Edwards Knuckles Up for Iowa Caucus

Candidate makes final push as pugnacious populist
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2007 6:08 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards takes questions during a campaign rally in Boone, Iowa, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Presidential hopeful John Edwards is intensifying his angry populist rhetoric in a final push to capitalize on his increasing support in Iowa as the caucus closes in, the Washington Post reports. Four years ago Edwards grabbed a surprising second place in Iowa. But his message this time around is far less sunny, and he's casting himself as someone strong enough to battle corporate greed and influence.

Rivals still aren't buying the tough-guy persona for the wealthy, well-groomed candidate, but Edwards is increasingly emphasizing his years as a boy brawler who took on the bullies in a southern mill town. "You need somebody who will never back down" against the "iron-fisted" grip of the rich and the "complete insanity" of outsourcing jobs, he has told crowds.