When the clock strikes midnight, there will be 66 and a half hours ’til the doors open Thursday night for Iowa’s Caucuses. Each of the candidates competing here for votes spent the weekend meeting voters in person.
Tonight, Bill and Hillary Clinton plan a big bash for supporters in Des Moines to ring in the New Year. John Edwards will make five campaign speeches in five different Iowa cities today. During an appearance Sunday in Boone, Edwards voice rose as he railed against corporate interests. "We don’t have universal health care because of drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists in Washington, D.C.," Edwards said. "Why do we have that mess of a Medicare prescription drug law? We have it because the drug company lobbyists literally wrote the thing."
Democrat Barack Obama is accusing the Clinton campaign of trying to scare voters about the kind of change he’s been advocating. "I don’t think that’s going to be successful this time. As I point out, I think the real gamble in this election is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over again and expecting a different result," Obama said during an interview with Radio Iowa. "We need different results. We need new leadership and that’s why I’m running for president."
On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been stressing his background as a businessman in the closing days of the campaign. "I think I’m the only guy — Republican or Democrat — who’s running for president who actually understands how the economy works," Romney said Sunday in Bettendorf, to applause from the crowd, "who signed the front side of a payroll check, who wants to make sure that we keep more jobs here. I’ll fight to keep more jobs here to make sure we’re competitive."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spent some of Sunday afternoon recording TV ads to respond to Romney’s criticism of his record in Arkansas. Republican Fred Thompson is the other Republican who’s been busing around the state, intending to make 50 stops in Iowa before Thursday night’s Caucuses.
"I understand the weather’s going to be summer-like. There’s going to be no problems and you guys I don’t want you to pay any attention to the fact there’s an Orange Bowl game on that night. Ladies, don’t serve dinner. Don’t let any television-watching be going on until you go to the Caucus that night and then you can come back and catch up. TiVo," Thompson told a crowd in Ames on Sunday, referencing the digital recorder which captures television programs. "Think TiVo."