Thursday, January 31, 2008

Guiliani Backs McCain, Edwards Pays No Favors

Giuliani backs McCain hoping for a VP slot, Edwards Backs Neither Hoping Not to Burn Bridges

Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards have taken leave of their respective primary races, and each made a smart political decision in their endorsement or the lack thereof. Rudy wholeheartedly handed his voters to McCain, revising his earlier belief wherein the best man in the race was himself.

"John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next commander in chief of the United States," Giuliani said.

McCain and Giuliani are longtime friends, and the tip of the hat signaled no hard feelings, and maybe a hopeful ‘see ya later.’ Giuliani, although he made no real indication, may be lining himself up to be the Vice to McCain’s President. It’s not uncommon for primary race winners to choose earlier contenders to run with them, and Giuliani was once considered the inevitable frontrunner for quite some time.

This is pure speculation on the author’s part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this dignified stepping down with copious blessings to the current leader is little more than a reminder that all of McCain’s other competitors are all sending attack ads and cutting remarks toward the venerable senator. If the grey haired maverick wins the nomination, he’s unlikely to choose his most formidable opponent, (Romney), or someone whose ideology is severely different from his own, (Huckabee). The potential VP field for a not-yet-nominated president is still wide open and full of senators and military veterans cum politicians, but Giuliani and McCain could corner the market on perceived national security. Of course, should Romney take the nomination, Giuliani just screwed that pooch.

Edwards, on the other hand, does not want to show his cards just yet, even if he has folded. He refrained from donating his votes to a specific cause, but wanted to make clear that he didn’t want to play the role of spoiler. Like the nice kid whose asked not to join in kickball because he doesn’t play mean enough, he left with the comment:

"It is time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path."

Well, he’s not going to get to play kingmaker, but he’s at least not burning any bridges, either. He may not be VP material again (although I think he would be helpful to either of them), but Attorney General would be a nice spot for him. Since he didn’t give his voters a preferred direction, the two remaining candidates will be contending that they deserve his followers, however there doesn’t seem to be a single direction that they will go.

My feeling is that he would prefer that Barack takes the nomination, but in the fairly likely case that he doesn’t, he sure doesn’t want to anger Hill-zilla. This way, he doesn’t make both candidates cater to him for his votes while secretly wishing he would just get out of the pool because kiddy hour is over.

To sum it up: It’s possible that two people simply dropped out of the race, but it’s much more fun to speculate why.

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