http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040303/D812IVIO0.html Edwards to Drop Out of Presidential Race Mar 2, 8:07 PM (ET) By RON FOURNIER (AP) Presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, waits for his car outside the Capitol after taking... WASHINGTON (AP) - John Edwards, the Southern charmer who brought unbridled optimism and an up-from-the-bootstraps biography to the presidential campaign, decided to drop out of the Democratic race after a Super Tuesday rout, The Associated Press has learned. "He's stepping aside," said a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity. A second Democratic official said Edwards will drop out Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C. Edwards, 50, is a Southern politician in the Bill Clinton mold, a youthful moderate of modest background whose charisma and looks gained more attention than his policies at first. He came to politics in mid-life, running for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina in 1998 after earning millions of dollars as a trial attorney. Edwards' upbringing was a central theme to his populist message. He announced his candidacy Sept. 16 in front of the empty textile mill in Robbins, N.C., where his father had been employed for 36 years and where Edwards himself had earned money for college by sweeping floors and working as a night watchman.