July 18th, 2007
09:13 AM ET
10 years ago

Tiny town hopes for Edwards visit

Watch CNN’s Abbi Tatton report one small town may soon host John Edwards.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The tiny town of Columbus, Kentucky might only boast a population of 229, but it’s beating out mega cities like Los Angeles and Dallas for the privilege of hosting former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards for a special visit to discuss his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Edwards committed to answer questions in "whatever city or town has the most demanders" on www.eventful.com, a Web site where users petition bands, artists and - increasingly - presidential candidates to appear in their hometowns.

Over 1,600 users have so far "demanded" Edwards visit Columbus, putting this rural Western Kentucky community ahead of several major metropolitan areas. They have been encouraged by former resident Shawn Dixon, who started an online push for Columbus to highlight rural communities.

"Too often rural America is left out of the debate on important policy issues," said Dixon, who pushed the contest on blogs and social networking sites. The effort has led people in other rural communities to support the possible visit.

"Columbus has a population of 229, but really our constituency is the tens of millions of Americans who live in small towns across the country," said Dixon, who says he is a Democrat.

The month-long contest closes Wednesday, after which the Edwards campaign will announce the winner. Local residents have been trying to sweeten the deal, posting comments on the site highlighting the neighboring town's bed and breakfast and hair cuts that "cost less than $10, including tip."

- CNN Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Hi-ho, werewolves from hedge funds,
    His hair was perfect!

    July 17, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. DS

    Maybe John Edwards will pay for a local $10 haircut instead of his usual $1,200 private jet chartered hairstyling sessions?

    July 17, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. CW Montgomery, AL

    I applaud the efforts of Mr. Dixon as he is not only putting the interests of Columbus, KY on the map, but also using new ways to effectively engage and organize around the interests of rural Americans.

    It is also refreshing to see candidates who are willing to address the issues of rural America by giving them a platform and voice in this election.

    Hopefully others will begin to pay less attention to a candidates' hair and more to their policies that will affect America–rural, urban, and suburban.

    July 17, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    Unfortunately Edwards does not come across as the "real deal." Like almost every candidate out there, he appears to relish the exposure and prestige that comes with elected office, but as his one Senate term proved, he's all hat and no cattle...just a lot of empty words.

    July 17, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. J. Turchek, Stuart, VA

    I wonder is John Edwards' entourage larger than the population of Columbus, Kentucky?

    July 17, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Mary, Clinton, Kentucky

    John Edwards will bring attention to "fly-over" country if we are able to get him to come to Columbus, Kentucky only 8 miles from Clinton, the county seat of Hickman County.

    Folks in rural areas have many of the same problems to cope with as our city brethren, health care, education, the war, drugs, crime...but without the resources or the voice. As an adopted Hickman Countian, I am thrilled that Shawn got this started.

    July 17, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Edwards can make political hay by a visit to this small town as long as he doesn't come across as a pretty boy with perfect hair, if you know what I mean. He needs to wear some faded jeans and sit down and really talk with these people and be sincere in listening to what they have to say. The people in rural American won't be fooled if there's too much political spin.

    July 17, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. Joe Shepard, Spring Lake North Carolina

    The news media does understand, I hope, that if they stopped giving John Boy all this news coverage, he might go away??

    July 18, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Barabas, Hot City USA

    HELLOOOO! It's a publicity stunt. "Oh my goodness! Did you see that Edwards visited that little small town?". Think about it. Visits to Dallas and Philly don't make the news.

    July 18, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Perry, Dallas, Texas

    If those people in Columbus Kentucky are smart, they will ask for a visit from Abbi Tatton. She's just CUTE!!!

    July 18, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    It's sad too see that the commenters on this page would rather trash talk candidates rather than engage on the important issues facing America.

    If you spent half as much time thinking about solutions to the problems everyday people face as you did thinking of snarky comments to make about John Edwards, this country may be in better shape than it is now.

    July 18, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Small Town, KY

    Remember Shawn Dixon when he runs for political office!!! He deserves your future vote!!

    July 19, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |