Most of the time, it's pretty obvious that Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is now running for the No. 2 job. His crowds are smaller than those of John F. Kerry. So, too, is the press contingent tagging along. And most signs at Edwards's rallies bear the name of the candidate on the top of the Democratic ticket.
There are, however, the occasional reminders of Edwards's presidential aspirations.
Last week, for example, Edwards toured largely rural southeastern Iowa, a region he came to know in advance of the caucuses there and that is now part of a general election battleground. At one stop, Edwards proclaimed, "It's great to be back in Muscatine" -- and sounded sincere.
The next day, a lone supporter at a rally in Iowa City waved a leftover Edwards for President sign. And several recent stops, he was mistakenly introduced to a crowd as "the next president of the United States."
Then came Sunday morning, when Edwards visited Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church here in Cincinnati.
"John Edwards is going to be the president of the United States," said the Rev. Donald H. Jordan Sr., during an introduction. "I don't know when. I don't know how. But mark my words: This man is going to be the president of the United States."
"I appreciate Rev. Jordan's praise about the future," Edwards said when it was his turn to speak. "I'll tell you how much future I'm going to worry about right now: a week from Tuesday. . . . We may not know what's going to happen to me down the road, but I know what's going to happen to John Kerry a week from Tuesday: He's going to be elected president."