The presidential campaigns of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) were both derailed yesterday in Florida. But in covering the story, the AP was considerably more morose about Edwards's train wreck than Giuliani's (h/t NB reader Joe Loiacono).
Let's look at the AP coverage. First the Edwards write-up by Nedra Pickler (emphasis mine):
DENVER (AP) - Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies, The Associated Press has learned.
The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two aides. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement. Clinton said Wednesday that Edwards called her to inform her about his decision.
Obama told reporters Edwards had exited the race in a "classy" way. "I think he's run a great campaign," said Obama, who aides said also spoke with Edwards Tuesday night and asked for his endorsement.
Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better- funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis. In a dramatic news conference last March, the couple announced that the breast cancer that she thought she had beaten had returned, but they would continue the campaign.
Compare that to the language regarding Giuliani's run in a non-bylined AP story (again, my emphasis):
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Rudy Giuliani told supporters Wednesday he's abandoning his bid for president and backing Republican rival and longtime friend John McCain.
"I spoke with Rudy Giuliani this morning and he confirmed that he is dropping out of the race and will endorse Senator John McCain for president," New York Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno said in a statement.
Once the Republican presidential front-runner, Giuliani suffered a debilitating defeat in Tuesday's Florida primary.
Tuesday's result was a remarkable collapse for Giuliani. Last year, he occupied the top of national polls and seemed destined to turn conventional wisdom on end by running as a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.
The results seriously decimated Giuliani's unconventional strategy, which relied heavily on Florida to launch him into the coast-to-coast Feb. 5 nominating contests.
But Florida proved to be less than hospitable. His poll numbers dropped and key endorsements went to McCain.
A bout with prostate cancer and the very public breakup of his marriage with second wife Donna Hanover - she first learned he was filing for divorce when he made the announcement at a televised news conference - forced Giuliani to withdraw from a race for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2000. The messy divorce was revisited in awkward detail once he re-entered politics.
With no working strategy in his presidential campaign, no primary victories and dwindling resources, the mayor's third-place finish in Florida spelled the end of his run, even if his crestfallen supporters couldn't believe it.
"They'll be sorry!" a woman with a New York accent called out to the mayor as he spoke. "You sound like my mother," Giuliani joked.
Related NewsBusters post: "NYT's Tale of Two Withdrawals: Respecting Edwards, But Giuliani 'Living an Illusion'"