With just four days left ’til Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Caucuses, four of the candidates may be headed to a photo-finish. Polls show the race tightening, and that’s the message democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean — the former Governor of Vermont — delivered to supporters at a rally last night in Des Moines. Dean told the crowd “we’re going to have some fun…but the fun has to end in victory.”Dean said “you are going to see some tough campaigning” because “it is a tight race.” Dean said his opponents “will say everything” and “won’t give up without a fight.” Dean said he’s been accused of being like 1972 democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who lost in a landslide to Richard Nixon. Then, Dean said he’d been accused of being like RepublicansNewt Gingrich and George Bush. Dean said “this is a rough campaign.” Dean himself is willing to sling some arrows in these closing days. Dean said he personally likes rivals John Kerry, John Edwards and Dick Gephardt, but Dean said “they weren’t there when it was necessary to stand up to this President and say no to Iraq.” Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt’s back in the state today after a quick side-trip to Michigan. Before he left Iowa yesterday, Gephardt delivered slaps at his rivals, but mostly Howard Dean. Gephardt said Dean was manufacturing anger and making a cynical appeal for votes. North Carolina Senator John Edwards has made a point of stressing the positive, and Edwards says his competitors attack him at their own peril. Edwards says attacking the only candidate who’s running a positive campaign is “very dangerous.” Edwards says his competitors are “hearing footsteps” but their response is the “typical politician response.” Kerry held a two-hour question-and-answer session in Des Moines last night that attracted more than six-hundred people. Kerry said democrats “need to offer America answers, not just anger.” Kerry said democrats “need to offer answers with solutions, not just slogans.” Today, Kerry’s hop-scotching around the western half of Iowa in a helicopter, making seven stops to talk with potential supporters.
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