John Edwards ends presidential bid

January 30, 2008 7:14:51 PM PST
Democrat John Edwards bowed out of the race for the White House on Wednesday, saying it was time to step aside "so that history can blaze its path" in a campaign now left to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

With John Edwards out, the attention focuses on the two front-runners. Hillary Clinton has scheduled two Bay Area events on Friday, a rally at the San Jose Convention Center, and an appearance at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco.

Senator Ted Kennedy will be in Oakland Friday, campaigning for Barack Obama.

The campaign of Sen. John Edwards finished where it began, 13 months ago in a hurricane ravaged neighborhood in New Orleans.

"I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we as citizens, and as a government, have moral responsibility to each other."

Edwards said both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama promised him they would make ending poverty a central issue.

"The campaign may have ended, but this cause lives on for all of us who believe we can achieve one America," says Obama

"I was shocked, surprised. I thought he would stay in," says San Francisco State professor Robert Smith.

Smith believes Edwards' sudden demise is Clinton's gain.

"She is more likely to pick up Edwards' support than Obama because Edwards' supporters tend to be the kind of working class, lower class people that she is gearing her campaign toward as it is."

Clinton says she would "be honored to have the support of those who supported Senator Edwards."

However Obama's California campaign co-chair says...not so fast.

"We're excited because we think we'll get the lion's share of the Edwards' votes. We're certainly hopeful we do," says Steve Westly, Obama 2008 California Co-Chair.

Edwards' departure comes as Democrats ramp up efforts in California ahead of Super Tuesday.

"Let's come together today to talk about substance..."

In Oakland, Mayor Ron Dellums joined San Francisco's Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles' Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, pushing Clinton's economic package.

While the big city mayors came to Oakland to campaign for Hillary Clinton, on Friday, another big name Democrat arrives to stump for Barack Obama. Senator Edward Kennedy will visit California to support the Illinois senator.

Clinton herself will campaign in the Bay Area Friday, trying to win over Californians.