January 30, 2008

John Edwards is quitting!

Says CNN.

54 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

Good.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Let's celebrate with mani-s and pedi-s and a new 'do!

MadisonMan said...

Elizabeth is letting him do this?

That was mean.

I hope her health has nothing to do with his decision and that she has many years ahead of her.

SteveR said...

I understand, he'll be joining forces will Al Gore to save the world. GCFAGW (Giant Carbon Footprinters Against Global Warming)

Simon said...

Who? Wasn't he some Senator who was in the running for President four years ago?

AllenS said...

Not good for Obama.

rdkraus said...

Whether it's good for Obama depends on where Edwards' votes migrate to.

JDAXC said...

If John Boy pulls out, it's a big plus for Hillary, but be assured that he won't endorse her.

Joan said...

Did the Clintons lean on Edwards to get out, to shore up Hillary's percentage of the white vote?

(Sorry, the conspiritorial spirit wanted to get out for an early morning spin...)

Trevor Jackson said...

Snark away, Simon. His impact on this primary was substantial.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Well, there goes the one true voice for shyster ambulance-chasing lawyers.

Pity.

rhhardin said...

Ann Coulter would make some remark, but she'd have to go to rehab.

peter hoh said...

(Mock outrage on) What about the people who already cast their mail in ballots for an upcoming primary? It's unconstitutional to allow a system that doesn't warn people when they have voted for a candidate who is no longer running. (/Mock outrage off)

Who does this benefit? We'll know in a week. And in this primary season, that's a long time.

Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"Snark away, Simon. His impact on this primary was substantial."

His impact on this primary was non-existent. He was ignored by the frontrunners, marginalized by the voters, and neither of the leading contenders adopted his issues as their own (cf. Obama, who will clearly have had a substantial impact on both party's primaries even though he's not going to be the nominee). At absolute most, you could argue that he affected the race by handing New Hampshire to Clinton, but that's obviously quite shaky, begging the question as it does. If you want to contend otherwise, identify with specificity what his impact was.

hdhouse said...

oh ruth ann that was snarky and uncalled for. painting lawyers with a broad brush on this board is particularly in appropriate.

it is too grey a day here on eastern long island to have it further blackened by ill will.

Simon said...

Addenda: Come to think of it, the only memorable thing that Edwards has done this election season was to make me feel sympathy for Amanda Marcotte.

Trevor Jackson said...

Edwards drove the policy debate to the left. In a Democratic climate that favored liberal policies, Edwards forced Obama and Clinton to respond with universal health care plans, post-secondary ed funding plans, and anti-poverty programs.

Agree with his positions or not, he forced Obama and Clinton both to veer farther left than they might have had to without his presence.

former law student said...

Why now? The primary system enables voters to pick the candidate who most reflects their views. What's the point of a primary system when most candidates drop out before the bulk of the country can vote?

Middle Class Guy said...

John Edwards will back and stump for Obama. There is still considerable ill will against the Clintons for their perceived sabotage of the Gore Edwards campaign. This is the reason that the speculation is high that Al Gore will back Obama. Love them or hate them, they are great advocates and have large followings- not enough to get elected but enough to sway an election.

Eli Blake said...

You are wrong in your assumption that Edwards leaving will necessarily help Hillary.

Granted, I can see that most of those 'off the cuff analyses' come from Republicans, where racial politics may still hold sway. Probably the reason why right now there are no elected black Republicans in Congress right now.

But as a Democrat, I know that after my candidate (Richardson) dropped out, I gravitated towards Obama but was still considering Edwards.

In none of those considerations did race or gender hold any sway.

What mattered is that I support candidates who think like I do about the war, economics, health care, etc. I don't support Clinton in the primary frankly because of the long list of votes where she lined up firmly with President Bush and his right-wing agenda: NCLB, the Iraq war, Patriot I and Patriot II, the bankruptcy bill, the Iran vote earlier this year. And to top it off, she never apologized or admitted making a mistake on any of those votes (as Edwards did, in regard to the Iraq war vote.)

I don't think I'm that different from most Democrats (certainly than most Democrats outside of the south) in that race is the least important quality about a candidate that I consider. And as far as issues are concerned, I believe that Edwards is much closer to Obama than to Clinton. There is a reason why Joe Lieberman ran so poorly a few years ago, and I think Hillary assumed she'd just get the nomination and in so doing forgot exactly which party she was running for the nomination of.

Also, there are some Democrats who frankly are fed up with the Clintons from before (remember that Bill was not exactly a liberal President either, pushing things like the so-called anti-terror act of 1995 (after the OKC bombing), so-called welfare reform, NAFTA and the Kosovo war, in addition to his uncanny ability to look anyone right in the eye and lie in order to get what he wanted. So they are likely to gravitate towards whichever candidate is 'not Clinton.' They'd been split among a number of candidates earlier in the game but now there is exactly one choice they can all vote for. As I said, I vote on issues so I'm not one of this group of Democrats (if Hillary had been much more of a liberal I'd be supporting her) but I know several who are, even a couple who would vote for a Republican before they'd vote for anybody named Clinton again.

So I actually think that Edwards' withdrawal helps Obama.

rhhardin said...

Imus hears the news at 9:10am.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

HdHouse: I apologize to you.

hdhouse said...

ruth anne...no need. i shouldn't have jumped ugly and that was my fault.

actually i like edwards and think his wife is a prize. wish she would run actually.

there is a good deal of commitment between them, both to each other and to others generally, and that is as good as it is rare.

Doyle said...

Well, there goes the one true voice for shyster ambulance-chasing lawyers.

Give me a break.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Russ Feingold did a fine job of summng up John Edwards a few weeks ago.

Simon said...

Trevor:
"Agree with his positions or not, he forced Obama and Clinton both to veer farther left than they might have had to without his presence."

Total rot. There's not a shred of evidence for the proposition that Edwards pushed Obama (and thus Hillary) any "farther left than they might" otherwise have sited themselves. The person who has most driven the conversation on the left, much as it pains me to say it, is Obama with his empty rhetoric about "change," not Edwards with his somewhat less empty but basically hypocritical rhetoric about poverty.

AllenS said...

Didn't Hillary and Edwards have a meeting after the last debate was over?

PatCA said...

He got tired of the Real America and is going back to the Other America--the one with his ginormous luxury estate.

Trevor Jackson said...

"the person who has most driven the conversation on the left, much as it pains me to say it, is Obama"

You heard what you wanted to hear, Simon. Take it from someone who was listening and with an actual stake in the Democratic primary. Edwards was a game-changer. Was it Obama who could point Clinton out as the corporate candidate? Was it Obama who could highlight the difference between a publicly financed campaign and one bought and paid for with Big Pharma dollars?

You call him a hypocrite, but Edwards was the only frontrunner with the courage of his convictions.

Paddy O. said...

"Edwards was the only frontrunner with the courage of his convictions."

Yes, which is "Make more money!"

Which is similar to Huckabee's "convictions".

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

"Edwards was the only frontrunner with the courage of his convictions."

I think the more accurate statement might be that John Edwards was the only frontrunner with the courage of Russ Feingold's convictions. As Feingold pointed out, while in the Senate, Edwards voted the opposite way on almost every major issue he was running on in 2008.

ZPS said...

Edwards was a fine, upstanding candidate who actually believed in what he was talking about. He is right to consider ending poverty the moral issue of our time, and right to consider it the most important. After all, poverty is at the root of so many of our national crises.

People can marginalize him because of his personal wealth, his home, his haircuts, but it will never take away from the work he has done and will continue to do for the lower class. He walks the walk and talks the talk...so what if he lives in a mansion.

I guess anyone who's rich isn't allowed to care about the poor? Ridiculous.

And Edwards dropping out will help Obama, not Hillary...because...I'm switching my vote to Obama.

If Hillary wins the nomination, I'm not voting in November.

nansealinks said...

Please vote none of the above. Just appoint a president by the most loved state govenor gets to be the cream at the top in a real nicely tailored suit.

Reaarange the legislative branch stronger with a chancellor.

The head of the supreme court gets to give the state of the nation address and scold both sides.

Everyone most wear a unisex leotard.

That's what I am voting for but it is not on the ballot

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

ZPS, as poverty generally gets defined as the bottom 10-20% of wage earners, eliminating poverty in anyone's time is highly unlikely, unless we eliminate almost all differences in wages. See China: People's Republic of, 1949-1978 to find out just how well that worked out.

Elliott A said...

Edwards was a fine upstanding gentleman who singlehandedly drove most of the OB-GYNs out of North Carolina leaving a woeful shortage. That really helps the underclasses who cannot afford to seek out Physicians. Also forgotten is how he managed to structure his salary and distributions as a Subchapter S so that ninety percent of his income was not eligible for Medicare taxes. This had come out in 2004, and did not resurface since there is no need when the candidate is not in contention. If the purpose of his life is to help those unfortunates among us, he better get started because so far it hasn't happened.

AJ Lynch said...

Ruth Ann:

I am enjoying your comments. Please do more commenting more often.

There used to be a retort you used when a friend told you he was going on vacation. The retort was "how can I tell?". Well that is my response to Edwards getting out of the race...How Can I tell? John Edwards has not been an impact player so he did not get much notice.

Bruce Hayden said...

Edwards was a fine, upstanding candidate who actually believed in what he was talking about. He is right to consider ending poverty the moral issue of our time, and right to consider it the most important. After all, poverty is at the root of so many of our national crises.

Sorry to be a bit snarky, but the best thing that he could do for poverty would be to off himself and give away most of his money to charity to help the poor. Turning his farm into a trailer park would be helpful too, and they could run a soup kitchen out of his mansion.

It isn't just the hypocrisy, of being rich and taking advantage of every tax loophole available to minimize what he ends up paying for his largess as a Senator, and to maintain his wealth, but also that most, if not all, of his proposals to end poverty would just entrench it more.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't think I'm that different from most Democrats (certainly than most Democrats outside of the south) in that race is the least important quality about a candidate that I consider.

So what your saying is that unlike Republicans where racial politics still holds sway, Democrats other than those ones south of the Mason Dixon have no problems with race.

Eli, I think you need to come to grips with the fact that conservatives value success and personal achievement over the It Takes a Village mentality. Why do you think conservatives applaud people like Bill Cosby who demand personal responsibility and excellence? Just like Democrats, Republicans are driven more by issues rather than race.

ron st.amant said...

FWIW, I heard Newsweek's Howard Fineman on the radio this morning. He said Edwards has been on the phone with the Obama campaign for a few weeks now. He also cites high-ranking Edwards people as saying he'll never endorse Clinton.

Ralph said...

I would have thought Edwards quitting would concentrate the anti-Hillary vote in Obama, but two Democrats I know won't vote for him (or a Republican), period.

It's been fun watching him use the Clintons' "change" mantra of 1992 against them. He should have pushed "middle class tax cut" harder, earlier.

Pogo said...

Edwards was running for President?!?!

Ruth Anne's mani-s and pedi-s and a new 'do!
is da bomb! The follow-up was even funnier.

If only this were Brandeis University, then hdhouse could write her up. One class that needs some protection from all the unfairness in their lives is surely the lawyers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If only this were Brandeis University, then hdhouse could write her up.

Or simply send her to Brandies for 're-education'.

EnigmatiCore said...

"His impact on this primary was substantial."

If by substantial you mean that he never threatened to be a top contender, did not change the positions or tactics of the frontrunners, and merely attracted the votes of a middling percentage of voters whose second preference is not easy to discern (and might be evenly split between the frontrunners), then sure.

But if you mean a definition of substantial that is similar to what most other people would use, then hardly.

He was a lightweight running on a tired and uninspired wave of faux populism taking positions completely at odds with the votes he took in his very limited government experience. His efforts were vacuous and cynical and disingenuous in a mixture that was almost breathtaking.

Trevor Jackson said...

To avoid repeating myself, Enigmaticore, I'll just ask you to read someone else who agrees with me that Edwards pulled Obama and Clinton to the left, particularly on health care and the environment.

That not enough?

Here's one more. From last September.

Pogo said...

How does one pull to the left when one is already on the left?

What can be said?
I'll give you more stuff from the treasury than the other guy will?
Seriously, is that it?

Middle Class Guy said...

zps said:
If Hillary wins the nomination, I'm not voting in November.



Then you have no right to complain about who gets elected!!!!!!!!!

EnigmatiCore said...

Well, Trevor, if you insist. From where I sit, neither Hillary nor Obama seems any different to me in what they are espousing than they did when the campaign started.

But if you insist that they have moved hard left because of Edwards, maybe I have to change my perspectives on Obama and Hillary to be less favorable.

Trevor Jackson said...

You mean you're going to vote for them even less than you were before?

I'm sure your non-support for their candidacies will be even more not missed.

Smilin' Jack said...

...it will never take away from the work he has done and will continue to do for the lower class.

Yeah, we'll see how much Edwards does for the lower class, now that he'll be doing it with his own money instead of ours. That feckless fop actually makes George Bush seem presidential by comparison.

If Hillary wins the nomination, I'm not voting in November.

Then you have no right to complain about who gets elected!!!!!!!!!


I think it's just the opposite. If you participate in the process, you agree to accept the outcome. Only those who refuse to be accomplices in the process have standing to complain about it.

Eli Blake said...

Hoosier Daddy:

Tell it to the previous commenters, who seemed to imply otherwise. (i.e. allens at 8:55, jdaxc at 9:01 and Joan at 9:04.) That is what I was responding to, and it is pretty clear what they are all thinking.

AllenS said...

Eli Blake said...
"allens at 8:55, jdaxc at 9:01 and Joan at 9:04.) That is what I was responding to, and it is pretty clear what they are all thinking."

Tell me what I was thinking. Are you a mind reader?

EnigmatiCore said...

"You mean you're going to vote for them even less than you were before?"

Do you want me to?

I haven't decided who I am going to vote for.

Of the remaining candidates, I am pretty open, but not enthusiastic, to McCain and Obama. I am less so towards Hillary and Romney. I was antagonistic towards Edwards and Huckabee (one down, one to go!).

I'll vote McCain if he's against Hillary. I'll vote Obama if he's against Romney. I'll vote Obama or Hillary against Huckabee. I would have voted for Romney or McCain over Edwards.

I wanted Rudy, but that wasn't meant to be. So now I have to go to plan B.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Tell it to the previous commenters, who seemed to imply otherwise. (i.e. allens at 8:55, jdaxc at 9:01 and Joan at 9:04.) That is what I was responding to, and it is pretty clear what they are all thinking.

Well Joan is the only one I saw who brought up the race issue and it was hardly implying anything.

If Democrats don't vote on race, do you think that Obama picking up 90% of the Dem black vote in SC and 75% of the Dem white vote split between Hillary and Breck girl is just a funky coincidence?

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

If Democrats don't vote on race, do you think that Obama picking up 90% of the Dem black vote in SC and 75% of the Dem white vote split between Hillary and Breck girl is just a funky coincidence?

No doubt, as is the fact Clinton's lead among Hispanic CA Democrats exceeds Obama's lead among black CA Democrats by 10 points. And its only by chance that her lead among Asian American Democrats in California is about 10 points better than her lead among non-Hispanic whites. Pure coincidence. All of this means nothing. Nothing at all. Within the Democratic Party, racial politics is a thing of the distant past (unless you want to blame some southern state for something, then it isn't).

If Obama doesn't get the nomination, and that looks pretty likely to be the case at this point, it won't be because the conservatives and independents rejected him. They didn't have a chance. The average Democrat did it first.