Monday, January 28, 2008

What a Difference a Win Makes

I am not convinced that this endorsement is as big of a deal as many in the MSM are making of it. But, now that they are pushing the narrative, perhaps it will have legs after all.

...more on the flip...

Seeking to build on his landslide win in Saturday's South Carolina primary, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will receive the endorsement of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in Washington on Monday, sources close to both men said Sunday night.

The Kennedy stamp of approval was one of the most sought-after prizes of the Democratic nomination battle, and it represents a coup for the Illinois senator, adding an establishment seal of approval to what began a year ago as a long-shot White House bid. Obama had cultivated Kennedy's support for months. So had Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who along with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, had pressed Kennedy in recent days to at least remain neutral.

Kennedy's decision came after weeks of his rising frustration with the Clintons over campaign tactics, particularly comments by the couple and their surrogates in South Carolina that seemed to carry racial overtones. Kennedy expressed his frustrations, directly to the former president, but to no avail. He came to his endorsement decision over the past week, after speaking to numerous family members, especially younger ones, and gave Obama the word on Thursday, people familiar with the endorsement said.

Will this endorsement mean much to the general electorate, or even the Democratic electorate in upcoming primaries? Continue to color me skeptical, especially in the sense where Obama is reputed to bring in new & young voters who were not yet born when Ted Kennedy was first elected to the Senate.

No, where I do believe this news will resonate is amongst the establishment of the Democratic party at the state and national level, especially in the clubby US Senate. By my count, Kennedy is the fourth sitting Democratic senator to come out for the junior, once-elected senator from Illinois, rather than the junior, twice-elected senator from New York...and the wife of an immensely popular former president as well.

[Ah, bless that Google seems that Kennedy is actually the fifth sitting senator to endorse Obama; Leahy of Vermont was the fourth last week. Add these to McCaskill of MO, Nelson of NE and Kerry of MA].

Also, Bill Clinton did much to resurrect the image of Camelot during his White House bid & tenure, and the Kennedys did all but adopt the First Couple in the '90s. So, yes, I believe it is amongst the establishment (and not coincidentally, the money people) where this endorsement will resonate most. And, in that light, it's quite a slapdown of the Clintons.