John Edwards is pulling out of the presidential primary race. He made the pre-announcement this morning; the announcement will be this afternoon, at a very fitting location for a genuine progressive:
His effort ends where it began 13 months ago -- with the Democrat helping to rebuild a city still struggling after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
The Democratic primary race was better for having him in it:
Edwards has lost races and national attention to his better-funded rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. But his presence has steered debate in the Democratic contest toward progressive ideals such as universal health care, and restricting a lobbyists pull.
And the White House would have been better for it, too.
Let's not forget, as well, that he accepted public financing (in a hardly rewarding campaign financing environment), which is a main reason his rivals were "better funded." (Of course, he never won a primary either. Chicken, meet egg.)
No word yet on what he'll do with his 58 delegates. It's not enough to give leverage at convention time, although in the last week his people had floated such scenarios.
Damn. Damn, damn, damn.