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Edwards Tells WRAL He Will Win Democratic Presidential Nomination

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Sen. John Edwards is giving voters an idea on how he plans to get America back on track.

New commerials began airing Monday in Iowa and New Hampshire. They feature Edwards speaking to a group of supporters and explain how voters can obtain a written copy of his "plan."

Also Monday, former Georgia governor and lawyer Roy Barnes said he endorses Edwards in his run for the White House. Barnes said he based his decision on their long-standing relationship.

Edwards was back in Raleigh Sunday, when he granted an interview with WRAL. He showed that he is a positive thinker, with lots of energy.

Although he has spent a lot of time and millions of dollars, the overall poll numbers remain very small.

Nevertheless, Edwards did not even entertain the thought of another candidate winning the Democratic nomination. He said he is going to win.

His supporters also think he is going to win. He has a little less than a year to try and outwork his opponents to achieve that goal.

More than just his Democratic opponents, Edwards has a constant eye on the prize.

"I believe we're going to beat George Bush in 2004 because of the economy, because of his failed policies in Iraq right now," Edwards said. "I think he is going to be held accountable for that by the voters."

For his own purpose, Edwards has a mountain to climb before he gets to the White House. Polls show him trailing badly in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. But he said that is starting to change.

"Sixty days ago, I'd hold an event in Iowa, and there'd be 20 people there," Edwards said. "Now, I hold events in a small town in Iowa, and there are 150 people there.

"People are responding. You can see it working."

You can see Edwards working. He logs seven days a week, 16 hours a day.

"They've got to get to know you first," he said. "And, when you talk like I do, and you're in New Hampshire, you seem a little different."

The Southern Democrat showed a different side recently when former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean characterized Southern voters as driving pick-up trucks with confederate flags in the window.

"Let me tell you," Edwards told Dean during a New Hampshire debate. "The last thing we need in the South is somebody like you coming down and telling us what we need to do."

Edwards said he has gotten a lot of heat for his comments to Dean.

"That's history," he said. "It is what it is, and whether it's divisive or not, it happened. And a lot of people still believe in what that flag stood for, and they might support you. But the problem is there's another group of North Carolinians and Southerners and Americans for whom it's a symbol of oppression."

Edwards' stance on civil rights earned him 90 percent of the black vote when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. And, if he is going to take it a step further, he says it will be that group of supporters who gets him there.

Edwards touched on other areas, like Bill Clinton. He called him an excellent president, regardless of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Edwards said he is pleased with his campaign right now. He said that even if he does not win Iowa or New Hampshire, he will pick up momentum in South Carolina, where he is leading in the polls.


Gerald Owens, Reporter
Paul Ensslin, Web Editor

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