Why Is Edwards AWOL in North Carolina?

Former senator has surprisingly little clout in home state
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2008 6:16 AM CDT
Democrat John Edwards as he withdrew from the presidential race.   (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Why has John Edwards maintained silence as the precarious Democratic contest heads to his home state of North Carolina? Could be, Politico posits, because he knows he has little sway there. According to insiders, the state, which holds its primary Tuesday, knew the senator only fleetingly before he leapt to the national stage, and though Democrats are proud of this native son's "political comet," an endorsement “would carry no weight.”

Edwards was only four years into his first term when he began campaigning for president in 2004, and he did not seek reelection. One congressman noted, without malice, that “he’s probably gone to more political events in Iowa in the last four years than in North Carolina.” So, while Edwards is “exceptional” and “well-known nationally,” “You simply do not hear his name associated with the work in the vineyards and making a difference in terms of fundraisers or endorsements,” an NC consultant notes.