January 31, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Giuliani, Edwards drop out; fighting picks up at GOP debate

And then there were two.

John Edwards pulled out of the race for president, leaving the Democratic Party the historic choice of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Edwards made his announcement in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. “Edwards ends bid in city where he launched quest,” The Times-Picayune said. The former North Carolina senator was pictured on most front pages in that state, including the News & Record in Greensboro, which said: “Edwards backers aghast.”

The phrase “the field narrows” was found on many front pages, as the Republican race also lost a candidate — Rudolph Giuliani. “A two-way exit,” the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., said in combining news from both races.

Some newspapers looked at the fallout. “New Jersey politicians quick to switch horses,” The Star-Ledger in Newark said. “Smaller Field Heads Toward Bigger Test,” the Houston Chronicle said. Noting that Giuliani endorsed John McCain, The Arizona Republic of Phoenix said: “Newfound support has McCain on a roll.”

The Los Angeles Times pictured the remaining GOP candidates sitting in front of a former Air Force One jetliner at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “Accusations fly at debate,” it said. The Daily News of Los Angeles highlighted “Cross Words” between frontrunners McCain and Mitt Romney. Newspapers entered the debate, as McCain pointed out to Romney that he had the endorsement of “your two hometown newspapers.” One of them, The Boston Globe, said: “Mass. vote will test if Romney is a favorite son.”

Newspapers in states with primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday looked ahead. The Salt Lake Tribune printed portraits of seven candidates, with Edwards’ and Giuliani’s photos out of focus. “The race comes into focus,” the Tribune said. Minnesota is a potential swing state, and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis used both blue and red on its front page. From wine country, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News asked: “Which vintage do you prefer?”

And The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., asked a question many of us have: “What happens next?”

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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