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Democrats assure Iowa they're up to the job

With the caucuses eight days away, Clinton, Obama and Edwards make appeals to voters there and in N.H.

December 27, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

The Democratic presidential race over the next eight days shapes up as a three-way fight for Iowa among Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Obama exhorted his audiences to put their faith in their own instincts. "The question is, do you believe in change?" he said in Webster City. "The question is, do you believe deep in your gut that we can do better than we're doing?"

Edwards detoured through New Hampshire before a planned return to Iowa, arguing that his is a more radical call for change than Obama's. "You'd better choose someone as your candidate who's ready for this battle. Nice words will not change anything," he said in Conway, N.H.

Clinton, campaigning with her husband and daughter on a tour themed "It's Time to Pick a President," argued that "the job itself is unpredictable" and that only she among the candidates is qualified to do it. "You never know what may happen in some part of the world that will create a real challenge to us here at home, here in Iowa," Clinton told a packed auditorium in Mount Pleasant.

Obama will use a speech this morning in Des Moines to frame his case to Iowa voters, his staff said Wednesday. Meanwhile, several campaigns, including Edwards' and Clinton's, unveiled new television commercials during the day.

The Alliance for a New America, a pro-Edwards group with ties to his 2004 campaign manager, began airing a commercial in Iowa.

Independent records showed Obama had committed to the most Iowa advertising spending of any Democrat -- about $7.5 million so far.

A spokesman said the Illinois Democrat was being outspent, though, when the efforts of independent groups were figured in. Clinton, for example, has the support of union groups.

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