Edwards Endorsement Seems Unlikely

Genuinely torn between candidates, prefers to play party elder role
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 8:06 AM CDT
Democrat John Edwards waves goodbye after announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton should hold their breath for an endorsement from John Edwards, Politico reports. People close to the influential former candidate expect him to parlay neutrality in the primary fight into a "party elder" role like that of Al Gore.  In a Leno appearance Thursday, Edwards spoke highly of both candidates.

Edwards is "genuinely torn," an adviser says, between affinity for Obama's positions on "big change, money and politics" and Clinton's "toughness and experience." Race is also a factor in Edwards' reticence: as a Southern white male, he is especially keen to avoid the impression that he stands against a black candidate.