In a move that I expected would happen sometime after the Florida primary, John Edwards has decided to drop out of the running for the Democratic nomination after finishing 3rd in Florida.
Here’s a copy of his speech, and I’ll include some highlights: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/30/AR2008013002142.html.
Thank you all very much. We’re very proud to be back here [in New Orleans].
I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters.
We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.
It is appropriate that I come here today. It’s time for me to step aside so that history can — so that history can blaze its path.
We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we’ll create hope and opportunity for this country.
Well, in this campaign, we didn’t turn our heads. We looked them square in the eye and we said, “We see you, we hear you, and we are with you. And we will never forget you.”
And I have a feeling that if the leaders…
… if the leaders of our great Democratic Party continue to hear the voices of working people, a proud progressive will occupy the White House.
Now, I’ve spoken to both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. They have both pledged to me and, more importantly, through me to America that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency.
And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as president of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their presidency.
This is the cause of my life. And I now have their commitment to engage in this cause.
Well, I say … all those who are struggling in this country, we will never forget you. We will fight for you. We will stand up for you.
But I want to say this. I want to say this, because it’s important.
With all of the injustice that we’ve seen, I can say this, America’s hour of transformation is upon us.
It may be hard to believe when we have bullets flying in Baghdad. It may be hard to believe when it costs $58 to fill your car up with gas. It may be hard to believe when your school doesn’t have the right books for your kids.
It’s hard to speak out for change when you feel like your voice is not being heard.
But I do hear it. We hear it. This Democratic Party hears you. We hear you once again.
And we will lift you up with our dream of what’s possible: one America — one America that works for everybody; one America where struggling towns and factories come back to life, because we finally transformed our economy by ending our dependence on oil; one America where the men who work the late shift and the women who get up at dawn to drive a two-hour commute and the young person who closes the store to save for college, they will be honored for that work; one America where no child will go to bed hungry, because we will finally end the moral shame of 37 million people living in poverty; one America where every single man, woman and child in this country has health care; one America with one public school system that works for all of our children; one America that finally brings this war in Iraq to an end and brings our servicemembers home with the hero’s welcome that they have earned and that they deserve.
Today, I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. But I want to say this to everyone: with Elizabeth, with my family, with my friends, with all of you and all of your support, this son of a mill worker is going to be just fine. Our job now is to make certain that America will be fine.
And I want to thank every one who has worked so hard, all those who have volunteered, my dedicated campaign staff who’ve worked absolutely tirelessly in this campaign.
And I want to say a personal word to those I’ve seen, literally, in the last few days — those I saw in Oklahoma yesterday, in Missouri, last night in Minnesota, who came to me and said, “Don’t forget us. Speak for us. We need your voice.”
I want you to know that you almost changed my mind.
Because I hear your voice, I feel you, and your cause is our cause.
Your country needs you, every single one of you, all of you who have been involved in this campaign and this movement for change and this cause. We need you. It is in our hour of need that your country needs you.
Don’t turn away, because we have not just the city of New Orleans to rebuild, we have an American house to rebuild.
This work goes on. It goes on right here in Musicians’ Village. There are homes to build here and in neighborhoods all along the Gulf.
The work goes on for the students in crumbling schools just yearning for a chance to get ahead.
It goes on for daycare workers, for steel workers risking their lives in cities all across this country.
And the work goes on for 200,000 men and women who wore the uniform of the United States of America, proud veterans who go to sleep every night under bridges or in shelters or on grates, just as the people we just saw on the way here today.
Their cause is our cause. Their struggle is our struggle. Their dreams are our dreams.
Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what’s possible. Because it’s time for all of us — all of us — together, to make the two Americas one.
Thank you, God bless you, and let’s go to work. Thank you all very much.
And so, Edwards is out, without an endorsement. I think this will help Obama more than Hillary, since most people who so far haven’t supported Hillary have been the “I hate Hillary” Democrats. (That’s too bad for the Republican party).
Of all of the Democrats, Edwards was the most likeable personally, and probably would’ve done the best in the general election, so I never understood why he’s done so bad in the primaries.