Edwards finishes third in South Carolina, will press on

John Edwards was hoping for a victory in the state of his birth, but came in a disappointing third; in his concession speech, though, he was ready to focus on Super Tuesday.


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Alex Koppelman
January 27, 2008 7:55AM (UTC)

Former Sen. John Edwards came in a disappointing third in South Carolina's Democratic primary. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Edwards took just 18 percent of the vote to Barack Obama's 55 percent and Hillary Clinton's 27 percent, a result the Edwards campaign could not have been happy with, considering Edwards was born in South Carolina, was a senator in its neighbor to the north and won in South Carolina in 2004. And in his concession speech Saturday, Edwards sounded and looked defeated -- indeed, it looked as if he might be blinking back tears before beginning to speak -- but vowed from the very beginning to keep his campaign alive.

"I want to join Sen. Clinton and President Clinton in congratulating Sen. Obama," he said. "Now, the three of us move on to February 5th, where millions of Americans will cast their vote and help shape the future of this party and help shape the future of America. Our campaign, from the very beginning, has been about one central thing, and that is to give voice to millions of Americans who have absolutely no voice in this democracy."

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Edwards stuck to the populist message that has been a central theme of his campaign -- not to mention, unfortunately for him, his concession speeches -- saying, "If you are worried about your healthcare or you don't have healthcare in America, your voice will be heard in this campaign. If you are worried because you've lost your job ... your voice will be heard in this campaign. If you're one of 37 million Americans who wake up every single day literally worried about feeding and clothing your children and living in poverty, your voice will be heard in America and it will be heard in this campaign and we will speak for you and we will fight for you."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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