Monday, January 14, 2008

Good afternoon from SC!

This is the first post from South Carolina. For the next two weeks, I'll be criss crossing the state covering both the Republican and Democratic Primaries.

Today we're in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. It's a beach community about 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach. Most of the candidates are either in Michigan or Nevada the first part of this week.

Luckily for us, John Edwards is still here and this was where he was making an appearance before heading to Nevada himself. He spoke at a Coastal Carolina University satelite campus. About 150 people showed up and most of them were well over the age of 50 years old.

He spoke for about 15 minutes then took questions for another 45 minutes. His emphasis was on the environment and global warming which is no surprise since this is a beach community. I can tell you it is a very affluent beach community. To use Edwards' terminology there are no have nots that live here to say the least.

Before the appearance, I overheard his staff furiously calling salons in the area to find someone who could do makeup for Edwards. He's making a national TV appearance later this afternoon. Sure enough, an hour later two women walked in with make up bags.

We had a quick media availability after the event. Edwards said he talked with Cate last night. He says she was hit by a drunk driver in NC but she's fine. That's about all he could say about the accident. I asked him what he thought the difference was in SC now from 2004 and he said not much except the candidates. He says when he sees people in person they respond and that's why he spend the extra day here in South Carolina instead of heading straight to Nevada where there is a caucus on Saturday.

I spent 10 days here in 2004 but there is already a different feel to me than that year. Granted, it's day one for us but I can already get the feeling that Edwards is in third and not first in South Carolina. This appearance was significantly smaller than all the ones I attended in 2004 and there was a lot less fan fare. Some of that could be there are three candidates and in 2004 it was just him and Kerry.

Who knows, but I need to finish my story from here so I must sign off from here. Later, I'll post about some of the behind the scenes stories you won't get in our TV stories. Until then...

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