Fred Thompson drops out

Third-place finish in South Carolina spells the end for a campaign that never tried too hard.

Published January 22, 2008 7:53PM (EST)

Fred Thompson, whose third-place, zero-delegate finish in the South Carolina Republican primary revealed the depths of the problem facing his presidential run, has decided to leave the race.

"I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," Thompson said in a statement.

One puzzling and long-standing problem with Thompson's campaign: It wasn't much of an effort to begin with.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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