05/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Joe Trippi: I Should Have Told Edwards To Stay In Race

Joe Trippi writes about what he wishes he would have told John Edwards:

I didn't tell him what I should have told him: That I had this feeling that if he stayed in the race he would win 300 or so delegates by Super Tuesday and have maybe a one-in-five chance of forcing a brokered convention.That there was a path ahead that would be extremely painful, but could very well put him and his causes at the top of the Democratic agenda. And that in politics anything can happen-even the possibility that in an open convention with multiple ballots an embattled and exhausted party would turn to him as their nominee. I should have closed my eyes to the pain I saw around me on the campaign bus, including my own. I should have told him emphatically that he should stay in. My regret that I did not do so-that I let John Edwards down-grows with every day that the fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues. ...

I thought we could make a big dent in Ohio by appealing to middle-class working people. The same in places like Kansas, Colorado and the Dakotas. It was possible to make those a dead-heat for all three candidates in terms of delegate wins. And today, as I write this, I realize we might have had as many as 500 delegates heading into Pennsylvania and North Carolina, two states that would probably be strong for Edwards.

That would mean Edwards, Obama and Clinton would go into the convention without any of them close to sealing the nomination. You would have had months of Obama and Clinton banging away at each other, with Edwards able to come across to weary Democrats as a welcome, fresh face.? You'd have the electability argument begin to play to Edwards' advantage, since he always did well against McCain in polling. These possibilities and more played through my mind.