Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet: John Edwards dropping out. Who does that help? Caroline Kennedy with Obama in Denver, Arizona. UPDATE with Obama statement.


WASHINGTON--John Edwards is dropping his presidential bid, deciding he had little chance of being resurrected on Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday" votes. Meanwhile, Caroline Kennedy, who already cut a commerical spot for Barack Obama is traveling with him on Wednesday to rallies in Denver and Arizona.

Who does this help? Edwards departure cuts both ways for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Here's why.

1. Think of the upcoming elections as not one race, but on Feb. 5, 22 separate primary and caucus votes. Each with unique rules and political dynamics. In Illinois, for example, Edwards never mounted any real effort to pick up delegates, while Clinton is not conceeding the home turf to Obama. That's why Bill Clinton is in Edwardsville, Ill. today.

2. Edwards' departure frees up a lot of labor support. It's not a given that union backing can be moved en mass to either Obama or Clinton.

3. Edwards won a chunk of the white vote in South Carolina. In the southern states--if there is voting along racial lines--Edwards departure may help Clinton.

4. On the money front, Obama and Clinton have already been wooing Edwards big donors in anticipation of the day he would drop out. That money will not walk in unity.

5. Voters for whom Edwards message of hope and change is meaningful--overshadowed by Obama's more forceful embrace of the same message--would seem to gravitate to Obama.

6. Will Edwards endorse? It's hard to see how he could be for Clinton, given his Washigton and lobbyist bashing. Being neutral will be helpful to Clinton.



CHICAGO, IL - Senator Barack Obama released the following statement regarding 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,” said Barack Obama.


Well, big media did it. You killed the Edwards campaign by not mentioning it. Hope you're proud.

I totally disagree that the "media" killed Edwards. The only thing that killed Edwards was Edwards. His message just did not resonate. I remember watching Kerry on television. There were about 4 of us in the room Pretty soon, we started discussing other things. Then, one of those ( the wise Patriarch of the family) pointed out that here we were, just ignoring a potential future President. Well, the truth was that the messenger was boring and uninspiring...the media had nothing to do with it. And we all know what happened later.

I'm really sad that Senator Edwards pulled out -- but I will now back Senator Obama 100%.

If you look at the polls rolling out across MSNBC, CNN, several newspapers and Democratic sites such as Daily Kos (etc) right now, you can see that an overwhelming amount of voters now turning towards Senator Obama.

Obama, go for it - we're behind you now!

Sorry to see him go but I can't say I didn't see this happening. And I don't blame "big media" either for not covering him. He chose to go after Clinton since Iowa and helped the big media create the soap opera of Clinton v. Obama. He was fighting Clinton when Obama was linking him to lost jobs and slamming him on the 527s in Iowa.

If he hadn't been so afraid of Obama, helped the media and had gone after Obama like he did during the SC debate you'd probably be writing of Obama dropping out of the race today.

I think Edwards took voters away from Clinton, with him gone alot of them will want to back Clinton. Obama is still under scrutiny for the dealings with Rezko.

What took so long? Jeez, nearly everyone across America recognizes Edwards for the ambulance chaser and opportunist he is. I’m all for helping out those in need but come on John, stop bringing us down with your depressing speeches. Your, oh whoa is me may work in a courtroom, but certainly not on the airwaves. BTW, didn’t you say you are in this to the end? I’m sure now you’ll donate all of your campaign contributions and remaining personal fortune to help your fellow Americans. See ya in court.

During the campaign, I learned that Edwards and Obama are more concerned about the direction of the country then winning at any/all cost. I'm thankful he ran and hope he becomes the next Attorney General, because I don't think anyone could do a better job.

I'm sure most Edwards supporters and informed voters would like to see this senerio also.

If the Hispanic/African American gap is real (I doubt it) then Edwards dropping out will help Obama big time.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 30, 2008 9:43 AM.

Sweet: Obama, in Kansas, does roots thing talking about moms' family. Picture. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Obama, Clinton in first two-way debate. In Hollywood, at the Oscars theater. Feb. 5 voters tuning in. is the next entry in this blog.

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