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Thursday, December 13, 2007 

Catching Hillary

The news is out today that Rep. Betty McCollum has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential race. This adds to the significant split of public figures in Minnesota who have endorsed the candidates:
Congressman Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak are also backing Obama. Former Vice President Walter Mondale, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Kelliher are backing New York Senator Hillary Clinton. DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar and Minnesota House Majority Leader Tony Sertich are backing former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. (h/t Polinaut)
It might be a little surprising that McCollum decided against endorsing Sen. Clinton, as McCollum is only the second woman elected to Congress from Minnesota, though of course there are lots of women, as well as female elected officials, supporting Obama.

My view is that relatively high-profile endorsements like McCollum's can significantly damage Sen. Clinton's campaign. One of Clinton's greatest assets so far has been her aura of "inevitability", and when coveted endorsements, especially from women, go elsewhere, it chips away at that. Even though most Iowans may not care what Minnesota elected officials think about the race, things like this add up, especially when influencing the media narratives.

UPDATE: This Kos post is kinda-sorta talking about the same thing.

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