It’s been an uphill climb all the way: And today, John Edwards signaled he’s done.

Outspent by his opponents and crowded out of the media spotlight by the drama of the Clinton/Obama rivalry, the former senator from North Carolina calls it quits atoday at a New Orleans event billed as a speech on poverty.

Edwards has not won a single contest in the Democratic race for president, and lags behind front-runners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in public opinion polls.

Today, he’s headed to New Orleans with his wife and three children for an appearance at the city’s Musicians’ Village, a Habitat for Humanity project providing housing for the city’s displaced artists and performers.

New Orleans, the glaring symbol of how the poor have been marginalized in America over the past eight years, is a fitting place for Edwards to end his campaign for the presidency pegged to economic justice.

The Associated Press is reporting Edwards will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race. But now, all speculation will be on who he’ll throw his support to. Given the levels of hostility between the Clinton and Obama camps, not only has the race lost a strong progressive voice, but a person of civility and passion.

Thanks, John.