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Edwards Sets Announcement On Campaign

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) and his wife, Elizabeth, have scheduled a news conference for noon today in their home state of North Carolina, in what aides described as a major development in his 2008 presidential bid.

Advisers declined to discuss the details of the hastily arranged announcement ahead of time. "He's talking tomorrow," said Jonathan Prince, Edwards's deputy campaign manager, last night. "Listen to what he says tomorrow."

The appearance comes on the heels of a last-minute decision by Edwards this week to cancel an event in Iowa to accompany his wife to a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of her husband's unsuccessful 2004 campaign as the Democratic vice presidential nominee. She subsequently underwent extensive treatment.

Her husband has repeatedly said he would put his wife's well-being first; he announced that he would mount a second bid for the presidency after she was given a clean bill of health.

After a doctor's appointment Monday, Elizabeth Edwards, 57, was summoned for further tests.

"Mrs. Edwards is having a follow-up medical appointment tomorrow to a routine test she had on Monday," read a statement from the Edwards campaign Tuesday. "She's had similar follow-ups in the past and they've all resulted in a clean bill of health, but Senator Edwards has gone with her to these appointments and he wanted to be with her tomorrow too."

On Wednesday night, Edwards's advisers declined to discuss his wife's health, saying she would speak for herself on Thursday. But they did not play down the seriousness of the announcement.

-Anne E. Kornblut

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