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January 30, 2008
Edwards Out: No Endorsement
For most of the last decade, former Senator John Edwards has tried to turn a one term stint as North Carolina senator into a successful run for president.
He made it to the Veep slot on the Democratic ticket in 2004 but that's as far as he got. His "angry populist" shtick played well with a certain segment of the Democratic party - the angry, the envious, and the working class who were fearful of change in the economy and in America.
But it was never enough to get him more than 15-20% of the Democratic vote. And according to sources, he will end his long time bid for the presidency today:
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. Edwards and his "two Americas" rhetoric never caught on because even Democrats rejected his class warfare approach to campaigning. Perhaps it had something to do with his ostentatiously luxurious lifestyle. More likely, Americans usually reject angry candidates, preferring instead those who are optimistic.
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. The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.
Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better- funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis. In a dramatic news conference last March, the couple announced that the breast cancer that she thought she had beaten had returned, but they would continue the campaign.
Their decision sparked a debate about family duty and public service. But Elizabeth Edwards remained a forceful advocate for her husband, and she was often surrounded at campaign events by well-wishers and emotional survivors cheering her on.
The practical effect of Edward's exit is that there is no one left to split the anti-Hillary vote in the remaining Democratic party contests. This should give Obama a boost going into Super Tuesday although he trails badly in so many individual state polls that it is questionable as to whether Edward's retirement will make him much more competitive with Clinton.