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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards to Quit Presidential Race

DENVER (AP) - 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.


Blogger Strother said...

In an earlier post (on McCain's win in Florida), Steve made this comment:

Statistically, Hillary and Obama are in a dead heat. That's why all this speculation about Edwards as king-maker is making the rounds. As long as he holds out financially, he can hang in there until the convention and take the sweetest offer.

Well, he doesn't have to hold out financially now. As such, an Edwards endorsement of Obama is inevitable, which will be good for Obama. An Edwards endorsement of Hillary would ultimately be damaging to Democrats in November, so he won't do that.

Unless the Republicans unleash the most powerful offensive that we've ever seen, McCain will lose (surprisingly bad) to Obama in November. I thought that Obama should choose Bill Richardson as his running mate, but at this point I think he could choose basically anybody and still make it work.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Nature Boy said...

Why do you think Obama will win big over McCain in the fall? What states do you see Obama switching from the GOP column? Obama's only won the Iowa Caucus and the S.C primary. Looking at the states that will vote next Tuesday, the money odds are still with Hillary.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim Geraghty said...

From National Review Online:

We awake to the news that John Edwards is departing the presidential race. A couple of quick reactions.

1) Tomorrow night’s one-on-one debate between Hillary and Obama is the Super Bowl for Democrats. This is actually probably a bit more pressure on Obama. You know Hillary’s going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at him, and the Illinois Senator won’t be able to get any support from Edwards.

2) Once again, the idiosyncrasy of Iowa is revealed. Edwards virtually moved there, got second place, and hasn’t really been close to second anywhere ever since.

3) I have a theory that the more comfortable the living position of a lefty columnist is, the more they like politicians who denounce the rich. We periodically heard about how John Edwards was “tapping into something” on the campaign trail.

Edwards reminded us of the little girl with no coat a million times, he referred to his father working in a mill the way some people use commas, and he ran the most explicitly populist campaign in a generation, in an era of an unpopular war, great economic change from globalization, a subprime mortgage crisis, and just as the race was heating up, signs that we’re heading into a recession… and he finished with no wins, one second place finish, a smattering of delegates (26 according to CNN), scraping by 17 percent here, 18 percent there.

Populism may sell in Iowa, but it just doesn’t sell very well everywhere else.

4) As much as we may grind our teeth in response to Edwards’ economic snake oil, and mock other characteristics (the YouTube hair fussiness, the giant house, the work for a hedge fund to “learn about poverty”, the exorbitant speaking fees, the $400 haircut)… he’s a man with a family, who soldiered on into an exhausting effort, at the urging of his wife who’s taking on cancer that may end her life. Elizabeth’s cancer didn’t turn into a political prop, and there was something inspiring in the way that this couple treated the worst possible news one could imagine as a minor impediment to what they saw as the mission of their lives. Some of us are left wondering if we would be able to fight on the way they did if tragedy struck our lives in the same way.

Keep this man far away from elected office – and keep an eye on the rumor that Obama would make him Attorney General – but wish him and his family well as they continue on life’s path ahead.

5) Finally, a moment of snark: I guess the Politico’s reporting about his departure from the race wasn’t wrong, just way, way, way ahead of the curve.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An Edwards endorsement of Hillary would ultimately be damaging to Democrats in November, so he won't do that.

That would assume that Edwards has A) a conscience and B) a sense of ethics. The evidence weighs heavily against either of those being true. Edwards will go as Edwards has always gone: to the highest bidder. Hillary and Obama would both be smart to offer him AG, but Hillary could sweeten the offer by promising not to make him into a speed bump. Neither of them could afford to offer him VP, since it would pull the ticket too far to the left.

It would be darkly humorous to see a McCain/Clinton match-up this Fall. However, I wouldn't look forward to the complete vomit-fest of all the party droids explaining to us how one is different from the other. Intelligent people everywhere would have one of the clearest examples ever of the fact that we live under a one-party system. What they would choose to do with that example is another story entirely.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Nature Boy said...

I know a lot of people, myself included, who suffer from Clinton Fatigue. That will tip the scales for a lot of people in November.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:27:00 PM  
Blogger Strother said...

I know a lot of people, myself included, who suffer from Clinton Fatigue. That will tip the scales for a lot of people in November.

The scales won't be measuring a Clinton in November, Andy, so no worries there.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Andy W. Rogers said...

If you say so... :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:39:00 PM  

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