What Does Edwards Want?

WHAT DOES EDWARDS WANT?….A couple of days ago I was musing about the possibility of John Edwards playing a kingmaker role if neither Obama nor Clinton wins more than 50% of the Democratic delegates. “Maybe that appeals to him,” I said.

Apparently it does. Christopher Cooper interviewed Edwards advisor Joe Trippi in the Wall Street Journal today and came away with this:

“I think 200 delegates on Feb. 6 is our over-under,” Mr. Trippi said. Although he continues to insist that Mr. Edwards has a chance at securing the nomination, Mr. Trippi concedes it is a long shot. More probable: arriving at the convention with enough delegates to tip the scales in favor of either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama. “Edwards is the primary force keeping Clinton under 50%,” Mr. Trippi said. “Worst case? We go to the convention as the peacemaker, kingmaker, whatever you want to call it.”

As Mr. Trippi figures it, if Mr. Edwards gets more than 200 delegates through the Feb. 5 contests — just more than 10% of the total 1,700 delegates at stake that day — he has a long-shot chance of playing kingmaker. If he gets 350, Mr. Trippi said Mr. Edwards is almost assured of playing that role.

….”Every delegate we get over 200 on Feb. 5 is a step toward a scenario that at worst gives us a shot at influencing the final outcome of this race,” Mr. Trippi said.

But if this is a role Edwards wants to play, what does he want from it? As Cooper says, conventional wisdom holds that Edwards isn’t interested in the VP slot, and the best he can come up with as an alternative is that Edwards might “demand the insertion of one or several antipoverty planks in the party’s platform.”

That’s pretty weak tea. If this is really in the back of Edwards’s mind, he must be thinking of something a little more concrete than that. But what?

UPDATE: For the record, I don’t think we’ll have a brokered convention. This is more water cooler conversation than anything else.