John Edwards on the Campaign Trail

Regardless, Kerry still poses a daunting threat to the Edwards effort in delegate numbers. Particularly if Clark takes Oklahoma, a scenario Edwards' Oklahoma state director Ward Curtain indicated keeps him up at night dreaming up new ways to court rural male voters. But there is a path out, and it starts best by winning big in South Carolina tomorrow night and taking a piece of the pies in Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Life on the road with the Edwards campaign has gotten a bit dangerous. Veteran Washington Post political writer David Broder was the victim of faulty duct tape when in Seneca an "Edwards for President" sign slipped off a basketball backboard and slightly sliced the top of Broder's scalp. Two Band-Aids were enough to cover the wound and stop the bleeding. While

Broder kept a resoundingly stiff upper lip, it wasn't pretty.

Secondly, watch out for the Edwards' press buss screeching to a halt on busy highways to pick up press pizza. Out of nowhere Monday afternoon it was a Miami Vice style freeway freeze as cars pulled up on either side of the teal and orange bus to deliver sausage, pepperoni, cheese and mushroom pizzas on the mid-event route.

Edwards campaigns in Greenville and Columbia Tuesday with a scheduled departure for Memphis around 11 pm ET.

The Voice Is Gone

CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 1 — It happened to Kerry, it happened to Dean. Sooner or later, it was bound to happen to Edwards.

No, Nick Baldick has not been replaced. The shakiest thing to happen back at campaign headquarters recently was a computer virus that resent zillions of old e-mails to the in-boxes of the entire press corps, dated in mid-November with headlines like "Edwards Will Return to Iowa." The campaign manager's job is safe and sound, strategizing an ideal world urge to surge to take place seemingly eons from now in Tennessee and Virginia.

And no, the candidate has not re-visited his decision not to "bust the caps," as Edwards likes to stay. That decision was made long ago by some but not Edwards, who in Florence, S.C., said he thought his campaign was in perhaps the best financial shape of any candidate in the game.

It's the voice. The voice is going.

Early Sunday a slight, raspy itch and intermittent break was just ever so evident when Edwards said, on "Face the Nation," that he "would not accept" the number two slot. It was the strongest language he has used to date on the topic. In Florence, S.C. at an afternoon event he gulped some water before his press avail, which apparently worked because his voice was very clear when he said, "I think you should ask Senator Kerry if he is interested in being Vice President." The VP question has stolen the throne from those on his hair and his youthful looks as the single most stubborn inquiry Edwards gets on the stump.

But by 8:45 pm ET, when Edwards walked into LJ's bar in Charleston, S.C. to cheer on his beloved Carolina Panthers on in the Super Bowl, he had to swallow hard and belt out a "Go Panthers!" from his belly as he donned a team jacket and shook hands on the way through a cigarette smoke-filled bar. At the second bar hop stop, Manny's, the Senator's daughter, Cate, darted through the crowd to hug her father. "It's my voice," Edwards told her, rasping his way to the end of the evening.

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