NOW, Forbes and Jesse Pick Horses

There were a number of big endorsements yesterday. Jesse Jackson is voting for Obama because he'll work to form a more perfect union. NOW likes Hillary because she's a 'feminist'. And Steve Forbes backs Rudy because he, too, is a supply-sider. (Additionally, John Edwards seeks to build on his '04 support from labor unions.)

While I'm not sure these endorsements will in anyway prove decisive, they're interesting in two ways:

1) Define the Candidates - Politicians get their early support from the people and groups they best relate to--and/or they are most eager to represent. Obama needs a solid African American vote if he's to beat Hillary. Hillary needs the women's vote is she's to prevail against her male opponents. CEO Rudy wants to be the business vote. And trail lawyer Edwards seeks to be Big Labor's boy.

2) Horsey Rides - The early endorsers are looking to trade of the value of early support for big time access later. It's a big risk because their favored horse may pull up lame. However, the gamble can make all difference in who gets contracts, whose ideas become policy and who gets to make important decisions.

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