NEW ORLEANS – Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday a day earlier than he’d planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.
The North Carolina Democrat’s campaign accidentally went live with his election Web site a day before an announcement today that was scheduled to use Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as a backdrop.
The slip-up gave an unintended double-meaning to his campaign slogan on the John Edwards ‘08 Web site: “Tomorrow begins today.”
Late Wednesday, Edwards announced his intentions to supporters in an e-mail. “I’m running to ask millions of Americans to take responsibility and take action to change our country and ensure America’s greatness in the 21st century,” he wrote.
The campaign Web site featured some of Edwards’ expected campaign themes.
“This campaign is about changing America,” the Web site read, listing five priorities that fit neatly with Edwards’ message of economic equality. Among them: “Providing universal health care for all Americans,” “Rebuilding America’s middle class and eliminating poverty,” and “Creating tax fairness by rewarding work, not just wealth.”
The priorities did not mention Iraq, evidence that some candidates may want to move beyond the war in the presidential race.
Edwards, 53, also issued a statement on former President Gerald Ford’s death, saying he was deeply saddened by the news and calling the Michigan Republican a “true leader.”