Sen. Evan Bayh (news, bio, voting record) on Saturday ended his White House bid while 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards finalized plans to get in, fast-paced jockeying in a Democratic race under the shadow of two unannounced candidates."Opening Still Remains for Consensus Progressive Candidate," says Jonathan Singer on MyDD.
Bayh decided he could not compete with Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, whose possible candidacies have dominated the positioning almost two years before the actual election.
Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, has decided he can and is planning to announce his campaign in New Orleans between Christmas and New Year's, two Democrats said.
Edwards' novel choice of sites shows how he wants to distinguish his candidacy: emphasizing policies he believes can unite a country divided by economic inequality, a situation no more evident than in the city's Lower Ninth Ward, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
"The hardest part for anybody is to figure out how do I get $30 to 40 million," said Steve Elmendorf, a top adviser to Dick Gephardt and John Kerry's 2004 presidential bids. "It's daunting for anybody. I think Mrs. Clinton and Obama can do it, but I have real questions if any one else can do it."
He said Edwards could become a contender if he continues to hold the lead in Iowa. "If he can surprise people in Iowa, then it becomes a three-way race," Elmendorf said.
Edwards' campaign plans include an aggressive fundraising effort to prove that he belongs in the top tier. Because he currently does not hold federal office, Edwards does not have a war chest like some of his rivals. In fact, he has several hundred thousands of dollars of debt from his 2004 presidential campaign.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
"Edwards set to launch '08 bid; Bayh out"
Nedra Pickler (AP):