John Edwards decision to quit the presidential race is really only surprising in its timing. I had expected that he would stay in at least through Super Tuesday to collect as many delegates as he could to use as leverage later on assuming that the Hillary-Obama race goes down to the wire. But instead he has bowed out now clearing the way for a two-person race in the Democratic primary. I’m sure there will be speculation that he may have cut a deal with Obama for a possible VP slot on the ticket. Wil Democrats go with the same VP candidate two elections in a row? I’m quite sure that it will have to go to a white male candidate for “balance” regardless of whether Hillary or Obama wins the race. But if not Edwards, then who?
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani’s collapse is finally complete with his weak third-place showing in Florida. Rudy had been a walking corpse for some time now, so his departure was pretty much a given. Hit the road, Rudy! And don’t come back no more.
Huckabee is washed up too, but isn’t ready to admit it yet. I’m sure the party is encouraging him to stay in the race for now to keep the religious wingnut faction from totally freaking out.
McCain is now the clear frontrunner on the GOP side and could swamp the struggling Romney campaign on Super Tuesday.
Florida was a tough loss for Romney, who finished a close second but walks away with nothing because of the state’s winner-take-all delegate distribution policy. Until now, McCain was lagging behind Romney in the delegate count, but now he is caught up and then some.
McCain’s political resurrection which I predicted back in early December is the most interesting thing on the Republican side right now. But it also sets the stage for a replay of the 1996 election with McCain playing the role of Bob Dole, the war hero and GOP stalwart.