John Edwards on the Campaign Trail

It has been a very long weekend with little rest. Since Friday Edwards attended events in five states, and trudging behind him was an ever bulging press corps featuring an army of New York Times reporters as well as new additions from the New Republic and The Economist. From Friday night's Hootie and the Blowfish onward the schedule became fraught with travel delays. Due to a snafu en route to New Mexico early Saturday morning, the entire press corps was individually searched by airport security. The Senator sat, shoes off, feet up and wand waving, as all reporters, photographers and camera crews removed item after item for the monitors then went through their own wand check. At one point a pocketknife was found in the Senator's luggage, which he promptly passed off as belonging to body man Hunter Pruette. Pruette, meanwhile, had trouble of his own when his shoes tested positive for TNT.

However, when it was all said and done candidate, staff and press made it back to South Carolina in one piece. Aside from the language on the VP slot, the biggest news out of the Edwards campaign this weekend was the "Two Americas, One Super Bowl" cash pool lottery won in the final quarter by Scott Martell from the Los Angeles Times. It seems only fitting as Scott's son, watching the game on the west coast, was charged with phoning in each score to his dad (for immediate distribution to the entire press corps).

Monday Edwards will make his way from Charleston to Denmark to Columbia and Seneca, where he will end the day with a photo op event at his childhood home accompanied by Elizabeth Edwards and Cate, Emma Claire and Jack.

ADS: South Carolina: Edwards is on the air with two 300-second spots; "American Jobs" and "Better Life." Statewide. Oklahoma: Edwards is on the air with two 30-second spots; "American Jobs" and "Believe in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and the Sherman/Ada markets. New Mexico: Edwards is on the air the air with two 30-second spots; "Two Americas" and "Better Life". The campaign is also running radio ads in Spanish and English across the state. No change since last report: Missouri Tennessee Virginia

Bandwagon

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Jan. 28th— Something is missing on the Edwards campaign. Gone are the black Gore-Tex boots that took Senator Edwards marching through both Iowa and New Hampshire. In their place? Black dress shoes for the formal phase of simultaneous state campaigning.

"I've had two meals today," said Senator Edwards just before take off on the last leg of a six-stop, three-state tour that started at 7:00am in Orangeburg, South Carolina and would end at 1:00am EST in St. Louis, Missouri (or Mizzur-AHH as Edwards pronounces). "And," he sighed, "they have both been from McDonalds."

The Senator chose a chicken sandwich over a cheeseburger and added extra ketchup for dinner (it was the deluxe big breakfast platter in the morning). Never a health nut, in this new phase of his campaign the Senator will have to adapt to even more on-the-go eating than before if he hopes to keep up the pace set on the first day of multi-state campaigning. Only now, the fast food meals are piled in a pyramid, set out on a tray and served with napkins on the campaign jet instead of jammed into crumpled to-go bags squished between seats on the floor of a rental minivan as Aaron Pickerell holds forth on the merits of the Culver cheese curd.

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