If Edwards is still standing, it will be him against just one of them.
More practical types are saying that Edwards is staying in the race so that he can show up at the Democratic National Convention in Denver with truckloads of delegates, and play the role of kingmaker (or perhaps emerge as a dark horse favorite after a few rounds of deadlocked balloting).
But I think he's staying in the race because he actually believes the things he's saying. He really does want to guarantee health care for all, end poverty in America, and strengthen trade unions.
In the next few days, the squabbling between Clinton and Obama is likely to become uglier and meaner than before. If you thought Bill Clinton was a vicious attack dog before South Carolina, wait till you see him now. The mainstream media called this race a long time ago, and are baffled at Edwards for still being in the ring this late into the fight. (Meaning, those that even notice he's there.)
John Edwards has survived four rounds in the ring with the political equivalents of Apollo Creed. His nose may be broken, his eye may be cut, but he is still standing. Call him stubborn or call him persistent, but I grow more impressed with him every day.
Senator Edwards -- as long as you are in this fight, I am behind you.