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Edwards Presidential Bid Must Start Strong to Succeed

Posted December 19, 2006

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— Sen. John Edwards is widely believed to be ready to run for president again. Observers say that he will be a different candidate after his 2004 experience as the vice presidential nominee.

North Carolina’s former senator is expected to kick off his second run for the presidency in New Orleans next week, then hit early caucus and primary states, including Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Edwards has his work cut out for him. The Democratic field for 2008 could include Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. That makes the big question for political observers how Edwards will make himself stand out this time around.

He's looking to build on his working-family message from 2004. He has more knowledge of how to campaign, however.

“I think he's much more accomplished. I think he's more polished,” conceded Republican strategist Marc Rotterman, a political critic of Edwards.

News & Observer political columnist Rob Christensen pointed out that Edwards is no longer the dark horse in the nation's first caucuses, which puts more eyes on him and more demands on his skills early on.

“The downside to that is that he's no longer the fresh face,” Christensen said. The former senator led by 20 points in recent Iowa polls. He needs to keep it up in Christensen's view. "John Edwards clearly has to win Iowa," he said.

Edwards keeps honing his message, concentrating more on poverty and labor unions. Once a supporter of the war in Iraq, he now opposes it.

“In a lot of ways, he's moved to the political left. He doesn't say that, but that's essentially what's happened. And he's now moving to the left of Hillary Clinton,” Christensen told WRAL.

Rotterman believes Edwards’ message is limited.

“I don't think that Edwards is doing anything really to reach out to the middle class or the average guy in this country. I think that's going to be a problem,” Rotterman said.

However, the political strategist does think storm-ravaged New Orleans could be a powerful backdrop for Edwards' presidential announcement. Rotterman sees the city’s Ninth Ward as a symbol of government mistakes.

It's been nearly three years since Edwards rose from political obscurity to prominence with a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses. In the time since losing as the eventual Democratic vice presidential candidate behind ticket-leader John Kerry, Edwards boned up on foreign policy and filed away valuable national campaign experience.

Last time, Edwards announced his run in his childhood hometown of Robbins. This time, it doesn’t appear North Carolina will be part of the kick-off. The state’s primary is rarely a factor in presidential politics because it comes so late in the election season.

And as many observers believe this run is less about where Edwards is from and more about where he's going.

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  • Thornedwolf Mar 4, 2007

    Good strong start, right in 3rd or was it in 4th? Yeah Sure he will win.

  • COPs eye Dec 23, 2006

    HE IS A CHUMP!!! He has done nothing for North Crolina and even less for the people that know him best. I say that anyone that votes for him deserves every thing he screws up. They should move to an island so they can have the full advantage of his idiocy.

  • hdvoodooqueen Dec 20, 2006

    Everyone says Obama has only served 2 years in the Senate....who does he think he is??? Well, lest you all forget, Johnny boy's only claim to public office was 2 years in the Senate when he decided he'd like to be the VP...give me a break...who do any of them think they are..much like good ole Gov. Blanco who thought all she had to do was hold office until Katrina came along and then, Wow, I have to make some decisions!!! Most North Carolinians have had quite enough of John boy and his grin..ask his former Cary neighbors!!!

  • kocomfort Dec 20, 2006

    Edwards has done nothing for our state!!!!!! He has used the people of North Carolina for his own political aspirations.

  • C6-YA Dec 20, 2006

    What has "The Breck Girl" done for us lately?

    Ahh.. let me think... oh yeah, nothing!

  • ifcdirector Dec 20, 2006

    I love how the liberals in Raleigh like to drive around with "Kerry/Edwards" stickers on one side of their bumper and "Stop The War" on the other side. Hey here is a revelation for you. These morons voted for this war. That's the problem. People in both major political parties are too ready to embrace these people as having any substance whatsoever when they were always only vapid constructions by some hired marketing firm. Edwards also now has the blessings of the Bilderbergers and the Trilateral Commission as well. Anyone opposed to this move to one world government should remember that no mattter what party you are in. Edwards went to Europe to meet with them and receive their blessing but I don't imagine you will see this mentioned very much in the media. It's all a big show.

  • jgriffith3792 Dec 19, 2006

    When will this guy learn? His ego knows no limits.

    He has little political experience and was a terrible senator. He hurt North Carolinians as a trail lawyer with his ambulance chasing and frivolous lawsuits. He won more than 50 cases with settlements of $1MM bankrupting doctors and medical practices causing malpractice insurance rates in the state to skyrocket. Rural doctors were forced to close practices or move to areas where they could get more patients to cover their malpractice insurance costs, which BTW, were passed onto the people he wants to “help”.

    He then takes advantage of North Carolinians by using his senate seat to further his own personal agenda. I could have respected him if he would have resigned his senate seat and let someone else take it to represent our state, but, no. He instead keeps his seat and abandons this state to go on the campaign trail.

    Thanks John, but North Carolina, nor the country can stand anymore of your "help".

  • jimwilson2005 Dec 19, 2006

    Edwards "a veteran" this time around? That's the headline for the video..

    This is the same man who said that if he was elected that people would walk instead of being in wheelchairs!

    The same IDIOT who channeled a dead girl and told a jury what she was feeling (told to him from the dead) when she died!!

    This man will say or do anything to win.

    That might be the ONLY thing he is a veteran at!