Local News

Some Say Edwards is Destined for National Spotlight

Posted August 6, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Last week, not many people outside of the state knew much aboutSen. John Edwards, D-N.C. The speculation surrounding Vice President Gore's search for a running mate left Edwards' name on the lips of politicians and pundits around the country.

"I think it's wonderful," says Barbara Allen of theN.C. Democratic Party. "I'm not real surprised, because he is a great person. I think he's good leadership for North Carolina and for the nation."

Allen has long thought of John Edwards as North Carolina's best-kept political secret. She is glad Al Gore let the rest of the country in on it by considering Edwards as a running mate. The party leader expects to see Edwards in the national spotlight again, possibly as a candidate for president.

N.C. State Universityprofessor Andrew Taylor recently completed a congressional fellowship. He says Edwards is considered a rising star in the Capitol.

"There are a lot of people who think he has presidential aspirations, and clearly, this is a nice way for him to be introduced to the public," Taylor says.

As a freshman senator, Edwards landed the high-profile assignment of questioning witnesses during the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. He has also earned a reputation as a dealmaker with a strong grasp of policy.

Edwards may not be his running mate, but Vice President Gore is expected to ask Edwards to campaign with him.