Once again, as he has done on so many other occasions throughout the course of this campaign, John Edwards inspired my optimism by doing the right thing. Prior to this campaign, it was as nearly as unfathomable to me that a woman or a black man would become President, as it was for a candidate whose stated primary objectives were to help the poor and break up America's corporate oligarchy.
The fact is that Edwards' message was so threatening that the mainstream media - which, as it so happens, is owned by the very same corporations Edwards was railing against - made sure to ignore his candidacy long before it bothered silencing Dennis Kucinich.
Hopefully, Edwards will be able to leverage his impassioned supporters across the country (10%-20% of Democrats in all the states left to vote) to ensure that Clinton or Obama will pick up the mantle of his fight for the common man, as they both promised today to do.
I didn't think that Edwards would drop out of the race before Super Tuesday, even though I knew he should. I took Edwards at his word when he stubbornly insisted before South Carolina that he was going to push through to the Convention. But now I see that his bravado was a valiant final attempt to convince Democrats he still believed he would win, so that voters wouldn't feel like they would be squandering their vote on him.
By withdrawing from the race today, Edwards keeps his dignity while preserving the integrity of his message. In other words, he acted in a way consistent with what he has preached. Even The Optimist is taken by surprise when a politician proves so genuinely virtuous.
Edwards isn't right for either Clinton or Obama's running mates, but he would make a fine Attorney General for either Administration. Of course, the likelihood of that happening depends on who he decides to endorse, if anyone. I don't know about him going for Obama, but I can't imagine Edwards coming out for Hillary and I'm not so sure his supporters would switch over to her even if he did.