Edwards and Obama Now Bedfellows?

In the debate over which Democratic candidate he should endorse, John Edwards has finally given in. And in the most predictable fashion, he has chosen Sen. Barack Obama. During his official endorsement speech Edwards said, "…the Democratic voters have made their choice, and so have I."

The aforementioned statement is surprisingly thought provoking. If one takes a closer look at it, he or she will notice that Edwards first points out the fact that the Democrats have made a collective choice. He then ventures to say that he has subsequently made his own decision (which appears to be directly in line with the "popular vote" among the Democrats).

It's not rocket science: Edwards is playing political monopoly. He is erasing his past statements about Obama and positioning himself for a vice-presidential nod. Or -- at the least -- he is keeping his name alive for future political gain.

After all, what took the former senator so long to endorse a candidate? MLive.com quotes Brent Slay, a retired Plainfield Township businessman (and an Obama supporter), who had some interesting thoughts on the matter:

"I think it will help [Obama] immensely with the working men and women of America. My opinion is Sen. Edwards saw Sen. Obama was going to be the candidate for the party, and he wanted to be the one to push him over the edge."

But, perhaps the most intriguing portion of Slay's thoughts:

Slay wondered if the endorsement might signal an Obama-Edwards ticket, although Edwards has said he is not interested in running for vice president.

Republican National Committee Chairman Robert Duncan has been the most precise in his criticism of Edwards' endorsement. Duncan asks, "Why didn't Edwards endorse sooner?" -- a more than valid question. He continues:

"Edwards' endorsement of a candidate he previously blasted as inexperienced, hypocritical and lacking substance will not help Obama with voters looking for real change."

Let's take a trip down memory lane. Edwards was posing serious criticisms of Obama as early as December 2007:

I know Sen. Obama gave a speech today, and he’s a good guy, but I listen to the talk about, ‘I’m going to give the insurance companies, the drug companies, and the oil companies a seat at the table, and I’m going to sit at that table, and I’m going to negotiate with them, and they will voluntarily give their power away.' Well, that’s not the world that I live in. They’ll give their power up when we take their power away from them.

Sounds like a vote of no confidence to me. But suddenly -- when Obama appears to have the majority of Democratic support, Edwards thinks he's undoubtedly the man for the job. Does his description of Obama back in December reflect even a portion of the confidence one should have in a candidate they are endorsing?

And then there's healthcare -- an issue that a great many Americans have a personal stake in:

Edwards also took issue with Obama's recently unveiled health-care plan, saying it fell short of covering the estimated 45 million uninsured people in the United States. "I believe unless we have a law requiring that every man, woman and child in America be covered, we're going to have millions of people who aren't covered," Edwards said.

These are big issues -- issues that Edwards has suddenly begun to ignore for the sake of an endorsement.