ThinkProgress is reporting that John Edwards is dropping out of the race. I will update this with more information as it becomes available.
The AP reports:
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.
Apparently, he doesn’t plan to immediately endorse anyone. But, I would think that if he does endorse anyone it would be Barack. Of course, if he’s the VP, then of course he’ll endorse Barack. We’ll see.
Edwards planned to announce his campaign was ending with his wife and three children at his side. Then he planned to work with Habitat for Humanity at the volunteer-fueled rebuilding project Musicians’ Village, the adviser said.
With that, Edwards’ campaign will end the way it began 13 months ago – with the candidate pitching in to rebuild lives in a city still ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Edwards embraced New Orleans as a glaring symbol of what he described as a Washington that didn’t hear the cries of the downtrodden.
I’ve been trying to find out for a while…does Edwards have control of what happens with his delegates now? I’m assuming he still gets to “accept or decline” the delegates, to get people who will vote however he wants, but what are the rules? Anyone know?
Ok, this isn’t really an update, and it’s not really true, but it’s definitely amusing (if you get and like LOLCats humor):
Here is Barack Obama’s statement on John Edwards:
John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling, even when it wasn’t popular to do or covered in the news. At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus again on who matters – the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in Washington. John and Elizabeth Edwards have always believed deeply that we can change this – that two Americans can become one, and that our country can rally around this common purpose. So while his campaign may end today, the cause of their lives endures for all of us who still believe that we can achieve that dream of one America.
Anyone know where I can find Hillary’s statement? I heard there is one, but I didn’t find it on her blog or newsroom.
[Update 4] The 2008 Democratic Convention Watch site has some answers on what happens to Edwards’ delegates. I don’t consider it an authoritative source, and it doesn’t have any citations, but I’ll accept this as the most likely answers, until I get citations or authoritative sources.
According to them, the 12 delegates from New Hampshire and South Carolina will attend the August convention as “uncommitted”. His Iowa delegates will be replaced with Clinton or Obama delegates, depending on how the state level delegates decide to vote.
[Update 5] This is probably my last update for this post. Here is video of Edwards’ speech.