Richardson Is Out… Not… Is

A few hours ago I was about to report that AP News had reported that Bill Richardson was dropping out of the Democratic race for president, when I noticed that another MSNBC said Richardson’s campaign had not confirmed the report and was denying it. So I held off, although it seemed very likely and plausible to me that after his poor showing in both Iowa and NH, Richardson would drop out.

Un-named sources inside Richardson’s campaign have “confirmed to NBC News” that Richardson will indeed drop out of the race on Thursday. Terribly confusing, all this will — won’t drop out stuff. But the N.Y. Times has more:

Mr. Richardson made the decision after returning to New Mexico yesterday and meeting with his top advisers. He is expected to make an announcement Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the governor’s decision.

Mr. Richardson’s withdrawal removes a candidate who had a hard-edged message of immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, but tempered it with humorous television advertisements that emphasized his wide-ranging credentials in a clever and effective way.

In New Hampshire, Mr. Richardson gained less than five percent of the vote on Tuesday. In Iowa last Thursday, he came in with two percent of the caucus vote, despite having spent weeks campaigning in the state and flooding the airwaves with a series of commercials that portrayed him as a job seeker in front of a bored interviewer, unimpressed with his extensive résumé.

I never felt Richardson had much of a chance to be honest. So now the next specualtion will be who Richardson will support in the race. He came to Clinton’s defense in the early debates and yet urged his supporters to support Obama as their 2nd choice in Iowa.

Richardson dropping out leaves the race between Clinton, Obama, Edwards and Kucinich;but Dennis Kucinich is another non starter. I said here recently to watch for Kucinich, regardless of how he fares in the voting booths and polls to hang on through to the convention as he did 4 years ago.

I don’t give John Edwards much more than through Mega Tuesday before he drops. This race has always been between 2 candidates, as very wise man (who’s been down this road before) told me last April.

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