Edwards has little effect on N.C. primary

May 4, 2008 at 3:29 PM

COLUMBIA, N.C., May 4 (UPI) -- John Edwards, the former presidential candidate and North Carolina senator, has virtually no political clout in his home state, political observers say.

The Politico reported Sunday that after serving one term in the U.S. Senate and running for president, Edwards has largely exited public life.

"The guy is truly an exceptional story, but for someone who is so well-known nationally, he has very little standing in the party in this state," says John Davis, president of the North Carolina Forum for Research and Economic Education, a business-backed organization that conducts political research.

"You simply do not hear his name associated with the work in the vineyards and making a difference in terms of fundraisers or endorsements," Davis said.

But even if Edwards did chose to endorse either Democratic presidential hopeful Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York or Barack Obama of Illinois, Edwards would have little to offer either candidate in North Carolina, which holds its primary Tuesday.

"He developed some, but not really deep ties," said Gary Pearce, a Raleigh-based consultant who worked on Edwards' 1998 Senate run. "He pretty quickly began looking at a national ticket and worked hard on

building more of a national political organization rather than one in

the state."

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