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An Endorsement Post-Mortem

By Shailagh Murray
Do endorsements matter? Sen. Barack Obama had lined up some impressive backers in recent weeks, but Super Tuesday's results suggest the impact on voters was a mixed bag.

As the Clinton campaign has gleefully pointed out, Obama lost Massachusetts, home turf of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, whose support Obama insiders considered one of the campaign's milestones. They counter that Teddy lifted Obama on a national scale and insist they never expected to win Massachusetts anyway.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill was a proud patron of Obama's narrow win in the Show-Me State, and Obama also won in Kansas, where he had the support of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. But Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano couldn't deliver her southwestern red state for Obama, despite her own strong popularity there.

One curious aside: Obama, like Clinton, had tried but failed to sign up his three former Democratic rivals, Sens. Joe Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. On Tuesday, he won two of their three home states anyway.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 6, 2008; 5:32 PM ET
 
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Comments

I think, though, part of Obama's gaining 20 points in Mass. can also be attributed to John Edwards' leaving the race.

Posted by: ladyleo | February 7, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

One response on the Kennedy endorsement I'd read from a blogger is that she will now support Hillary because of Kennedy's sexual history. This response is clearly brain-challenged. What about Bill Clinton's endorsement of Hillary? What about his Oval Office pornographic escapades, his sexual addiction and Hillary as enabler and chief defense-attack dog against the women Bill, her husband, had abused and lied about--like Monica Lewinsky? How about the cigars and the stains on the blue dress?

Posted by: shirleylim | February 7, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

News Flash - Marion Barry to endorse Obama.

More cocaine in your Kool-Aid?

Posted by: brigittepj | February 7, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone consider that Obama picked up those points because Edwards dropped out? Obama's message didn't suddenly hit home in these states, rather a major competitor left the playing field. Many Edwards supporters simply switched to Obama.

Posted by: samantha1323 | February 7, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It's just like journalism, except with a big dose of stupid.

Posted by: zukermand | February 7, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Very sorry that I missed one important word. My single issue is health plan and here it is again.
Contrary to David Rees, who suggested he is not a single-issue voter, I am a single-issue voter on health plan and I will vote for Hillary Clinton on this health plan issue alone. What she suggested is not socialized medicine as widely misunderstood but an excellent health insurance plan currently available only to all the people on Capital Hill and federal workers nationwide. Who are we to say we like our health plan but we do not want others to have it.

Posted by: bigpeony1 | February 7, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to David Rees, who suggested he is not a single-issue voter, I am a single-issue voter and I will vote for Hillary Clinton on this issue alone. What she suggested is not socialized medicine as widely misunderstood but an excellent health insurance plan currently available only to all the people on Capital Hill and federal workers nationwide. Who are we to say we like our health plan but we do not want others to have it.

Posted by: bigpeony1 | February 7, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse


FROM THE VOTO LATINO WEBSITE : CLINTON VOTED FOR THE USE OF CLUSTER BOMBS

Clinton, Obama, and Cluster Bombs

by David Rees

If you're a friend of mine, or a fan of "Get Your War On," you probably know how important the issue of cluster bombs and landmines is to me.

It was America's use of cluster bombs during Operation: Enduring Freedom that led me to start GYWO seven(!) years ago this fall, and it has been my pleasure and my honor to donate the royalties from the two GYWO anthologies to Mine Detection & Dog Center Team #5, a landmine removal team in western Afghanistan.

[...]
Cluster bombs and landmines are particularly terrifying weapons that wreak havoc on communities trying to recover from war. They are fatal impediments to reconstruction and rehabilitation of agricultural land; they destroy valuable livestock; they disable otherwise productive members of society; they maim or kill children trying to salvage them for scrap metal.

[...]

Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.

Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.

I'm not a single-issue voter. But as Obama and Clinton share many policy positions, this vote was revelatory for me. After all, Amendment No. 4882 was an easy one to vote against:...one decided her vote on Amendment No. 4882 according to a political calculation. The other used a moral calculation.

http://blog.votolatino.org/

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | February 7, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

What the media is failing to say or realize is that Obama was a good 25 to 30 points behind in most of those states.
I personally never thought he would take California. Early voting was the tip off that he would find it rough going.
But, the fact that he made inroads into new territory and closed the gap is astounding.
Yet, the media doesn't see this.
that was the beauty of the endorsements. He went from 30 points down in a Clinton stronghold like Mass. to coming within striking distance.
I saw a heck of alot of progress.
As well as he got more states than she did.

Posted by: vwcat | February 7, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Endorsements may not matter but I'm not impressed with your "analysis." In Massachusetts Obama gained over 20 points in the polls in one week--in a state with demographics that cut the other way. Same with Arizona, Missouri, and California, albeit to a lesser extent. Additionally, it's odd that an informed journalist would focus on ability to "deliver" a state in primaries using proportional distribution of delegates. Sure, there's a symbolic value but then again there's symbolic value in winning enough delegates to secure the nomination. Don't you think that--helping Barack Obama win more delegates--was the point of endorsements?

Posted by: jefft1225 | February 7, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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