NEW ORLEANS -- And with a forceful drive of a hammer to the head of a nail, John Edwards's 2008 presidential run was over.
"Today, I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency," he declared during a ten minute speech in the Musicians Village in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where homes are being built for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The setting was fitting for a man who strived to inject the issue of poverty into the presidential race.
"We don't turn away from a neighbor in their time of need," he said. "The American people have never stopped doing this, even when their government walked away, and walked away it has from hardworking people, and, yes, from the poor, those who live in poverty in this country."
Following his speech, Edwards and his family assisted members of Habitat For Humanity in nailing shingles and porch rails to newly-built homes.
The big question now turns toward which of his two former rivals – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - Edwards will endorse for the nomination. Edwards would not tip his hand, only to tell reporters, "I'm gonna talk with both of them and make a decision."
In his remarks, however, Edwards said he spoke to both candidates and asked that they each focus more on the poor in America
"They have both pledged to me and more importantly through me to America, that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency," he said.
"And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as President of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their presidency. This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause."
Now that Edwards is done with the rigors of the campaign race, he said he didn't know what he would do next.
"Carolina plays basketball tomorrow," Mrs. Edwards reminded her husband.
"Is that true?" he asked. "Is it at home?"
"Yea," she replied.
"All right, that works," he replied with a grin.
"A game you weren't gonna be able to see," Elizabeth added. "We'll have to tape the Democratic debate."
Edwards let out a laugh and sighed as he stood in near a spot where he announced his candidacy in December 2006, where now his campaign had finally come full circle
"That's right," he said in his moment of epiphany. "I would have been in the debate."