PORTSMOUTH -- When former North Carolina Sen. and Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards takes the podium at the Little Harbour School on Friday, it will be as an announced candidate for president in 2008.
"(Today), John Edwards is planning to announce what has been clear to much of the world since the end of the last presidential election: He is running for president in 2008," The San Francisco Chronicle reported on its Web site Wednesday.
The Chronicle indicated Edwards will make the announcement this morning during a visit to New Orleans' Ninth Ward neighborhood, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The Associated Press reported that Edwards' campaign got a little ahead of itself Wednesday when it accidentally launched his campaign Web site a day early. It then promptly shut it back down.
"Better a day earlier than a day late," said Jennifer Palmieri, Edwards' adviser.
Earlier on Wednesday, Edwards' Washington-based press secretary and spokeswoman for his political action committee, Jenni Lee, said she could not confirm the Chronicle's report.
"I can neither confirm nor deny that the senator will be making an announcement," Lee said Wednesday.
The Chronicle's report was not the first indication the former senator will run for sure in 2008.
The National Journal Online reported on Sunday that in a note to those on his e-mail list titled "The big decision," Edwards asked his Internet community to rally for his all-but-announced campaign. Supporters were asked to e-mail Edwards at a new domain -- readytochangeamercia.com -- instead of the address he's been using for the past few years, OneAmericaCommittee.com.
The National Journal Online cites the Web site www.readytochangeamerica.com, which redirects Web users to johnedwardsevents.com. The site lists a town hall-style tour schedule across the presidential primary states. Edwards will head to Des Moines, Iowa, today; to Portsmouth and Reno, Nev., on Friday; then to West Columbia, S.C., and Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday. Although many of those events had already been publicized by local state parties, the e-mail is the first attributed announcement that links all the appearances together, according to the National Journal Online.
The National Journal site quoted some excerpts from Edwards' "big decision" e-mail:
"Now, we have a big decision to make -- and I do mean we. I'm getting ready to take this effort to the next level -- to bring Americans together in all 50 states to tackle the big challenges facing our country, from poverty and lack of health care, to energy and global warming. ... But this is our effort, and we can only succeed if we're all in it together. So before I make a final decision, I need to hear from you: Are you ready?"
GO & DO
John Edwards in Portsmouth
Where: Little Harbour School
When: Doors open Friday at noon; he is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: Reserve free seats at www.johnedwardsevents.com.
FREE tickets are available to the general public for the John Edwards Special Event and Town Hall Meeting at Little Harbour School Friday, December 29 at the following downtown Portsmouth locations: River Run Bookstore, Portsmouth Gaslight Co and the Flower Kiosk.