John Edwards Quitting Presidential Race

John Edwards has been out of the presidential contest for weeks but he’s now about to make it official.

John Edwards Quitting Presidential Race Democratic presidential hopeful, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., waves to supporters at a campaign rally Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, in Columbia, S.C. Edwards came in third in the South Carolina Democratic primary. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain) 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 voters’ 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.

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.

I haven’t seen polling crosstabs and am not really sure who this helps. My gut tells me that Edwards and Obama are both anti-Hillary candidates and that this should marginally help Obama. The alternative thesis, though, is that Edwards and Obama are the populist change-hope candidates while Hillary is the Establishment candidate, in which case this helps Clinton. [No, that would help Obama, too, wouldn’t it? Alex Knapp argues that Edwards is actually drawing mostly from Clinton, intuition notwithstanding.]

Either way, I continue to believe that Clinton surges to a commanding lead next Tuesday.

via Hot Air

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, General, , , ,
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.

Comments

  1. The alternative thesis, though, is that Edwards and Obama are the populist change-hope candidates while Hillary is the Establishment candidate, in which case this helps Clinton.

    Why wouldn’t that help Obama as well? Surely if Edwards voters are for hope/change and Obama is the only hope/change candidate left standing, wouldn’t those voters go to Obama?

    Really, I am not sure how Edwards’ exist helps Hillary at all. However, I haven’t looked at the numbers as yet either.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m with Steven, it makes no sense that both of them being for hope/change would benefit Hillary. She and Edwards would have to have something in common for his supporters to support her. Other than skin tone, I don’t know what that would be.

  3. mike says:

    This is really upsetting; I won’t be able to hear about helping the poor from a guy with $800 haircuts and a 25,000 square foot house in Chapel Hill. What a hypocrite. I am still embarassed that my state elected him to the Senate one time.

  4. Michael says:

    This is really upsetting; I won’t be able to hear about helping the poor from a guy with $800 haircuts and a 25,000 square foot house in Chapel Hill. What a hypocrite.

    How exactly does that make him a hypocrite?

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    As we’ve discussed before, James, I’m inclined to agree with you.

    I think it’s interesting that Edwards, who to my mind is more in touch with the views and temper of Democratic activists than either Clinton or Obama, failed to get more traction than he did.

    His exiting the race makes the likelihood of the Democratic convention being brokered (which I always thought was remote) even less likely.

  6. FireWolf says:

    His exiting the race makes the likelihood of the Democratic convention being brokered (which I always thought was remote) even less likely.

    Dave, I know you didn’t think a brokered convention was likely, but I find it fascinating that at the begining of the Primary run, everyone was a-buzz with talks over a Dem or GOP brokered convention, not one arguement I heard about that issue stated that having a brokered convention means your party loses.

    Period.

    If you can’t get it together before-during a primary race, what makes you think you will have enough time during a brokered convention to coalesce with a winning election.

    I never got that mentality.

    As far as John Edwards dropping out, I’m just sad I won’t be writing any “Breck-Girl” stories. (Not that I wrote much about him anyway)

  7. mike says:

    Michael:
    hypocrite: a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

    Just another Lear Jet liberal whose actions speak louder than words.

  8. Pug says:

    So, MIke, I guess his attitude should be, “Hey, I got mine. Screw the rest of you”?

  9. Tano says:

    yeah, apparantly if one is successful, but not a republican (I got mine, screw you), then one must be a hypocrite.

    This line of argumentation is a good exposition of the narrow vision of those on the right.

    Here is a hint. John Edwards had never claimed that poverty is a good or desirable thing, that should be inflicted upon all Americans. If that had been his position, then his big house and fancy haircuts would be examples of hypocrisy.

    He recognizes that his hard work coupled with his natural gifts, has brought him success. He wishes that path to be open to others. Why should that require him to wear sackcloth?

  10. Michael says:

    Mike,
    That would only make him a hypocrite if he said rich people shouldn’t be rich. He’s been pretty consistent in says that poor people shouldn’t be poor. Now the fact that he recognizes that you can’t make poor people rich by making rich people poor should make him more appealing to fiscal conservatives.