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Edwards: 'I'm The Same Person'

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RALEIGH, N.C. — John Edwards still knows how to work a crowd. This time around, it's not a national audience like he had during his 2004 presidential run, but a group in Raleigh. Either way, there is no denying he has a gift for identifying with voters.

On this day, the issue was raising the minimum wage. Part of this campaign is the fight against poverty -- the central issue of his presidential campaign. When asked if the issue of poverty drives him toward another run for president, Edwards said, "I haven't decided for sure that I want to be president (again) but I certainly decided it before. I think the same things that drove me are still there. I haven't changed, I'm the same person."

Tanned, relaxed and energetic, Edwards said he's older, more mature and wiser, and the experience of running on a national ticket has made him more confident.

"It's easier these days, I find, to say what I really believe without worrying, without trying to shape it," said Edwards. "I just say what I think and let people respond the way they will."

He did acknowledge an advantage to a second run.

"I think the difference is, if I decided to do this, I would start with a lot more people knowing who I am," he said.

When asked if he has a timetable for his decision, Edwards said, "No, not really. The most important thing is (my wife) Elizabeth. She's doing well right now. Her tests are good."

Edwards said the entire family would be in on the final decision. Conventional wisdom within the Democratic Party is that he will make another run for the White House.


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