That’s what Garance Franke-Ruta is arguing today at Tapped. I’m just going to post the whole thing:
Wonkette 2.0 Alex Pareene joked on Tuesday that John Edwards‘s new hire and potential presidential campaign manager David Bonior will be “key in the important race to determine which white dude will win the support of the powerful ‘wonâ€™t vote for a negro or a lady’ bloc.” He was being snarky, and using that as cover to get at this obvious but somewhat politically awkward-to-mention probability: If Barack Obama really does run for president, the race for the Democratic nomination in ’08 moves from being about Hillary Clinton and the TBA anti-Hillary into a three-way contest between Hillary, Obama, and whoever is able to beat out the rest of the contenders for the role of credible white man. That’s the spot Evan Bayh, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Tom Vilsack, and possibly Wesley Clark will all be vying for, hoping to make the campaign a three-way contest where the more centrist first-ever candidates (Clinton and Obama) wind up somehow either destroying or cancelling each other out. Which means that the person who winds up being most hurt by Obama’s entry into the race isn’t Hillary — it’s poor New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
(Unless, of course, Obama helps Richardson by knocking off Edwards in South Carolina, leaving him to pick up union and Hispanic votes in Nevada, but that’s way too many chess moves in the future to start thinking about.)