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Edwards Web site lets candidacy out of bag
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday, a day earlier than he'd planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.
The North Carolina Democrat's campaign accidentally went live with his election Web site a day before today's announcement that was scheduled to use hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as a backdrop.
The slip-up gave an unintended double-meaning to his campaign slogan on the John Edwards '08 Web site: "Tomorrow begins today."
Aides quickly shut down the errant Web site but could not contain the news. "Better a day earlier than a day late," said Jennifer Palmieri, an Edwards adviser.
Late Wednesday, Edwards announced his intentions to supporters in an e-mail. "I'm running to ask millions of Americans to take responsibility and take action to change our country and ensure America's greatness in the 21st century," he wrote.
Earlier, Edwards visited the site of his planned announcement for a photo opportunity. He did yardwork at the home of Orelia Tyler, 54, whose house was gutted by Hurricane Katrina and is close to being rebuilt.
In his e-mail, Edwards said he chose New Orleans for his announcement because it demonstrates the power people have to build America when they take responsibility instead of leaving it to Washington.
Edwards listed five priorities to change America. Among them: "Guaranteeing health care for every single American," "Strengthening our middle class and ending the shame of poverty," "Leading the fight against global warming," and "Getting America and the world to break our addiction to oil."
The son of a textile-mill worker, Edwards has been on a fast track most of his life despite his up-by-the-bootstraps roots. A standout law student who became a stunningly successful trial lawyer, Edwards vaulted from nowhere politically into the U.S. Senate and then onto the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket — all in less than six years.
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