Biden, Dodd Drop Out after Iowa

While there will be plenty of speculation today about what last night’s result in Iowa portend for the race, the parties, and the fate of the Republic, one thing is for certain: We won’t have Joe Biden and Chris Dodd to kick around anymore.

Biden, Dodd Drop Out after Iowa Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd abandoned their campaigns. Delaware Sen Joe Biden and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd abandoned their bids for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night.

“I count the past year of campaigning for the presidency as one of the most rewarding in a career of public service. Unfortunately, I am withdrawing from that campaign tonight,” Dodd said in an e-mail message sent to supporters tonight. “But there is no reason to hang our heads this evening — only the opportunity to look towards a continuation of the work we started last January: ending the Iraq War, restoring the Constitution, and putting a Democrat in the White House. … You’ve been an invaluable ally in the battle, and I’ll need you to stick by my side despite tonight’s caucus results.”

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Biden sounded a similar note. In a speech before his supporters — who at one point chanted — “Joe, Joe,” he said: “I ain’t going away, let me make that clear.” He said he had no regrets, and the reason he embarked on the campaign was because he believed in the nation. “There’s no reason not to be happy,” he said. “The promise of this nation is immense.” He said he plans to return to the Senate as head of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — who will finish a distant fourth in Iowa, with roughly 2 percent of the vote — is staying in the race. “We are on the way to New Hampshire tonight. We plan to make this a referendum on the Iraq war. This is far from over,” Press Secretary Tom Reynolds tells CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux. Richardson Communications Director Pahl Shipley confirms the news, adding that “New Hampshire is a new game. Every vote counts.”

Biden is the liberal Democrat that plenty of Republicans would seriously consider voting for. Both he and Dodd are serious men who might make excellent presidents. Neither managed to get anywhere near the first tier, however, and their defeat was inevitable.

Richardson, by contrast, has an impressive resume but seems less presidential with each public appearance. There’s not much reason for him to drop out before New Hampshire — it’s only another four days, after all — but there’s not much hope for him, either.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.