John Edwards

John Edwards(born June 10, 1953), is an American politician, first as a one-term U.S. Senator from North Carolina, then the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 Presidential election.

He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in North Carolina's 1998 Senate election and during his six-year term sought the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2004 presidential election.

He eventually became the Democratic candidate for Vice President, the running mate of presidential nominee Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. After Edwards and Kerry lost the election to incumbents George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Edwards began working full time at the One America Committee, a political action committee he established in 2001, and was appointed director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. He was also a consultant for Fortress Investment Group LLC.

Early life, education, and family

Edwards was born on June 10, 1953 to Wallace Reid Edwards and Catharine Juanita "Bobbie" Wade in Seneca, South Carolina. The family moved several times during Edwards' childhood, eventually settling in Robbins, North Carolina, where his father worked as a textile mill floor worker, eventually promoted to supervisor; his mother had a roadside antique finishing business and then worked as a postal letter carrier when his father left his job.

A football star in high school,Edwards was the first person in his family to attend college. He attended Clemson University and transferred to North Carolina State University. Edwards graduated with high honors earning a bachelor's degree in textile technology in 1974, and later earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) with honors.

While at UNC, he met Elizabeth Anania, who is four years his senior. They married in the summer of 1977 and had four children. Wade, was born in 1979, Cate in 1982, Emma Claire in 1998, and Jack, born in 2000. Their son Wade was killed in a car accident when strong winds swept his Jeep off a North Carolina highway in 1996. Edwards and his wife began the Wade Edwards Foundation in their son's memory; the purpose of the nonprofit organization is "to reward, encourage, and inspire young people in the pursuit of excellence." The Foundation funded the Wade Edwards Learning Lab at Wade's high school, Broughton High School in Raleigh, along with scholarship competitions and essay awards. Just weeks before Wade died, he had been honored at the White House by First Lady Hillary Clinton for an essay he wrote on entering the voting booth with his father.

On November 3, 2004, Elizabeth Edwards revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated via chemotherapy and radiotherapy,and continued to work within the Democratic Party and her husband's One America Committee. On March 22, 2007, Edwards and his wife announced that her cancer had returned; she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, with newly discovered metastases to the bone and possibly to her lung.They said that the cancer was "no longer curable, but is completely treatable,and that they planned to continue campaigning together with an occasional break when she requires treatment.

On December 28, 2006, John Edwards officially announced his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the yard of a home in New Orleans, Louisiana that was being rebuilt after it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.Edwards has stated that his main goals are eliminating poverty, fighting global warming, providing universal health care, and withdrawing troops from Iraq.

National polls have had Edwards placing third among the current Democratic field since January, behind Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama.As of July 2007, the Edwards campaign raised a total of $23 million from nearly 100,000 donors, placing him behind Obama and Clinton in fundraising.

2008 presidential campaign

On January 3, 2008, in the Iowa Caucuses, the first contest of the nomination process, Edwards placed second with 29.75 percent of the vote to Obama (37.58 percent), with Clinton coming in third with 29.47 percent of the vote.On January 8, Edwards placed a distant third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary with just less than 17 % (48,818 votes). On January 26, Edwards again placed third in the South Carolina Democratic primary, 2008, his home state which he carried in 2004.

Political positions

Edwards promotes programs to eliminate poverty in the United States, is pro-choice, and supports "College for Everyone" initiatives. He has endorsed efforts to slow down global warming.

Although Edwards initially supported the Iraq War, he later re-evaluated his position and in November 2005 wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said he regretted voting for the Iraq War Resolution, and discussed three solutions for success in the conflict.He has denounced the "troop surge" in Iraq and is a proponent of withdrawal and has urged Congress to withhold funding for the war without a withdrawal timetable.

Edwards argues in favor of creating one million housing vouchers over five years in order to place poor people in middle class neighborhoods. Edwards has stated, "If we truly believe that we are all equal, then we should live together too.

Edwards has a universal health care plan that requires all Americans to purchase health care, "requires that everybody get preventive care,and that requires employers to provide health care or be taxed to fund public health care.He supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants,is opposed to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage,and supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

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