Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, the man who ran as the Democrat’s choice for Vice President in 2004 is back in Iowa. “I wanted to say thank you to all of you for all you did, all the hard work you did in the campaign that just ended,” Edwards told a crowd last night in Des Moines. He also said his wife, Elizabeth, was responding well to treatment for breast cancer that was discovered on the day after the election. “Elisabeth’s doing great. That’s what I want you to know,” Edwards said. “We feel very good and optimistic about the way things are going…We’ve had the best health care that there is in America which, by the way, is the reason that every family in America ought to have that kind of health care, not just people like us.” Edwards returned into the general theme of his own 2004 presidential campaign, and talked about the “two Americas” that he says are emerging because the rich are getting richer and the poor are finding it harder to get along. Edwards has set up a center in North Carolina to study ways to fight poverty. “We know that it is wrong in a country of our wealth and our prosperity to have 36 million Americans that live in poverty,” Edwards said. “It is one of the great moral issues of our time. It says something about the character of a country how they treat those who are on the margins and who are struggling.” John Norris ran John Kerry’s Iowa campaign and he says the “shelf-life” of that theme of fighting poverty should carry through to 2008 for another Edwards campaign for president. “I think it’s a constant struggle to make our society more fair and I think that goes to the heart of that,” Norris says. Gordon Fischer, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, says Edwards has a great chance in 2008. “It’s hard to know what the field is, who else is running, but certainly he made a lot of fans in Iowa with a very strong second-place showing in the Caucuses last time,” Fischer says. “I think a lot of Democrats really liked what they saw from him as vice presidential candidate so I think he’s at the top of the list right now.” Ron Hoyt, a Democrat from Des Moines who supported Kerry in 2004, says Edwards has a lot going for him. “I think (Edwards) is a fairly viable candidate because of his age and his ability to speak,” Hoyt says. Governor Tom Vilsack is also considering the idea of running for president in 2008, and he was at last night’s event which raised money for Congressman Leonard Boswell’s re-election in 2006. Vilsack called Edwards a “great friend of Iowans.” Edwards later returned the favor and called Vilsack a “very good, fine human being.” Edwards is making an appearance on statewide public television tonight and this afternoon will meet with Iowans who backed his Caucus campaign.
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