John Edwards Tries Again

John Edwards officially announces his candidacy for president in New Orleans, Dec. 28, 2006.
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Former senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards announced today that he's running for president in 2008.

The telegenic North Carolinian was in shirt sleeves this morning in New Orleans to start his campaign by restating that, yes, there are still two Americas.

Edwards took a hard run at front-runner John Kerry last time around. I watched him campaign in New Hampshire, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio. When Edwards gets going, he can connect with a crowd like few politicians today. As a trial lawyer, he used to pack courtrooms just to hear his final arguments.

He's got some charisma and an up-by-your-bootstraps tale of success. But the magazines and talk shows have been filled with talk only of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Edwards told me this morning that didn't matter to him.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

The Iowa caucuses are still more than a year away. That leaves plenty of time for retail politics — at which Edwards is especially good.