Sen. John Edwards is sinking Democratic hopes of regaining control of the Senate in the near future. Edwards of North Carolina has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2004 so that he can cocentrate on his long-shot bid for the presidency.
Since N.C. doesn't have a Lyndon Johnson rule that allows someone to run for president and senator at the same time, Edwards only other option was to drop out of the presidential race.
It is very unfortunate and highly irritating that Edwards did not pursue that option. He has no chance whatsoever to win the party's nomination for president and isn't even at the top of anyone's list as a vice-presidential prospect. His decision not to seek re-election gives the Republicans a wide open shot at picking up another Senate seat to go along with the ones being vacated by retiring South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings and retiring Georgia Sen. Zell Miller.
There is some speculation that Edwards was afraid he could not win a second senate term, but if that is the case what makes him think he can win the presidency?
In the past, U.S. Senators have used presidential bids to build up their name recognition and political clout - at least, that is what I saw with Sens. Paul Simon, John McCain, Al Gore, Richard Lugar, Arlen Specter, Tom Harkin, Bob Kerrey - just to name a few - none of whom gave up their senate seats to run. It's just not worth it.