After Clinton and McCain won their respective Florida primaries, both Edwards and Giuliani have opted to drop out the race. I’m not really surprised by Giuliani’s announcement, since he staked his entire campaign on Florida, where he came in a distant third. I’m surprised, though, that Edwards has decided to call it quits since he has a very good chance of playing the spoiler; I figure he would at least stick it out after super Tuesday.
So why did they choose to quit?
Giuliani was a bundle of contradictions, who based his campaign solely on 9/11, which, naturally, made for a good story, but couldn’t be translated into a referendum for the presidency. And there was the question of his character: his divorces, his affairs, and his supposed Catholic convictions. That Giuliani didn’t see the conflicts, or chose to ignore them, did not bode well with social conservatives, and the religious right.
Edwards, on the other hand, should’ve done better. But when he came in third in South Carolina, supposedly his neck of the woods, Edwards knew he was in trouble. Florida was his last stand too, and like Giuliani, Edward lost big. Edwards has the natural gifts of being a great politicians, but unlike Obama, he doesn’t come off as smart and likable, more like arrogant and smarmy. More snake oil salesman, who he is, then a progressive, which he clearly isn’t. But given the see-saw campaign between Clinton and Barack, Edwards was a good position in influencing the outcome, making sure the leading candidates stuck to their Democratic principles; and, yes, even play the role of kingmaker at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Giuliani has pledged his support for McCain, who is clearly on a roll. As for Edwards, he’s being quiet for now, no doubt angling for a juicy role. Vice President, perhaps?