A couple of remarkable, if perhaps predictable, developments in the US Presidential Race:
You have to feel for John Edwards. He has soldiered on despite, or perhaps because of, his wife Elizabeth's illness. He is what English people might call someone who plays with a "straight bat". A straight shooter, but perhaps never Presidential material. He has particularly distinguished himself by capturing blue collar votes and through his passion for the poor. However, his weakness was that he couldn't win in his native South (e.g South Carolina, where he was born and which he won in the last set of primaries).
That comes back to a central weakness of the Democrats in the last fifty odd years. If they can't win in the South they don't win. All the hoo-ha in 2000 was about Florida, but Gore failed to win his own state - Tennessee - and Clinton's - Arkansas. If big Al had won those two he wouldn't have needed any chads in Florida, hanging or otherwise. Look back to JFK - won after LBJ took Texas (and perhaps other Southern states) for him etc etc
So it's sad to see Edwards go, and it will be interesting to see where his votes go on Super Tuesday. Given that he was bagging a vote around the mid to high teens, his exit will have quite a major impact on the Democrat race.
I would have thought the smart money is on Hilary to nudge or walk or romp ahead on Super Tuesday, but with the Kennedy endorsement, Obama may or probably will do well. Goodness knows. It's not about hand pumping any more. We're in overall media coverage territory. I bow to Duncan Borrowman's verdict that both races (Republican and Democrat) will go beyond Super Tuesday.
And so to development number two - Rudy.
What can you say? His failure in the race is breathtaking. He had it "in the bag", which presumably is the main reason he blew it. Tall poppy syndrome perhaps. Perhaps he has a self-destruct mechanism. I suspect he wasn't cut out for President - too edgy. But why did he ignore the initial key but small races? If you take Iowa, one can understand that he knew he would get a small vote due to the high Christian Evangelical vote there but goodness knows why he ignored the other states such as New Hampshire. Perhaps his wrong (as it turned out) strategic decision was in itself token of his unsuitability to be President. Then again, he's been "America's Mayor" - why does he want to be President where it would be all downhill? Perhaps he realised that - if only in his subconsciousness.
One things for sure. Rudy Guiliani will go down in history twice:
Firstly, in the main text as the hero of the 9-11 aftermath.
Secondly, as a footnote and/or political anorak's trivia answer concerning his historic implosion in the 2008 Presidential race. I suspect polly-nerds will be debating his failure for many years to come.