Photos: John Edwards' public life

loading photos...
  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
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

updated 12/29/2006 7:58:53 AM ET 2006-12-29T12:58:53

Former Sen. John Edwards is charting a different course as he opens his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’s claiming an edge in experience over potential rivals who seem to have momentum.

“There’s a maturity that comes with going through and being tested in the spotlight of a national campaign,” Edwards said Thursday, alluding to his experience two years ago as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

His first day as a declared candidate was a study in contrasts.

He launched the campaign in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, dressed in jeans and standing with volunteers — minus the cheering crowds and waving American flags that accompany most such announcements.

Edwards said volunteers working to rebuild a home “show what’s possible when we as Americans, instead of staying home and complaining about somebody else not doing what they’re supposed to, we actually take responsibility and we take action,” he said.

Afterward, Edwards headed for Iowa, where precinct caucuses traditionally launch the nominating season, for a more traditional opening. He declared his candidacy in front of nearly 1,000 flag-waving, cheering backers, then took questions for nearly an hour in a town-hall format.

When he sought the nomination in 2004, before Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry tapped him to be his running mate, Edwards offered himself as a Southern moderate who favored middle-class tax cuts and voted in the Senate to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

New message
The message is different this time, where he faces an even tougher challenge and likely a larger field of competitors.

Edwards said he’s developing a universal health care plan and wants to build on the two years he spent dealing with such issues as poverty, energy and global warming. He repeatedly apologized for his vote to use force in Iraq.

“It was a mistake and I take responsibility for that,” Edwards said.

Edwards has spent the time since the 2004 election establishing a poverty center at the University of North Carolina, and he’s traveled widely to promote it.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

“When you’ve got the freedom to move around the country, which I’ve had for the last couple of years, you can focus on the things you care most about,” he said. “As to whether the country is ready to hear it, I believe they are, but we’ll see.”

Edwards planned a six-state swing over three days, heading from Iowa to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and his home state of North Carolina.

Video: Making it official The announcement comes early to allow him to build grass-roots support in those key states, he said. All hold nominating contests early in the campaign.

Only Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack have formally announced their intentions to seek the nomination. Most of the attention is going to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, but Edwards said he is confident he can compete with both. He rejected suggestions that Vilsack’s presence in the race would force other candidates to skip Iowa.

“As many good people as can run is a good thing,” Edwards said.

Foreign policy credentials?
In his announcements, Edwards also touted global warming and alternative energy proposals he’s offered, and suggested taxing “the excessive profits of the oil companies” as one method of paying for them.

Edwards called questions about his foreign policy credentials “fair,” and he spent some time talking about his overseas travel, which has increased in recent months.

Besides calling for the start of U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq, he argued that the U.S. should lead efforts to stop the genocide in Sudan and the atrocities in northern Uganda. He accused President Bush of ignoring both issues.

He also targeted the call by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to send thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq, framing what could potentially be a general election debate.

“It would be an enormous mistake to adopt the McCain doctrine and escalate the war,” Edwards said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments