In which we all clap our hands (DEBATE TRANSCRIPT ADDED)

Ladies and gents, Dennis Kucinich has decided to drop out of the presidential race:

CLEVELAND – Democrat Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his second, long-shot bid for the White House as he faces a tough fight to hold onto his other job — U.S. congressman.

In an interview with Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, the six-term House member said he was quitting the race and would make a formal announcement on Friday.

“I will be announcing that I’m transitioning out of the presidential campaign,” Kucinich said. “I’m making that announcement tomorrow about a new direction.”

Kucinich has received little support in his presidential bid; he got 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and was shut out in the Iowa caucuses. He did have a devoted following.

Kucinich, 61, is facing four challengers in the Democratic congressional primary March 4, and earlier this week he made an urgent appeal on his Web site for funds for his re-election. Rival Joe Cimperman has been critical of Kucinich for focusing too much time outside of his district while campaigning for president.

His decision comes a month after the death of his youngest brother, Perry Kucinich.

Kucinich said he will not endorse another Democrat in the primary.

The next question is: When will Ron Paul follow suit? Maybe after tonight’s GOP debate in Boca Raton.

Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

And speaking of tonight’s debate, which will be broadcast at 9 ET on MSNBC, John Hawkins will be liveblogging it. I’ll probably watch it, but I can’t guarantee I’ll be awake for the whole thing. This is day 4 of a mega-busy work week for me, and I am exhausted.

Fri AM Update: Here’s a transcript of last night’s debate, which by most accounts was “civil.”

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