John Edwards took what had to be a most painful step today. He withdrew from the race for the presidency. A son of a poor mill-worker, an incredibly successful trial lawyer, a decent senator for one term, he was a surprise pick for the VP slot, and in the process, he apparently got the bug. That rare, incurable, and sometimes deadly virus labeled the 1600 Penn-Ave bug.

He immediately ran into trouble. When 80% of the other candidates were licking their chops, sitting, raising their paws, and begging for K-Street support, Edwards was the only mainstream, electable candidate to refuse to even consider PAC money or K-Street taint. His issues, poverty, the failing middle class, schools, health care, and world peace, could have and should have grabbed the attention of 70% of America. Clearly he had our best interests at heart and he was willing to put his neck on the line on some truly tough issues.

But it was never meant to be. Main Stream Media saw a problem – a self-made man who cared about his roots, his wife, and his country. Gawd, what a danger he represented. No, corporate candidates, those vetted by the MSM owners and investors had to be promoted over Edwards. So, even while Thompson was half asleep, while 9ui11iani was tanking like Enron, while Romney changed sides faster than you could spell Benedict Arnold, and while McCain blathered about like a lost curmudgeon, there was a concerted effort to ban any news coverage of John Edwards.

On the Democratic side, even Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel matched the number and length of news coverage directed to the former Senator, pretty much putting a wooden stake into his candidacy’s heart.

When every honest reporter and journalist admitted that Edwards won or tied every single debate, the coverage never was permitted to touch on him, his family, or his candidacy. It became so obvious that MSNBC and CNN both admitted that they had underreported, perhaps criminally (in journalistic terms) his campaign and his positions.

I can understand the reflexive attacks on a crusader who would shake up corporate America. I can accept how MSM was willing to take its owners’ orders and deliberately ignore his presence, his talent, and his ideas. After all, self-preservation is one of the strongest and emotional of all responses. But, what I cannot understand is why he chose to leave now. I sincerely would have hoped that he wait until after Super Tuesday. I expect that middle America would have shown its appreciation for his efforts, and his sacrifice.

I cannot imagine the toll that a presidential campaign takes on an individual. When one’s lover, mother of children, and spouse of many years is sick, that toll must be even higher. And most of all, I cannot imagine how a supremely successful professional, coming from a life of helping the down-trodden, the injured, the sick and the needy, from a position of respect, honor, and appreciation from his peers, and from elected office, can feel when the MSM dealt with him like it did.

Senator, I take my hat off to you. Thank you for so much. You raised the level of debate. You took the manhole cover off of some truly deserving and putrid issues. You injected honesty, integrity, and honor while comporting your self professionally at all times.

Thank you. I hope America does not forget.

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