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Duncan Hunter makes it official

January 19, 2008 |  6:11 pm

We have to give Duncan Hunter -- the little-noticed and, of late, almost completely ignored Republican presidential candidate -- credit for good sense on at least one count.

He didn't bother spending any money on renting a place for campaign aides and supporters to gather today in Nevada (even though it only needed to be a small room). Nor did he write a check for space in South Carolina.

Instead, starting his day in Reno, he watched as he got creamed in Nevada's midday caucuses. Then, as the first votes trickled in from South Carolina, it quickly became clear he was suffering a similar rebuff in that state's primary (as of now, it looks like he'll be lucky to break the 1,000-vote mark in the Palmetto State).

Early this evening, he bowed to the inevitable and issued a statement officially ending a White House bid that was the very definition of quixotic. He said that "not being able to gain traction in conservative states of Nevada and South Carolina" meant that "it's time to allow our volunteers and supporters to focus on the campaigns that remain viable."

Not that it particularly matters, given the un-viability of his campaign, but Hunter made no endorsement in his statement. But perhaps he will later tonight -- he's returning to San Diego and will speak to backers at the Broadway Pier at 8 p.m. (PST).

[UPDATE: Hunter did not cast his lot with another candidate. Nor did he indicate whether he would. Nor is it clear whether any of the remaining campaigns much care].

-- Don Frederick

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