While the attention of most Americans is focused on the holiday season and their plans for New Year's; the war in Iraq and the upcoming funeral of former president Gerald Ford and personal concerns former United States Senator from North Carolina John Edwards made a very casual and informal announcement that he is a Democratic candidate for president in 2008 this morning.
Speaking in the devastated 9th ward in New Orleans the boyish looking 53 year old former successful trial lawyer spoke to a small group of people before flying off to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Of all the candidates in both parties who most likely will be running for president in 2008 Edwards is the one talking the most about domestic issues. It is a gamble to not be speaking out most of the time about Iraq and the war on terrorism but it is a gamble that may pay off for the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential candidate.
The telegenic Edwards is talking about the need to eradicate poverty from America and the need for health care for all Americans. He is a positive campaigner who rarely speaks ill of his opponents. In fact, he always seems to have words of praise for the other Democratic candidates.
Edwards has just written a book and his wife has also written a book. They are both popular with the Democratic wing of the party-the activists who will vote in the primaries. Edwards may not appeal to the extreme left of the party who want to get out of Iraq immediately. But, the former senator has spoken out against the war lately and is against sending more American troops to Iraq.
The country may be sick and tired of foreign policy issues - especially Iraq - in two years and Edwards, the multi-milllionaire populist, may be what the country is looking for in a presidential candidate.
Remember after the first Gulf War President George Herbert Walker Bush had an approval rating of nearly 90% but the country took a chance with another southerner - an unknown governor of Arkansas who spoke mainly about domestic issues.
And, John Edwards is the Democratic candidate who is the antithesis of Obama and Hillary. While they are both red-hot at the moment he is the slow talking and slow moving turtle who may likely pass them on the road to the White House.
He is the back-up candidate if Hillary's negatives are too high to win and if Obama slides in popularity because of his lack of experience on the national stage.
Edwards has been on the national stage when he ran for vice-president with John Kerry and voters seem to like it if they know a little bit about a candidate for president before they go to the polls. Having run on a national ticket is a plus. In fact, Edwards is in a better position than Kerry is at the moment to win the nomination.
So, while our attention is focused elsewhere today we may look back at this date as the time when our next president made his low-key announcement speech.Edwards is the only Democrat at the moment who beats McCain in the polls for president and the populist southerner is leading in the polls for the Iowa caucus.
It may be way too early for the majority of American voters to be tuned in to the political process of what will happen two years down the road but Edwards took advantage of a low news day to make news. While it may not have been seen by many Americans who are still enjoying their holiday vacations in the end it may be the most significant of announcement speeches on both sides of the aisle.
Former United States Senator John Edwards is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. Hillary and Obama and the others should be concerned about the turtle coming up behind them. He has two years to pass them and the odds are good that he will do just that.
Originally posted here.