Can JRE pull off a JFK, or an RFK? John Edwards plans to announce Monday that he’ll take a break from fund-raising and campaigning in early-voting states next week for a three-day, eight-state, 12-city “Road to One America” tour aimed at calling attention to poverty in the deep South, the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia and the Rust Belt. The campaign points out that none of the states he’ll visit has an early 2008 primary, and says Edwards won’t be doing rallies.
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Instead, TV viewers will see Edwards in coal country, Edwards in a factory, Edwards on a farm, Edwards in a struggling neighborhood, Edwards in a school, Edwards in a health care clinic. “It’s an effort to show the rest of the country how 37 million Americans live their lives in poverty every single day,” an Edwards aide said. “It’s not only their workplaces — it’s their homes and the places they get health care.”
Edwards will start next Sunday, July 15, with a walking tour of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. The three-day tour will officially begin the next day in New Orleans with a town hall in conjunction with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where he’ll kick off the day’s theme of “Rewarding Work and Ending Poverty in America.” Then he’ll head to Canton, Miss.; Marks, Miss.; Marianna, Ark.; and Memphis, Tenn., where he’ll give the first of two speeches.