Thursday, January 10, 2008

Obama's Day of Endorsements

Obama has been on a roll the last few days in terms of stealing Hillary's establishment base out from under her. Since Wednesday, he has received the endorsements of probably the two most important unions in the key state of Nevada, and then the endorsements of Ned Lamont, John Kerry, Gary Hart, and Tim Johnson as well (also George Miller). Generally, I don't think the endorsements of other politicians mean very much except as a bellweather of how a candidate is viewed by his party's establishment (the local union endorsements are a different story).

In any event, I heard Kerry's endorsement speech in the car this afternoon- by Kerry's relatively low standards, it was a pretty good speech. In the process, he took a number of not-too-subtle jabs at Senator Clinton, which rather surprised me. I'm starting to wonder how much elements of the Dem establishment resent the Clintons' stranglehold on the party machinery.

While endorsements by politicians don't usually mean much, the Lamont endorsement strikes me as significant. Lamont of course was the Dem who beat Joe Lieberman in the primary thanks to the help of the Dem Party netroots; to a large extent, it is the netroots who are most resistant to Obama now, often comparing him unfavorably to Joe Lieberman. They - incorrectly - think Lieberman's bipartisanship is the same as Obama's bipartisanship. In any event, Lamont's endorsement largely takes the wind out of the netroots' sails when it comes to accusing Obama of being another Lieberman and something less than a real Progressive.