It's soon to be official: after his weak showing in Florida, John Edwards is pulling out of the race.
I guess that means I'm an Obama supporter now. Not that I couldn't support Clinton, but I have enough doubt about the people she surrounds herself with and attracts — DLCers for example — that Obama seems a better bet.
I also think Obama will have an advantage in foreign relations, as he'll be perceived as more of a clean slate than someone named Clinton. He's been an opponent of the Iraq war from the start, and still has a better, clearer position than Clinton on ending the war and removing US troops from Iraq (even though Edwards's position was better still). He's better on telecoms issues too.
That said, on domestic issues there's also much to like on paper about the Clinton candidacy as compared to Obama's especially on health care. How much of that would survive contact with lobbyists and Republicans is the question.
Whoever it was who said that Obama is running as (Bill) Clinton and (Sen.) Clinton is running as Gore got it mostly right. I didn't want either as my first choice; even if I get my third choice it is sure to be much better than the remaining alternatives.
And I hope Edwards becomes Attorney General. That would be something.
Like the House, the Senate yesterday also passed a 15-day FISA extension. Bush had said he had to have six years on nuthin' and previously threatened to veto a 30-day extension. But the WashPo says that he'll sign it — I guess that someone over there grasped that unlike three years ago, if you say the sky will fall without the authority the bill gives you and you veto it at the same time, someone might ask an embarrassing question before printing your press release.
I remain very pessimistic about the ability of Senate Democrats to grow spines on this issue, although it is encouraging that weathervane Nelson (D-Fl.) voted for cloture on Monday, and that his DC phone people are saying he'll vote to remove telecom immunity from the bill; this seems something of an about-face from last week's vote to bury the Judiciary Committee version of the bill, but I'll take what I can get.
The bright spot in the story is that prospects on the House side are somewhat better. It helps that key right-wing Democrats are facing some tough primary challenges from progressives. Sometimes, just sometimes, elections help keep people focused on what their constituents want.
Meanwhile, the House passed a 15 day extension of the current (awful) version of FISA. And then it went into recess. Which is actually good, as it puts the Senate GOP on the spot and will probably spike some of their worst parliamentary delay tactics.
A study done by Coral Gables-based Washington Economics Group for the pro-slots organization Yes for a Greater Miami-Dade said more than 6,400 jobs could be created by the machines in their first year of operation. The study projects $26 million in tax revenues will go to the county and the cities of Miami and Miami Gardens in the first year.
I doubt they'll see that kind of money, although I'll not bet against gamblers' addictions, but I know there's no way they'll see a net increase in jobs anywhere near that size (they may displace a few, though).