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January 15, 2004
Braun To Quit Race, Endorse Dean

Carol Mosely-Braun, the former ambassador to New Zealand and one-term senator who struggled with ethics issues, will drop out of the Democratic primary race and give her support to Howard Dean:

Braun was to officially endorse the former Vermont governor Thursday afternoon during an appearance at Carroll High School in Carroll, Iowa, said Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi. Dean said Wednesday that he welcomed the endorsement of the former senator from Illinois.

"She's a principled person. We just hit it off. I like her a lot," Dean told reporters at a hotel in Fort Dodge, where he was spending the night after starting a statewide bus tour. "It's going to be a big help to us," he said.

Mosely-Braun's help will be hard to gauge. On one hand, Braun had received endorsements from NOW and the National Women's Political Caucusa and of course could provide more of an entree to the African-American community than, say, Al Gore. It's worth noting that none of the above did much to help Mosely-Braun with financing or professionalism, as her campaign constantly struggled to raise money and is now in debt thanks to a failure to properly register for federal matching funds.

But, as the article notes, she did rush to Dean's defense when Al Sharpton attacked Dean on his race record last week, and having Mosely-Braun as an apologist for Dean's record could shore up what has unquestionably been a weak area. Dean hasn't helped by stumbling through references to Confederate flag bumper-stickers and such, of course, but those sorts of things reflect Dean's political tin ear than policy direction. He could use some help in the South and Midwest, and this can't hurt. But even Dean has made the point that endorsements don't necessarily transfer votes, and Mosely-Braun had precious few to give. This should only minimally impact the primary caucuses on its own.

Look for one or two more minor candidates to bail out in the next week or so. No one wanted to be first, but now that Mosely-Braun has headed for the exit, Kucinich and maybe Sharpton may follow soon.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 15, 2004 5:37 AM

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