John Edwards’ Penknife Taken at Airport

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Sen. John Edwards had a penknife confiscated as part of a stepped up security search that caused a one-hour delay for the Democratic presidential candidate and others boarding his chartered plane.

Albuquerque security officials gave extensive screenings to those traveling with the senator, including hand inspections of everyone’s luggage and carry-on bags.

“We must look dangerous,”‘ joked the North Carolina Democrat, who was forced to go through a metal detector along with other passengers, and to have all his bags X-rayed, before being allowed to board his campaign plane.

A small knife was confiscated from Edwards’ luggage. “It was a pocket knife,” Edwards said. “I didn’t even know it was there.” He said he was told it would be returned to him later.

A pair of scissors, tweezers and assorted small tools used by photographers and television cameramen also were confiscated. The extra scrutiny, which was not explained, caused Edwards to be an hour late for his next scheduled appearance, a speech at a union hall in Oklahoma City.