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Candidate Edwards

John Edwards relaxes inside a Kentucky courthouse after another of his “Two Americas” speeches on poverty in July. The location was no accident. Nearly 40 years earlier, Robert Kennedy spoke to the people of Prestonsburg about the same issue. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Edwards may be the commander in chief of his campaign, but he relies on his generals — his top aides — for help with logistics and planning. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
The former trial lawyer uses the skills he honed in court to connect with the public. He remains confident that Democrats flirting with other candidates will warm to him, though polls show him lagging behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama nationally. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
John Edwards greets Sammie Mae Henley on her porch in Marks, Miss., the town where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began his 1968 Poor People’s March on Washington. Aubrey Collums, the mayor of Marks, gave Edwards the key to the city, accidentally calling him “Senator Kennedy” in the process. No one corrected the mayor’s apparent reference to Robert Kennedy, who made poverty a campaign theme in 1968. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
The former senator from North Carolina obliges two supporters who want a keepsake photo. It’s the end of another day on the campaign trail, this time in Whitesburg, Ky. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Even a candidate with a finely tuned message and delivery can be caught off guard. Edwards tries to hold back his laughter after someone in the audience in Creston, Iowa, yelled out a joke about Vice President Dick Cheney. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Elizabeth Edwards introduces her husband after warming up the crowd in New Hampshire. The couple have often worked as a team on the campaign trail, despite her inoperable cancer. “From our perspective, other than sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, there was no reason to stop,” John Edwards said in March when they made the announcement about her health. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
While Dad is off seeking votes nearby, the kids get to hang out with Mom. Elizabeth Edwards has just asked Jack who his girlfriend is, and Emma Claire is more than happy to provide the answer. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
“I’ve spent my whole life standing up for the little guy” is a phrase John Edwards uses often while stumping for support. But away from the crowds, in the solitude of his campaign bus with Jack, “the little guy” takes on an entirely different meaning. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
The campaign bus is a home away from home for the Edwards family. Older sister Cate is caught up in the antics of Jack and Emma Claire, to the amusement of their parents. An older son, Wade, was killed in 1996 at age 16 in a car accident. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
The eight-state “poverty tour” during the summer includes a stop at a shelter for homeless women and children in Youngstown, Ohio. Eight-year-old Kaylyn Hoschar has more immediate matters to tend to than the discussion about economic opportunity. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
“I spent a lot of time, last time, thinking about being a good candidate,” Edwards said on the campaign trail in Pittsburgh, reflecting on his 2004 campaign. “I spend my time now thinking about what I want to do as president.” (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
John Edwards has staked his success in the presidential campaign on a fast start, which makes the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses crucial. Polls show he’s in a nip-and-tuck race there with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
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