WASHINGTON — Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards is running for president for a second time, his campaign said Wednesday. NBC News confirmed the senator’s intention to run.
Edwards plans to formally announce his candidacy Thursday from New Orleans’ 9th Ward which is hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. But his campaign got a little ahead of itself Wednesday and announced his intentions online.
“Better a day earlier than a day late,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Edwards’ adviser.
On Wednesday, Edwards visited the site where he planned to make his announcement for a photo opportunity. He did yard work at the home of New Orleans resident Orelia Tyler, 54, whose home was completely gutted by Hurricane Katrina and is close to being rebuilt.
Edwards’ announcement was made after his campaign accidentally launched his campaign Web site a day early, then shut it back down.
The campaign Web site’s logo is “John Edwards ’08” and its slogan is “Tomorrow begins today.”
Edwards did not cancel his plans for a formal announcement because of President Ford’s death late Tuesday. He issued a statement saying he was deeply saddened by the news and calling Ford a “true leader.”
“He called on us to never lose faith that we can change America,” Edwards said.
Focus on New Orleans recovery
Taking turns with about 30 young people shoveling loads of dirt in Tyler’s backyard, Edwards declined to discuss the campaign, focusing instead on the slow recovery in New Orleans, where whole neighborhoods remain a wasteland.
“Anyone who’s not concerned with the rate of recovery is not paying attention,” said Edwards. He said finger-pointing is part of the problem and he said the student volunteers he worked with provided an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation.
Edwards arrived promptly at 1:30 p.m., clad in jeans and a khaki work shirt. His aides kept more than two-dozen reporters and photographers at bay as he and the students prepared Tyler’s yard for landscaping.
Tyler is still living in a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer in her yard.
“I feel like a child with Santa Claus,” Tyler said before Edwards arrived.
NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.