John Edwards departure from the race was not altogether unexpected, but his timing was. With continued fundraising efforts that were higher than the previous month, it was hoped he would be in it through at least next Tuesday. However, as Kenny Rogers once said, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Apparently today was a good day for John Edwards to call it quits.
If anyone immediately benefits from Edwards leaving the race, it is probably Barack Obama, who has been trending up nationally. With the Kennedy family endorsement and Edwards a non-factor in Tsunami Tuesday primaries and caucuses, if Obama wins the majority of Tuesday's primaries, he is likely to be jet-propelled toward the nomination.
Whether Obama or Clinton will pick up the mantle of the supreme fighter for the middle class and conscience for the forgotten poor is suspect--if John Edwards couldn't make hay with Two Americas as a centerpiece issue, it is unlikely that either Clinton or Obama will want to touch it, except as a tip of the hat to Edwards. This is unfortunate. Just as Dennis Kucinich's run in 2004 raised the cornerstone issues for this campaign, it is very likely John Edwards will be the canary in the coal mine for the next one.
Johnny Reid Edwards fought the good fight, but he couldn't fight it to the finish line.