By Stuart Rothenberg
I've been observing recently how much supposedly big news about the Presidential race will ultimately have little or no impact on the outcome of the 2008 Presidential contest, even for the Democratic and Republican nominations.
That fact, of course, doesn't make these developments in the Presidential race any less newsworthy or fun. It just means that they are unimportant in terms of the contests for the two nominations.
This week, we all got a perfect example of how even the most meaningless development can get treated as if it were important when the John Edwards campaign sent out a press release informing all of the world that former Kentucky Congressman Ken Lucas has endorsed Edwards for President. Of course, the Edwards campaign isn't alone in doing this kind of thing. ALL campaigns do it. Edwards is just a convenient example.
The release included the required quote from the person offering the endorsement about how wonderful the person receiving the endorsement is and what a great President he will be, as well as a quote from the person receiving the endorsement thanking the person making the endorsement.
There was nothing unusual here. And more than that, there is no reason to believe the endorsement - or the press release - will have the slightest affect on the Democratic contest. In fact, it would be significantly more important if three elderly ladies in Iowa had decided to support the former North Carolina senator at next year's caucuses.
But instead, we have a campaign bragging about an endorsement from a former congressman - who, by the way, comes from a Republican district in a Republican-leaning state that will have no impact on the race for the Democratic nomination - who can't vote for Edwards in one of the key early contests and is pretty close to irrelevant in the '08 nomination process.
So why would a campaign put out a press release about an endorsement? Obviously, the campaign hopes to create a bandwagon by sending out a release or two about endorsements each and every day. And somewhere, you can bet that someone is printing the release, and maybe they are even thinking that it's significant.
It isn't. But that's what happens in campaigns - especially Presidential campaigns where people have too much time on their hands, and where molehills get turned into mountains on a daily basis.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
By Stuart Rothenberg