Edwards’ Moment

President Bush’s Iraq speech tonight will be followed by the Democratic response, from Sen. Jack Reed. But on MSNBC, John Edwards has bought airtime to offer his own nationwide address.

The Edwards campaign says that the unusual event will give Edwards the chance to “challenge the President’s remarks with a strong call to the nation to end the war now.”

“President Bush will be on every network for free tonight,” the campaign says in a statement. “Our campaign will have to pay for the time on MSNBC.”

Edwards’ speech — at about two minutes, and an estimated cost of $100,000 to $150,000 — is a way to get an extra boost to rise above the cacaphony of the other campaigns. Barack Obama, for example, on Wednesday enjoyed loads of media attention when he gave a speech on Iraq.

It’s also interesting in the network that Edwards’ chose: MSNBC, further enforcing that channel’s new rep as the Democratic alternative to Fox News.

—By Michael Learmonth in New York.

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