SENECA, S.C. -- It was a homecoming night of sorts in Seneca, SC. And John Edwards was king.
Standing in front of an exhuberant crowd of over 400 in the town where he grew up, a visibly energized Edwards came down with a case of deja vu.
"You know, I was looking out back as we were coming," he said turning to his parents and pointing in a general direction behind the Gignillat Community Center. "I know that we used to go to football games out there, didn't we? I know that's where Seneca High School used to be."
A quick nod from John's father Wallace confirmed his suspicion.
"As I was coming through the crowd to make my way up here," he continued, "I was thinking to myself we ought to carry Oconee County if my relatives just show up and vote!"
Edwards started rolling through his stump speech, talking about this week's debate and then criticizing Hillary Clinton again for leaving South Carolina soon after. Then as he segued into health care and special interests, Edwards introduced James Lowe, who met Edwards during his July "Poverty Tour." Lowe struck Edwards with his story of being unable to speak for 50 years before a doctor volunteered to perform a corrective procedure on his cleft palate.
"When I met Mr. Edwards," said Lowe in brief remarks, "he didn't ask me if I was a Democrat or a Republican, or if I registered to vote. He saw my heart, my needs. And that's what he'll do for you all."
The two men shared a sincere onstage embrace before Lowe returned to his seats.
As Edwards wrapped up his remarks, he said the same thing he's said all day: to get out and vote, and get their friends to vote, too. But here in his and his parents' hometown, he customized the plea:
"We need you to reach out to your friends and neighbors and just tell 'em, 'We got a homeboy running for President of the United States and it's time for you to go to the polls and vote for him!'"