As Dave pointed out earlier, Barack Obama wasn’t ready to take any lecturing from newly minted anti-war candidate John Edwards last night. From the NYT transcript:

SEN OBAMA: I opposed this war from the start. So you are about four and a half years late on leadership on this issue.

But Barack didn’t take the bait when Wolf Blitzer gave him the chance to bash Edwards and Clinton even further:

MR. BLITZER: Senator Obama, you didn’t think the war was the right thing to do, even though you weren’t in the U.S. Senate, you didn’t have access to any intelligence information at the time. Do you think someone who authorized the use of force to go to war in Iraq should be president of the United States?

SEN. OBAMA: I don’t think it’s a disqualifier. I think that people were making their best judgments at the time.

Obama’s pass is interesting, given the fact that a major rationale for his candidacy is his long-time opposition to the war, as opposed to Edwards’ about-face and Clinton’s attempts to dodge the issue. Clearly Obama believes his anti-war stance is a reason he should be president and Clinton and Edwards should not. So why refuse to say this?

Of all the candidates, Obama has the most fervent supporters, and the least experience, which makes him the ideal candidate for Vice President. If he doesn’t win the nomination, there will be a huge amount of pressure on whoever is the nominee to select him as their running mate, much like John Kerry was goaded into picking Edwards in ’04. And if Clinton or Edwards is the nominee when veepstakes time comes around, it wouldn’t help to have a YouTube clip of Obama saying they aren’t qualified to be president.