The pace of presidential politicking in Iowa is picking up, with the candidates making their final pitches to Iowans. Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt met yesterday with union members from other states who’ve come to Iowa to organize labor support for Gephardt. Some estimates indicate up to a third of those likely to attend the Caucuses are union members or come from a union household. Other candidates courted other voters. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry appeared Monday with his wife at a women’s luncheon in Des Moines Kerry told the crowd he’s running for President because he believes Americans are “calling 9-1-1 for help.” Kerry said they may be celebrating the so-called economic recovery in the White House and Wall Street, but Kerry said it’s not being celebrated throughout the rest of the country. Kerry said “America can do better than this kind of a Bush-league recovery.”Meanwhile, North Carolina Senator John Edwards stuck to his plan not to directly attack his competitors by name — but at an appearance yesterday, Edwards did offer some general criticism of his rivals. Edwards said too often, when politicians don’t have faith in their positive vision, they spend a lot of time criticizing each other. Edwards said a new low has been reached in Iowa: attack ads on attack ads.Edwards said when politicians spend their time yelling at one another and talking about something a rival said yesterday or 10 years ago, they aren’t listening to people and talking about issues that matter. Edwards said if you want a President who has spent a career in politics, then there are plenty of other choices. Edwards, who is in his first term as a U.S. Senator after a career as a trial lawyer, said he has detailed plans on a variety of issues and he’ll stick to delivering that message to voters. Edwards will skip this afternoon’s debate on National Public Radio, but seven candidates are expected to take part. Also today, former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley will land in Iowa to formally announce he’s backing Howard Dean’s bid for the White House. Bradley campaigned extensively in Iowa before coming in second in the 2000 Caucuses, behind Al Gore.
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