In politics the number of things you can wonder “if only” about are legion in a losing campaign, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign has hundreds of them.I think Trippi's list can be summarized.
If only they had actually contested the caucus states, Hillary Clinton would have been the nominee.
If only they had known the campaign was going to last past February 5th, and planned accordingly, Hillary Clinton would have been the nominee.
If only they hadn’t spent all that money prior to Iowa, Hillary Clinton would have been the nominee.
If only they had figured out just a little earlier that change was more important than experience, Hillary Clinton would have been the Democratic nominee.
If only they had run a more bottom-up campaign that empowered people, Hillary Clinton would have been the nominee.
If only they had let Hillary be authentic, Hillary Clinton would have been the nominee.
And of course, if only Barack Obama had not run for President, Hillary Clinton would be the nominee.
- If Hillary has not voted to let Bush invade Iraq or had adequately dealt with her mistaken vote early in the campaign she might have won.
- If Hillary had campaigned as an agent of change against Bush early on, she might have won. And
- If Obama had not run such a really well-managed campaign, taking every possible advantage and offering few weaknesses, Hillary might have won.
A lot of Hillary's weaknesses came from trying to run on the strengths her husband had displayed in the late 90's together with her early fund raising advantage. But conditions had changed, and Obama was the new kid on the block, aware of the newer conditions early on. He also had to work harder to find Hillary's weaknesses, and he found them when they ran a campaign based on winning states and Obama ran a campaign based on winning delegates.
Trippi is right. John Edwards did not cause Hillary to lose the Democratic nomination. Her own weaknesses as a candidate and Obama's ability to take advantage of those weaknesses allowed Obama to win the nomination.