Yesterday, John Edwards withdrew from the presidential election. Edwards ran an honorable campaign that deserved more attention, and might have gotten it had Hillary and Obama not sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. Edwards deserves credit for driving much of the Democrats' agenda: He was the first candidate to present a plan for universal health coverage, and the first to unequivocally push for getting out of Iraq. Both positions are part and parcel of the other campaigns and will undoubtedly be critical parts of the party platform.
Meanwhile, what will the Republicans run on? John McCain will almost certainly be the nominee. Mitt Romney outspent McCain by 5-1 in Florida and still lost. He's not an especially trustworthy figure, and Republicans seem ready to go with a candidate whose positions often make them uncomfortable than with one who makes them uncomfortable because they don't know what his positions are. And let's face it: Romney's religion has played a part.
Seriously, though, what will McCain run on? Can a man get elected president promising fewer jobs and more war? True blue conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough are worried. (Be sure to watch the video clip.)
New Yorkers -- at the least the ones who root for the Mets -- must be happy about acquiring Johan Santana for what most observers agree is very little. Minneapolis Star-Tribune sportswriter thinks that the Red Sox blew it when they apparently took their offer off the table, but I dunno. The centerpiece of the Sox' offers involved either center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury or left-handed starter John Lester, plus high ceiling prospects. Pitching coach John Farrell urged the Red Sox to keep Lester. As for Ellsbury, center fielders who run like Secretariat and can swing the bat don't grow on trees. No one knows how much he will capitalize on his storybook September and post-season, but we do know that Ellsbury has excelled under pressure. He's the best Red Sox center field prospect since Fred Lynn, who came up 33 years ago -- that's how rare talent like his is. Finally, both players have been schooled on how to play in Boston, the toughest, most demanding stage in baseball. There's a lot to be said for guys who want to play there.