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Edwards Dropping Out of the Race

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Breaking: The Associated Press is reporting that John Edwards is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President.

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voter's sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning -- Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

I'll update this development with more news and my thoughts on what this means in the race as soon as I have time, but initially my reaction is that this is good news for Democrats in that it will allow voters to focus on the two most-likely candidates, and will let us see a truer depiction of which of those two holds the most sway among Democrats, and represents the ideals we want to carry forth and represent us in November's general election.

His endorsement will carry votes, and delegates, so that will be a closely-watched aspect of his withdrawal.

Update: An article on Edwards's withdrawal in the New York Times reports that Clinton has been reaching out to Edwards quite a bit recently.

Since the New Hampshire primary, Mrs. Clinton has reached out to Mr. Edwards aggressively, through telephone calls and private meetings. Mr. Obama has spent far less time courting Mr. Edwards, according to people familiar with the talks.

Update II: Hillary Clinton comments on Edwards withdrawal in a live interview this morning with KCRA-TV, Sacramento, California..


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Comments (7)

Jack:

Did you know Hillary and Obama are both on the "Top Ten Most Corrupt Politicians"? These are the ideals you want the country to embrace, eh? (and neither of the Rep. frontrunners are on that list, btw.)

Lee Ward:

That would be the list the GOP publishes, right?

Come on, if you're going to drop items like this at least show us a link so we know which list you're talking about, Jack. I'll just assume you made this up until you actually show us "the list".

Steve Crickmore:

The big question of course is where will the Edward's vote go? National polls don't seem to ask this question, but exit polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show a majority of Edwards voters going to Obama as their second choice. In the South, undoubtedly this trend would be reversed, but over all across the country this should reflect a slight edge to Obama.

Lee Ward:

Checking the race, age and gender of the Edwards voters in the primaries might give some clue to this.

I'd expect most of the women and Hispanic Edwards supporters would break toward Clinton, and the black and younger voters would skew towards Edwards,

but there are a couple of wild cards.

If Edwards gets attached as VP candidate to either Obama or Clinton, then his endorsement and suporters would move to that candidate (for the most part). True also, but to a lesser extent, if he just endorses one of them.

I strongly suspect he'll endorse someone before Feb 5 - he'll want to give his supporters some direction before Super Tuesday.

Steve Crickmore:

You would think so, to endorse a candidate before February 5th might have a major impact on the race, but this just in...

He does not plan to endorse any presidential candidate in the near future, advisers said. Advisers say he worries that Obama isn't ready to be president and that Hillary Clinton represents too much the old way of doing business... and both concerns weigh heavily.

For all his talk about being for change and committing the other candidates to talk about poverty, Edwards maybe first looking after number one, and committing only to a candidate when they have the nomination in the bag. In that way he is like most politicians..no change there.

mantis:

I strongly suspect he'll endorse someone before Feb 5 - he'll want to give his supporters some direction before Super Tuesday.

I'm guessing the opposite. He will wait to see which way the wind is blowing after 2/5, or even longer. The man has no principles and is already planning his next presidential run, and will give his endorsement in whatever way he believes is most advantageous to himself (whether that means securing a VP spot, or endorsing whomever he thinks will lose if he's going for 2012).

Lee Ward:

I wouldn't be surprised if the deal was already cut, and Edwards is just waiting for the right time to announced his endorsement - like a day or two before 2/5. It has more impact that way.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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