John Edwards presidential campaign, 2008

Infobox U.S. federal election campaign, 2008
committee = John Edwards for President 2008

campaign = U.S. presidential election, 2008
candidate = Johnny Reid Edwards
U.S. Senator from North Carolina 1999–2005
cand_id = C00431205
fec_date = 2008-01-31
status = Announced Dec. 28, 2006
Withdrew Jan. 30, 2008
affiliation = Democratic Party
headquarters = Chapel Hill, North Carolina
key_people = David Bonior (Manager)
Joe Trippi (Senior Strategist)
Jon Prince
receipts =
slogan = Tomorrow Begins Today
homepage = []

John Edwards is the former United States Senator from North Carolina and was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004. On December 28 2006, he announced his entry into the 2008 Presidential election in the city of New Orleans near sites devastated by Hurricane Katrina. On January 30, 2008, Edwards returned to New Orleans to announce that he was suspending his campaign for the Presidency. On May 14, 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama at a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan.



On December 28 2006, John Edwards officially announced his candidacy for President in the 2008 election. [ [,,11069-2521766,00.html John Edwards joins race for White House - World - Times Online ] ] The day before, his campaign website accidentally released that Edwards would be entering the 2008 Presidential election when it went live for a short time one day prior to his planned announcement in Eastern New Orleans. [cite news | url= | title=John Edwards Joins Presidential Race | publisher=The Washington Post | author=Nedra Pickler | date=2006-12-28 | accessdate=2006-12-28] He also inadvertently released his campaign slogan early as well: "Tomorrow begins today." [cite news | url= | title= Democrat John Edwards: I'm running for president | publisher=AP | date=2006-12-28 | accessdate=2006-12-28] This ended months of speculation about whether or not Edwards would make a second run for President.

David Bonior, a former House Democratic Whip from Michigan, was Edwards' campaign manager, bringing strong relationships with organized labor, as well as experience in grassroots campaigning. cite news | url= | title=Bonior Joins Edwards: Ex-congressman will lead his run for White House | publisher=Detroit Free Press | date=2006-12-29 | accessdate=2007-01-06] Kate Michelman, a nationally prominent abortion rights activist and former leader of NARAL, joined the campaign as a senior adviser, charged with outreach to women. cite news | url= | title=Abortion Rights Activist Backs Edwards | publisher=ABC | date=2007-01-05 | accessdate=2007-01-06] Joe Trippi, former Howard Dean Internet strategist, joined Edwards' campaign as part of the media team and also senior adviser in April, 2007. [ [ Trippi joins campaign] ]

Two newly-hired staff members responsible for the Edwards campaign blog, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, came under fire from The Catholic League on February 6 regarding comments they had made in their personal blogs prior to joining the campaign which many Catholics considered bigoted. [ [ Catholic League press release] ] Edwards refused to fire them, saying that while "intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign...I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake". [cite web |url= |title=Statement on Campaign Bloggers |accessdate=2007-02-12 |last=Edwards |first=John |authorlink=John Edwards |date=2007-02-08 ] The bloggers issued statements separating their personal blogs from the campaign, [cite web |url= |title=About My Personal Blog |accessdate=2007-02-12 |last=Marcotte |first=Amanda |authorlink=Amanda Marcotte |date=2007-02-08 ] [cite web |url= |title=My Words | author=Melissa McEwan | date=2007-02-08 | accessdate=2007-02-12] but Marcotte resigned a few days later, saying that the Catholic League's harassment was interfering with her ability to do her job. [cite web |url= |title=Announcement |work=Pandagon | author=Amanda Marcotte |date=2007-02-12 | accessdate=2007-02-13]

During a speech at the American Conservative Union's Political Action Conference, Ann Coulter used the epithet "faggot" in what she claimed afterward was meant as a one-liner joke about presidential candidate Edwards, a remark for which she was criticized by pundits on the left and the right. [cite web|url=|title= Controversial columnist draws fire for gay slur|publisher=Reuters |date=2007-05-04 |accessdate=2007-03-22] Edwards responded to Coulter's remark, saying: "I think it's important that we not reward hateful, selfish, childish behavior with attention..." [cite web |url=,2933,256526,00.html |title=John Edwards Breaks Silence on Coulter's 'Faggot' Barb | |accessdate=2007-03-06 |date=2007-03-05 ]

Since his campaign kicked off in 2007, Edwards faced questions about potential conflicts between his campaign against poverty and his personal wealth, particularly the price of his recently built home (estimated at more than $6 million) [cite news | url= |title=Edwards Home County's Largest |publisher=Carolina Journal |date=2007-01-26] and how much he paid for two haircuts ($400 each). [cite news | url= |title=Edwards' haircuts cost a pretty penny |publisher=MSNBC |date=2007-04-17] Edwards reimbursed the campaign and explained that the cost was high because the stylist had to travel to where he was to give the cut. [cite news | url= | title=Edwards 'embarrassed' by haircut |publisher=Quad City Times |date=2007-04-20]

On March 22 2007, Edwards and his wife announced that she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, with newly discovered metastases to the bone and possibly to her lung.cite web| url= |title=Former Sen. Edwards Holds a News Conference on Wife's Health: Breast Cancer Has Returned |author=Transcript of press conference |publisher=Washington Post|date=2007-03-22|accessdate=2007-03-25] [cite news | url= | title= Edwards: Wife's cancer returns, campaign goes on | publisher=CNN | author=Candy Crowley | date=2007-03-23 | accessdate=2007-06-14] They said that the cancer was "no longer curable, but is completely treatable" [cite news | url= | title= Edwards: Cancer 'no longer curable' | publisher=CNN | author=Mary Carter |coauthors=Elizabeth Cohen and Amy Burkholder | date=2007-05-22 | accessdate=2007-06-14] and that they planned to continue campaigning together with an occasional break when Ms. Edwards requires treatment, saying "The campaign goes on strongly."cite web |url=|title=Edwards Presses on With 2008 Campaign |author= Nedra Pickler| |accessdate=2007-03-22 |date=2007-03-22 ] This ended erroneous media speculation prior to the press conference that Edwards would announce a suspension of his campaign. [See's explanation and retraction of their incorrect blog post which other media had cited in the hours leading up to the press conference. cite web|url=|title=How Politico Got It Wrong|author=Ben Smith||accessdate=2007-03-23|date=2007-03-22]

In May 2007, Edwards explained that his 2005 decision to work for the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group cite news | url= | title=Edwards Says He Didn't Know About Subprime Push | author=Alec MacGillis and John Solomon | publisher=Washington Post | date=2007-05-11 | accessdate=2007-05-13] was so that he might learn more about the way financial markets and poverty were linked, saying "It was primarily to learn, but making money was a good thing, too". Edwards initially declined to disclose exactly how much money he made, saying that all information would be released in his financial disclosure forms when candidates are required to do so. [cite news| url= | title=Edwards Discusses Time at Hedge Fund| publisher=AP| date=2007-05-08 | accessdate=2007-05-20] Those forms, released a week later, showed that Edwards made $479,512 from his time at Fortress, making it his biggest single source of earned income in 2006. [cite news | |title=Candidates’ assets, income on display | publisher=MSNBC | date=2007-05-16m | accessdate=2007-05-20] In addition, John Edwards has raised at least $167,700 for his campaign from individuals associated with Fortress Investment Group. [cite web | url=| publisher=Washington Post | title=Fortress Contributions to Edwards | accessdate=2007-05-24]

During a campaign speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in May 2007, Edwards called the War on Terrorism a slogan that was created for political reasons and that it wasn't a plan to make the United States safe. He went further to compare it to a bumper sticker and that it had damaged the US's alliances and standing in the world. In response to the Edwards's remarks, President Bush's homeland security adviser called them "irresponsible, ... offensive and outrageous". [cite news | url= | title=Edwards slams war on terrorism as "bumper sticker" | publisher=Reuters | author=Michelle Nichols | date=2007-05-23 | accessdate=2007-06-14]

On September 1, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama joined Senator Edwards to stop campaigning in Michigan and Florida two states that have bucked their party's nomination schedule. [cite news |url= |title=Clinton, Obama and Edwards Join Pledge to Avoid Defiant States |author=Jeff Zeleny |work=New York Times |date=September 2, 2007 |accessdate=2007-12-07]

On January 3, 2008, in the Iowa Caucuses, the first contest of the nomination process, Edwards placed second with 29.75 percent of the vote to Obama (37.58 percent), with Clinton coming in third with 29.47 percent of the vote. [ [ Iowa Democratic Party Caucus Results ] ] On January 8, Edwards placed a distant third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary with just less than 17% (48,818 votes). On January 26, Edwards again placed third in the South Carolina Democratic primary, 2008, his birth state, which he carried in 2004 and he placed third in the non-binding January 29 vote in Florida.

On January 30, 2008, Edwards announced that he was ending his campaign for the Presidency.cite news | url= | title=Edwards exits presidential race | publisher=CBS News | date=2008-01-30 | accessdate=2008-01-30]

On February 13, 2008 several high ranking advisers close to Edwards stated that he believed Hillary Clinton was the strongest remaining Democratic candidate and that because of this she was most likely to receive his public endorsement. [ [ Edwards Endorsement: Clinton Or Obama? - Politics on The Huffington Post ] ] However, Barack Obama's meeting with Edwards on February 17 brought that statement into question.


In the first quarter of 2007, the Edwards campaign raised over $14 million, $1 million of which was reserved for the general election. Almost $3.3 million of the $14 million was raised from over 37,000 contributions made over the Internet. [ cite news | | title=Edwards campaign raises $14 million | author=Robert Yoon and Sasha Johnson | | date=2007-04-01 | accessdate=2007-06-01]

On June 21 2007, Edwards campaign adviser Joe Trippi sent out a fundraising e-mail stating that the campaign had a goal of raising $9 million in the second quarter and $40 million before the Iowa caucuses. [ cite news | | title=Edwards' 2Q fundraising goal?| author=Mark Murray | | date=2007-06-21 | accessdate=2007-07-09]

On June 25 2007, with the end of the second quarter of fundraising approaching and the campaign short of its goal, Trippi sent a strongly worded email to supporters, saying that "the whole Washington establishment wants our campaign to go away." Trippi wrote, "they don’t want the American people to hear the message, so they attack the messenger. They call him a hypocrite because he came from nothing, built a fortune while standing up for regular people during some of their toughest times, and—heaven forbid!—he has the nerve to remember where he came from and still care passionately about guaranteeing every family the opportunities he had to get ahead." [cite news | url= | title=Edwards campaign claims Washington wants them to ‘go away’ | publisher=CNN | author=Alexander Mooney | date=2007-06-25 | accessdate=2007-06-25]

On July 1, 2007, the Edwards campaign announced that they had met their goal just a few hours before the midnight deadline. [cite news | url= | title=Edwards Pulls in $9 Million for Quarter | publisher=ABC | author=Raelyn Johnson | date=2007-07-01 | accessdate=2007-07-09] Edwards shrugged aside criticism that he had not raised nearly as much as his competitors by noting that Howard Dean, the leading fundraiser in 2004 did not get the nomination. [cite news | url=| title=Edwards cites Dean campaign as example | publisher=AP | date=2007-07-08 | accessdate=2007-07-09]

On September 27, 2007, Edwards announced during a CNN interview that his campaign would accept public financing, enabling him to receive federal matching funds for the primary season. [cite news | url= | title=Edwards says he'll accept public financing | publisher=CNN | date=2007-09-27 | accessdate=2007-09-27 ] The Federal Elections Commission formally declared him qualified on November 1, 2007. [ [ edwards certification ] ]

Opinion polling

Towards the end of 2007, polls indicated Edwards as either tied for 1st or 2nd place, depending on the poll, for the January 3, 2008 Iowa caucus and in 3rd place for the January 8 New Hampshire primary. cite news |title=New Lee poll: Edwards moves into 3-way tie|url=
publisher= "The Courier (Waterloo-Cedar Falls)" |first=Dan | last=Gearino |date= December 28, 2007
] cite news |title=Obama catches Clinton in N.H.; Iowa remains a 3-way contest |url=,0,5452139.story
publisher= "The Los Angeles Times" |first=Janet | last=Hook |date= December 28, 2007
] [] Edwards finished in 2nd place in the Iowa Causus with 30% of the vote, behind Senator Barack Obama who had 38%, and ahead of Senator Hillary Clinton who had 29%. [] On January 8, he placed third in the New Hampshire Primary, the first primary of the nominating process.

The early national polls showed Edwards placing third among the Democratic field, behind Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama. [cite web | title=Clinton, Obama in Virtual Tie Among Democrats | url= | publisher=Rasmussen FReports | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2007-06-01]


cite episode |title= ElectionCenter2008; Iowa Caucuses (Special Coverage) County Results |url= |series=CNN |serieslink=CNN |network= CNN |airdate=2008-01-03 ] legend|#00FFFF|border=1px #AAAAAA solidOn January 3 2008, the 2008 Iowa Caucuses were held across locations across the state of Iowa. Unlike primaries, voting during the Iowa caucuses was held across the state where participants gathered into groups to select their choice for the Democratic Nominee. If a candidate failed to garner over 15% of the support at a particular site, all supporters at that site would be given the option to leave or join a different candidate. [ cite web| url =| title = How do the Iowa Caucuses work? ]

As votes were being tallied on Caucus night, 2008, John Edwards was in a tight battle for second place with Senator Hillary Clinton, after major news agencies had projected Barack Obama had carried the Iowa caucuses. [ cite web| url =| title = Mike Huckabee wins Iowa; Dems Clinton, Edwards, and Obama close ] With 100% of the votes counted, John Edwards was confirmed to have finished in second place during the Iowa Caucuses with 744 State delegates or approximately 30% of the state delegation [ cite web| url =| title = Election Center 2008: Results for John Edwards ] narrowly edging out Hilary Clinton's 737 State delegates or approximately 29% of the State Delegation [ cite web| url =| title = Election Center 2008 Results for Hillary Clinton ] Both lost to Barack Obama's 940 Delegates, or 38% of the State Delegation.

Following the Iowa Caucuses, John Edwards vowed to stay in the race until the Democratic Convention in Denver despite having less support amongst New Hampshire voters in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary. A poll released after the Iowa Caucuses showed that 20% of those polled showed their support for John Edwards, compared to 33% for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama [ cite web| url =| title = THE CNN / WMUR NH PRIMARY TRACKING POLL|format=PDF ] However, with 100% of the vote counted, Edwards finished in a distant third with 17% of the vote, compared to second place finisher Barack Obama who received 37% support , and even further behind Clinton, who won the state and received 39% of the vote.

Edwards was hit by further losses, including a distant third showing during the Nevada Caucuses in which he finished with 4% of the vote. This prompted Edwards to say "I got my butt kicked" [ cite web| url =| title = CNN Political Ticker ] during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition.

Finally, the Edwards campaign staked much of their campaign on South Carolina, a state in which the Senator won in 2004 with 45% of the vote, and the state in which he had been born in. After a praised debate performance during the Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach shortly before the South Carolina Primary, Edwards began to see a last minute surge shortly before the contest. [ cite web| url =| title = The Swam [: Clinton Obama showed grit at SC Debate ] During the conclusion of a last minute surge the week before the primary, most polls indicated Clinton and Edwards in a close match for second place in South Carolina In the end, Clinton came in second with 27% of the vote while Edwards came in third with 18% of the vote [ cite web| url =| title = 2008: Primary Results ]

After a non-binding contest in Florida, Edwards left the race, but garnered several votes during Super Tuesday, which included finishing with 10% of the vote in Oklahoma, and 4% in Tennessee [ cite web| url =| title = John Edwards Results ]

Delegate count


The endorsement of John Edwards was heavily sought out after by both Hillary Clinton as well as Barack Obama.

Edwards after dropping out of the primaries, had a total of 19 Pledged Delegates from the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire Primary, as well as the South Carolina Primary. [ cite web| url =| title = Edwards endorsement pays off for Obama ] In addition to 19 Pledged Delegates, before departing the race, Edwards had the support of 26 Super Delegates in the Democratic Party. Also, Edwards had been endorsed by several big unions such as the USW (United Steelworkers) [ cite web| url =| title = USW: Steelworkers endorse John Edwards ] . The USW has aprox. 650,000 members, across several states to influence the Presidential race.

Edwards met with Barack Obama on February 17 2008 > cite web| url =| title = Obama and Edwards Sit Down in North Carolina ] to discuss various issues regarding his endorsement. Despite the fact that no announcement was made immediately after the endorsement, the meeting gained quite a bit of media attention.

Edwards has frequent conversations with Hillary Clinton throughout his time after the primaries. Also, Clinton met with Edwards in North Carolina on February 10 2008 to discuss among other things a possible endorsement. [ cite web| url =| title = Hillary Sneaks Away to Seek Edwards ]

On May 14 2008, Edwards traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to officially endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential Nomination [ cite web| url =| title = Edwards to Endorse Obama ] . During his endorsement speech, Edwards praised Senator Clinton but stated that "the voters have made up their mind and so have I" to the sound of resounding applause to the packed audience . [ cite web| url =| title = Breaking News: Edwards endorses Obama ]

Since Edwards endorsed Obama, twelve of Edwards's delegates have pledged their support to Obama following John Edwards's lead. Also, the United Steelworkers followed his lead and endorsed Senator Obama. [ cite web| url =| title = Join John Edwards in growing wave of support for Barack Obama ]

Political positions



"The Wall Street Journal" criticized his healthcare plan and estimated it will cost the taxpayers $120 billion a year [cite web | url=| title=Wrong Turn
publisher=The Wall Street Journal | date=2007-08-01 | accessdate=2007-08-08
] and pointed out how Edwards did not address the Tax Code with regards to S-Corporation loopholes that allow people to dodge medicare taxes; a loophole Edwards himself has used in the past. [cite web | url=| title=Liberal Loopholes
publisher=The Wall Street Journal | date=2004-07-13 | accessdate=2007-08-08

Commentator Bill O'Reilly was a vocal critic of John Edwards since the beginning of the controversy regarding comments made by his former bloggers Marcotte and McEwan. [cite web | url=,2933,251906,00.html| title=John Edwards and His Anti-Christian Employees
publisher=Fox News Channel | date=2007-02-14 | accessdate=2007-08-08
] O'Reilly feels that what he terms the "radical left" has intimidated Edwards and controls his agenda. [cite web |url=,2933,263586,00.html| title= Helping the Enemy| publisher= Fox News Channel | date= 2007-04-03 | accessdate=2007-08-08] O'Reilly alleges that Edwards pulled out of the Fox News debates to curry favor with financier billionaire George Soros, whom O'Reilly feels is funding radical causes. [cite web | url=,2933,270631,00.html| title=Far Left Influence: 'Hurricane Soros' Is Getting Stronger| publisher=Fox News Channel | date=2007-05-08 | accessdate=2007-08-08] Edwards was also disparagingly characterized on O'Reilly's show as "Huey Long with a Madison Avenue makeover" for his opposition to the surge. [cite web | url=,2933,319947,00.html| title=Surge Success| publisher=Fox News Channel | date=2008-01-03 | accessdate=2008-01-10]

The News Corporation criticized remarks Edwards made about its subsidiary Fox News, saying that Edwards' criticism is hypocritical as he received an advance from Harper Collins, also a subsidiary of News Corp, for his book. [cite news | url= | title=Murdoch's News Corp. says former Sen. John Edwards benefited from book deal with the media company | publisher=International Herald and Tribune | date=2007-08-03 | accessdate=2007-08-08] Edwards donated the money to charity, however, O'Reilly's show alleges that Edwards did not provide proof of it when asked. [cite web | url=,2933,292240,00.html| title=Hypocrite? John Edwards vs. News Corporation| publisher=Fox News Channel | date=2007-08-06 | accessdate=2007-08-08]

ee also

*Political positions of John Edwards
*John Edwards
*U.S. presidential election, 2008


External links

* [ John Edwards for President] Official campaign website, [ podcast]
* [ John Edwards '08 Blog] , [ One Corps]
* [ Iowa for Edwards]
* [ Students for John Edwards] ;Topic pages and databases
* [ FEC] presidential campaign finance reports
* [ Spartan Internet Political Performance Index rank for John Edwards by week ]
* [ On the Issues] issue positions
* [] campaign contributions
* [ Politics1] links to campaign sites
* [ Project Vote Smart] candidate information
*dmoz|Regional/North_America/United_States/Society_and_Culture/Politics/Candidates_and_Campaigns/Presidential/2008/Candidates/Edwards,_John|John Edwards;Media coverage
* [ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer] campaign coverage
* [ New York Times] campaign coverage
* [ Washington Post] campaign coverage
* [,8599,1570071,00.html And the Democratic Front-runner Is... John Edwards?] Joe Klein, "TIME", December 14, 2006
* []

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