DUBLIN, GA. -- It was a signature line in South Carolina that John Edwards used to express his commitment to the state even beyond the primary. South Carolina, he said, was more than just a place he'd fly into for an event and then fly back out. That's the state in which he was born, he'd add, and he understands their issues.
More importantly, though, the line was a dig at Hillary Clinton, whom he was quick to point out left South Carolina following the Myrtle Beach debate last week to campaign in February 5th states, only to return to the state the day before the primary.
So whether by force of habit or out of pure sincerity, Edwards used the line again today in Georgia.
"This is not academic to me," Edwards told a crowd gathered at the Farmer's Market in Dublin. "Georgia's not a place that I fly into to do a political event, fly back out, and forget about."
The former senator's schedule today, however, does not exactly jibe with his words. After flying in to Georgia to attend - yes - a political event, he was scheduled to fly back up to Chapel Hill, N.C. to spend the night at home. He returns to Georgia on Wednesday after dropping in on other February 5th states the next few days.
So, Edwards was asked at his media avail, how is this week's schedule any different from Hillary Clinton's schedule last week?
"I'm from here, that's the difference," he said referring to the two years he lived in Georgia growing up. "I know what's going on in this state. I know what's going on in South Carolina. I know what's going on in North Carolina. It's one thing when you fly in here from New York or Chicago and have a political event and leave. It's a different thing when you understand the way of life and this is the place you come from. And that's me."
So, Edwards is saying, it's OK to fly in and out of a southern state - as long as you're from the South.