Why Did Edwards Quit?

Even after his conference call with supporters yesterday (I’ve only seen a brief recap of the call), the question  remains: why? Why did he quit, and why now?

His explanations still just don’t feel satisfyingly explanatory. Party unity? Getting poverty firmly on the agenda?

Here’s what I would like to believe:

He saw that he wasn’t going to win.

He saw that Hillary getting the nomination would be a Very Bad Thing. (See next post.)

He saw that (choose how you want to put it):   1) his continuing candidacy would draw more votes from Obama than from Clinton, or 2) if he withdrew his candidacy, most of his followers would vote Obama.

He saw that if wanted to have that effect, he had to withdraw before Tsunami Tuesday.

But, obviously, if this is what he really wanted he would not only have endorsed Obama, but would have told his whole machine to throw everything they had behind the man. And told his followers to get out and vote for Obama. On top of SC and the Kennedys, it would have guaranteed an Obama win.

He hasn’t done that. And from what I’ve heard, including a recap of the conference call, he’s said some things ("keep your powder dry") that specifically contradict that message.

So I’m still confused about why he withdrew. I can imagine nothing except salutary and honorable reasons. I just can’t figure out any really cogent and satisfying reasons.