At a very well attended press conference here just a few hours before he was scheduled to participate in yet another GOP debate, Rudy Giuliani announced his departure from the presidential race and his endorsement of John McCain.LINK: RUDY DROPS OUT, THROWS SUPPORT TO MCCAIN
"I'm fully aboard, 100%," Giuliani said, announcing that if McCain would have him, he plans on campaigning on the senator's behalf in Feb 5th states. "I don't do things half way. I do them 100%, and when I believe in a man – like I do John McCain – this will become, to me, as important as my own election was."
With Cindy McCain looking on adoringly, Giuliani added more evidence to the 'anti-Mitt Romney' story line, as GOP establishment becomes more content lining up behind McCain's candidacy.
"There will be a clear choice this November and I believe that my life has prepared me for a life of service and a life of dedication," McCain said. "My strong right arm and my partner and my friend in this effort will be the former mayor of New York City, all-American hero, Rudy Giuliani."
McCain explained that he and Giuliani were uniquely aware of the threat of 'radical Islamic extremism,' and when he talked about a "clear choice" in November he implied that the Democratic candidates were not up to what he often calls "the transcendent challenge of the twenty first century."
Less than an hour after McCain and Giuliani left the spin room virtually arm-in-arm, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held his own press conference and openly hinted that his own endorsement of McCain could come as early as tomorrow. When asked specifically if he is planning an endorsement, Schwarzenegger said he had "no news today" on the topic.
But he said that Giuliani's departure from the race certainly indicates that "the dynamics have changed," and he went on to announce that he will be attending an event with McCain tomorrow that will focus on conservation and the environment.
Schwarzenegger's endorsement – if it does come – could have the same effect that Gov. Charlie Crist's endorsement had on McCain's campaign in Florida, providing an influential last-minute bump in a delegate-rich state.
And then there were four...