Image: John Edwards
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards volunteers in New Orleans on Wednesday, a day before his scheduled presidential run announcement.
NBC News and news services
updated 12/27/2006 4:58:35 PM ET 2006-12-27T21:58:35

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.

Photos: John Edwards' public life

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  1. Early family portrait

    In an undated photograph, future Sen. John Edwards, bottom right, sits with his sister, Kathy Edwards, left, and parents Bobbie and Wallace. He was born on June 10, 1953, in Seneca, S.C. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Gridiron pose

    In 1970, Edwards was a member of the North Moore High School Mustangs varsity football team during his senior year. (Edwards Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. I thee wed

    Elizabeth and John Edwards on their wedding day July 30, 1977. (Edwards Family / Zuma via Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A son's legacy

    Edwards stands with his late son, Wade, on Mount Kilimanjaro in 1995. Less than a year after the Kilimanjaro trek, Wade was swept away with the high winds that pushed his Jeep off a highway in April 1996. (Edwards Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Visiting the White House

    Left to right, John Edwards, Cate Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Wade Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 1996. Wade Edwards was invited to a reception honoring the American National Endowment for the Humanities National Essay Winners. (Courtesy, Williiam J. Clinton Pr) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Order in the court

    A successful trial attorney, on Sept. 5, 1997, Edwards, right, sits with clients Sandy and David Lakey as they await what turned out to be the largest personal injury verdict in North Carolina history, $25 million in compensatory damages for injuries suffered by their daughter in a swimming pool. (The News Observer / ZUMA Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Political victory

    Edwards, the Democratic Senate candidate, celebrates his victory with his six-month-old daughter, Emma Claire, on Nov. 3, 1998, at the North Raleigh Hilton in Raleigh, N.C. Edwards defeated GOP incumbent Lauch Faircloth, 51 percent to 47 percent. (Patrick Schneider / THE Charlotte Observer via KRT ) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Presidential impeachment

    On Feb. 3, 1999, Edwards is surrounded, from the left, by fellow senators, Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., as they meet reporters to discuss the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. (Tim Sloan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Hat in the ring

    On Sept. 16, 2003, Edwards, along with his family, from left, daughter Catherine, son Jack, daughter Emma Claire and his wife Elizabeth, wave to supporters at the old Milliken Mill in Robbins, N.C., where he officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Book barnstorming

    Now a presidential candidate, Edwards smiles while signing copies of his book, "Four Trials," at a bookstore in Concord, N.H., on Dec. 22, 2003. (Brian Snyder / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Opening day

    A day before Iowa's electoral caucus on Jan. 19, 2004, Edwards pauses during a campaign stop in Davenport. Sen. John Kerry won in Iowa, with Edwards finishing second. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. On the road again

    Edwards and his children, Jack, 3, Emma Claire, 5, lean out of a window on the campaign bus outside a polling place in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 3, 2004. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Facing facts

    Edwards pauses during a speech at Broughton High School, in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., on March 3, 2004, before formally announcing the end of his underdog campaign and praising John Kerry as the right man to challenge President Bush for the presidency. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Kerry/Edwards 2004

    Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry display their support at an event in Market Square in Pittsburgh on July 6, 2004, where Kerry formally announced that his former rival, Edwards, would be his vice presidential running mate. (Hector Mata / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Vice presidential debaters

    Vice President Dick Cheney, left, listens to Edwards answer a question during their campaign debate on Oct. 5, 2004, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Conceding defeat

    Edwards and Kerry stand together at Faneuil Hall in Boston on Nov. 3, 2004, as the pair conceded defeat to President Bush in the presidential election. (Jeff Haynes / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Breast cancer diagnosis

    Edwards, with his wife, Elizabeth, right, and their daughter Cate, look to supporters following Sen. John Kerry's concession speech in Boston on Nov. 3, 2004. That same day it was reported that Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Amy Sancetta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Katrina comments

    At the formal opening of his new poverty center in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Sept. 7, 2005, Edwards joins critics who panned the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, saying the president was slow and indecisive in making decisions about the disaster. (Jeffrey A. Camarati / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Lending support

    On Aug. 17, 2006, Edwards waits to speak at a rally for Senate nominee Ned Lamont, D-Conn., at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Lamont went on to beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, but lost to Lieberman, who ran as an independent, in the general election. (Darren Mccollester / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Back in the race

    Edwards walks past a cordon of student volunteers as he arrives to announce his candidacy for president, Dec. 28, 2006, at a house affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Family ties

    Edwards is introduced by daughter Emma Claire during a March 13, 2007, rally at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A new challenge

    Edwards and his wife discuss her cancer reoccurrence at a March 22, 2007 news conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Leaving the race

    John Edwards speaks on January 30, 2008. He is watched by his wife and children on Bartholomew Street in the Upper Ninth Ward in New Orleans, where the Habitat for Humanity project Musician’s Village is being built. Edwards pulled out of the White House race, leaving the fight for the Democratic nomination to bitter rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Matthew Hinton / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Obama endorsement

    Sen. Barack Obama and Edwards wave during a rally at Van Andel Arena on May 14, 2008 in Grand Rapids, Mich., following Edwards' endorsement of Obama after Sen. Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia primary. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The other woman

    In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, Rielle Hunter leaves the Terry Sanford Federal Building and Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C., with her daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter. On Jan. 21, 2010, publicly admitted that he fathered the child with Hunter, a campaign videographer. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Admitting an affair

    Bob Woodruff interviews John Edwards on ABC News Friday, Aug. 8, 2008 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Funeral for Elizabeth

    John Edwards and his children, Emma Claire, left, Jack and Cate, far right, leave the funeral service for Elizabeth Edwards at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. Elizabeth died Tuesday, Dec. 7 of cancer at the age of 61. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Facing indictment

    John Edwards is accompanied by his daughter, Cate Edwards, left wearing red, as he departs the U.S. District Court after pleading not guilty to six federal charges in Winston-Salem, N.C., June 3, 2011. Edwards was indicted for using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign funds to help cover up an extramarital affair during his White House bid. (Davis Turner / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Difficult testimony

    Cate Upham glances at her father, former Sen. John Edwards as they leave the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., May 2, 2012. Upham left the courtroom crying during testimony about a confrontation between her father and deceased mother. Edwards is charged with six criminal counts related to payments from wealthy donors that were used to conceal his mistress and the child they had. (Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Not guilty

    John Edwards speaks outside a federal courthouse as his daughter Cate Upham, left, and his parents Wallace Edwards, second from right, and Bobbie Edwards, right, stand by his side after the jury's verdict in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, May 31, 2012. The jury found Edwards 'not guilty' on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and a mistrial was declared on the remaining five charges because the jurors were deadlocked. Edwards said in a statement following the verdict, "While I don't believe I did anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins." (Chuck Burton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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