February 10th, 2008
10:38 PM ET
7 years ago

Edwards meeting with Clinton, Obama on endorsement

Sens. Clinton and Obama, and former Sen. Edwards before the CNN Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Sens. Clinton and Obama, and former Sen. Edwards before the CNN Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

(CNN) — CNN has learned that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards met with Hillary Clinton Thursday in North Carolina, and is meeting with Barack Obama Monday, to discuss a possible primary endorsement.

The Thursday meeting, which took place at Edwards’ home in Chapel Hill, was followed by a Saturday night session during which the former North Carolina senator and several longtime advisers discussed many issues, including which candidate he should endorse.

The Obama campaign is enjoying a weekend of positive news, after winning four contests in Louisiana, Washington, Nebraska, and Maine. An endorsement by Edwards would provide additional momentum going into the next round of primaries.

At a Chapel Hill party yesterday for Edwards supporters, he gave no indication who he might endorse, or whether that endorsement is imminent. Some advisers are encouraging him not to endorse.

The former candidate is weighing a number of considerations before making his choice – including electability, and who will best promote his ideas.

There are policy considerations at play: there is a sense within the Edwards camp that Clinton's policies could be better for working class Americans. But Obama's anti-lobbyist proposals are more aligned with Edwards’ politics.

In response to a CNN report that Elizabeth Edwards may favor Obama over Clinton, sources close to the Edwards family flatly deny that she favors one candidate over the other.

soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    Hillary Clinton is the most qualified to put our dreams into action. It would be great to have Edwards endorsement. She really has worked all her life to improve the lives of people who are not as advantaged as some of us.
    As for Obama and the lobbyists - I'm from Illinois and believe me that's a new thing. Last night he bragged about being from Chicago and knowing how to do politics the Chicago way. Hmmmmm
    I remember being young and wanting everything right now but this time I think we need someone with both dreams and experience. Hillary Clinton has already worked through the theory Obama is just thinking about. She will take us where we want to go.
    Good Luck to all of us.

    February 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Alex K

    YES WE CAN
    end Clintonian corruption

    YES WE CAN
    end Clintonian deception

    YES WE CAN
    end Clintonian lies

    WE LOVE OBAMA
    in New York City!

    February 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. pam Eugene OR

    Look at the momentum for Obama John. He is our future and Hillary is our past. I don't know what each of them is promising you but please see what is best for all Americans. We need a pick a candidate very soon and start to work against McCain now. A brokered conference would be terrible for all democrats. The Clinton years are over and for good reasons. She is way too too divisive and has far too many negatives to unite the people.One half of the country hates her, not a mild dislike, a total hatred of her.
    If you can not endorser Barack please don't say anything.

    February 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Maddie

    John – Please throw your endorsement to Sen. Barack Obama, a smart, gifted visionary that has breathed hope into a nation hungry for change.. He is the Kennedy of the younger generation, a generation that will become completely disenfranchised if and when backroom politics, something machine Democrats are so good at, cause "fixers" to lean on the Super Delegates to elect Sen. Hillary Clinton. We need a fresh outlook! We need to look forward.

    February 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Maria

    I like Senator Edwards, and I know that there is tough pressure on both sides for an endorsement, but it is clear that Senator Obama has a stronger message and during debates, the two of them sided together much more often.

    I'm a New Yorker who agrees that it should be Obama/Edwards 08!

    February 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Beverley

    I respect John Edwards a lot. And although I never thought he'd get far with his poverty platform – it was a honorable campaign. I think John Edwards is very smart! He can't possibly think that Hillary is the future (if anything her experience should be packaged as a quick fix) – Obama and democrats like him are the future.

    Democrats are not Republicans! While the Republicans are trying to make McCain bend over and submit – Democrats like ex-republican Jim Webb, Heath Shuler and Barak Obama are doing what is best for the country – not the party!

    I'm glad he met with both camps – I hope he gets some concessions. I'm glad he didn't endorse before super tuesday, because that's when the bulk of the country and the nominee should be able to win on their own merit not an endorsement – But over half of the states have voted and this is an appropriate time to hear from Edwards because he does represent a portion of the voters!

    February 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. xavier

    PK:

    Given that Obama has more states, more votes, and more pledged delegates, how can you make the statement that more people vote for Hillary? that doesn't even make sense. If you represent the people that support her then she has already lost.

    February 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. jeffrey

    For Senataor Edwards PLEASE......PLEASE endorse Barrarck Obama, he is the best to lead America. He can put back America to its golden time.

    February 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Anna

    Wouldn't it be hypocritical for Edwards to endorse Obama since he wants universal health care, like Clinton and unlike Obama?

    February 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. RobinH

    I respect Sen. Clinton experience, drive and intelligence, but Senator Obama's experience in the real world, as a community organizer, as well as his ethics and his electability make him a better choice for Democrats. His ability to expand the party means coat-tails for every down-ticket race, from the Congress to local school board.

    Voters with time and inclination should read his Blueprint for Change, 59 pages of small font, nitty gritty, specific policies to make America stronger and better. The first two pages are devoted to 15 specific ethics reforms that would reduce the influence of big-moneyed special interests on DC decision making This is the 'type of change we can believe in' the type of legacy that outlives any presidency.

    February 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Bubba

    I like Edwards and think that he was entertaining during some of the debates – he always knew how to ruffle Clinton and Obama's feathers. With that being said, it is still clearly way too early for him to announce any endorsement. I am all for an Obama – Edwards ticket, but he should wait.

    In 'Fade In' magazine when Oliver Stone interviewed him, he said that he would not run as a vice president to any of the candidates – which I found funny, as we will see him go back on that shortly.

    Obama '08!

    February 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. Hopemonger in NYC

    I really hope Edwards endorses Obama, I know that in my circle of friends without exception every single person that was an Edwards supporter turned their support to Obama after Edwards suspended his campaign. It seems like a no brainer. I mean how can you run a campaign on the need for change in Washington and getting lobbyists out of the political process and then endorse Hillary Clinton who everyone knows is beholden to those same interests. Also, I have personally seen the way that Obama's call to service and his call to be better Americans has engaged people in caring more for those in need and struggling in this country. I mean the day after Super Tuesday, there was post after post on the Barack Obama web site not about the election results but about how to make donations to the Red Cross to help people in the tornado ravaged areas (all made in honor of Senator Obama). My 2 cents.

    February 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Brad, Columbia, S.C.

    I'm sure North Carolina is the last place Obama wants to be Monday, on the eve of a very big primary trifecta.

    I wonder who set that date. If it was Edwards, surely he must have known that's bad timing, even though Obama would not turn down the invitation for risk of letting an endorsement slip away. If Obama set the date, well, I'd be very surprised. Unless that means an Edwards endorsement were to come sometime Monday.

    Either way, I still believe Edwards is holding back until a front-runner is established. I think he very much wants to be VP and doesn't want to burn any bridges.

    But anyway, I see Obama-Edwards as anything but a slam dunk. Especially against McCain, don't you think Obama would do well to pick someone with more experience and credentials than Edwards, himself nearly as green as Obama? How a senior Democrat with strong foreign policy/security bona fides? (I was about to say Wesley Clark, but he's already endorsed Clinton ...)

    February 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. marge

    "Yes! Come on Senator Edwards PLEASE make the right decision and support HIllary. She is the best person for the job and we need you to help put her (us) over the top. She can bring the changes you and so many of us want.
    Hillary 08"

    Keep on dreaming!!!!! Did you watch any of the debates when Edwards was in the race? He would be one of the biggest Hypocrites in history if he endorsed Hillary!
    Manadory contributions to her health care plan is a change Americans can live without!
    Wonder how much these Billary supporters are going to "love" her when she starts going after their wages????

    February 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. aware

    It is too early. John Edwards needs to remain neutral!

    Hillary the Hope of 08 :)

    February 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. Charles

    Finally, United state and its greatness are on the same side again, This is really the beginning of rebuilding the lost wonderful name we once heard.
    Smart Americans are voting for Obama.

    February 10, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. TSR

    Hey Kat i thought Hillary was always over the top to start with. Rewind three months ago and no one gave Obama achance to beat her . How ironic that you are begging the same man to help her that was critizing every thing he stood for in the debates.Americans have great memories

    February 10, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Marc, WSU

    Al Gore is on the boards of Apple, won the Nobel Peace Prize and has his hands full outside of Politics. He's being intelligent by staying out of the political elections.

    February 10, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Rick

    Mr Edwards if tiy are really an agent for change and really want to see your programs evolve into something workable then you need to endorse Mr Obama. His influence with the young is what is going to change America and Washington for the best. If you choose Hillary then you are no better than the rest of the Staus Quo and Washington. Do the RIGHT THING, choose to change the STATUS QUO and vote for Obama..................

    February 10, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Deogwon

    The only reason I could see Edwards either not endorsing Obama or staying neutral is if he wants Clinton to pick him as her running mate because if you look at the issues, Edwards has a lot more in common with Obama than he does with Clinton. Edwards and Obama stand for change. I was a supporter of Edwards in 2004, and I was shocked that voters picked Kerry over him, but I will be even more shocked if Edwards picks Clinton over Obama.

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Maria Dafaxina

    BARACK for me is like coffe and milk, i can not start may day without it! I wil vote Obama for may childrens, for may parentes and for The United States of America!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Clinton is a better candidate than Obama with much experience. I am confused why people don't see this!!
    But then again...alot of people voted for Bush to be back in the office.

    Edwards should not endorse anyone. But if he must....Clinton is the best person for it.

    HILLRY 08!!!

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Sistah

    Hmmm.....Mrs. Edwards and her pals like Obama. As you may forget, when Mr. Edwards was trying to get a word in at the debate, BILLARY was the main one bickering.

    Now her campaign manager is NO MORE – but at least BILL has quieted down and let her fight her own battles (without the crocodile tears).

    By the way, isn't Obama winning Maine today and the everything in the next two weeks? ;)

    He'll get OHIO too! I'm from there and the Plain Dealer is endorsing him as well many others.

    Obama '08 and '12

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. Jordan, New York

    Hillary's a great candidate. She's been a phenomenal senator for the state of New York, and she'll continue to be a phenomenal senator for us. However, It's time that the Democratic Party recognizes the new direction that we're moving. Obama is racking up win after win by ENORMOUS margins (today's Maine caucuses were supposed to be close, they weren't). If we're going to prevent the party from being fractured, we need to start coming together NOW. We need Edwards (and Gore and Bill) to put their weight and credibility behind the more popular candidate. We need to preserve the enthusiasm that Obama has instilled in the party. We can't let it deteriorate with the relentless politicking that's characterized the Clinton campaign thus far.

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Naushad

    I hope Mr.Edward choose the right candidate for Democrats. I like Mr.Obama but I
    believe he needs some maturity both in US and outside of this country. We had one naive G. Bush and look wher it took this country. This country right now does not only need hopes but also needs a leader who is connected with real world outside US. I must admit it is tough to ignore Mr.Obama but this is a crucialmoment for this country and unfortunately Mr.Obama is not ready yet. He is also supported by two proven losers in De.Party named Kerry and Kennedy. It makes me love when Democrats criticizes Bill Clinton.I just want to politely remind the Democrats that Bill Clinton is the only success story Democrats have in last 25 years. I believe Bill is more black than any other black candidates I have ever seen including loser Kerry and Kennedy.

    February 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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