The AP is reporting that John Edwards will announce his withdrawal from the Democratic nomination process today at 1pm:
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.
Phew! If Edwards exits stage left, maybe that will stop the slide in that same direction…
Update: CNN has it now, also, and their version includes this:
Edwards has trailed former first lady Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the early primaries, including a third-place finish in Tuesday’s Florida primary, with 14 percent of the votes. He also came in third in key races in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
My emphasis. Anybody care to venture a guess why they said it that way? (duh…) CNN really does deserve all the virtual smacks they’ve been getting.
Update II: From the Politico:
Edwards had run as the most conservative Democrat in the 2004 field but cast himself as the most liberal this time, and his positions helped shape the debate among the better-known candidates, pushing them left on Iraq and forcing them to issue detailed health care plans.
With Edwards out, Obama and Clinton may be a tad less nuanced on the issues. Myself, I’d like to hear a bit more about Iraq now, since I don’t think either of the front-runners really intend to make an immediate exit.
Edwards’ dropping out of the race is an excellent development for the Democrats. Whatever ideological differences exist between Obama and Clinton will be quite obvious from this point forward.