Local Politics

Edwards: 'Things Are Moving in My Direction'

Posted January 3, 2008 6:49 a.m. EST
Updated January 3, 2008 5:40 p.m. EST

— Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards pushed himself though the final hours before Thursday night's caucuses in Iowa, racing across the state to make one last pitch to voters as the 2008 presidential nomination process begins.

He told WRAL's David Crabtree Thursday that "things are moving in my direction."

"I've been through it, and I've got a much better feel, and I know that we've got a great shot at this," he said.

During a 36-hour "Marathon for the Middle Class," Edwards made 15 stops to reiterate his campaign themes, re-energize supporters and pick up as many undecided voters as possible.

"We have an epic fight in front of us, an epic fight for the future of this country," Edwards said. "This is not going to come easily."

  • WRAL's David Crabtree is in Iowa to cover the caucuses. Watch his reports Thursday evening on WRAL News and read his blogs on WRAL.com.

In Ames, he spoke about taxes and health care coverage. In Davenport, he promised to end the war in Iraq. In Des Moines, he encouraged voters to create their own legacy.

"There's so much at stake in this election," he said. "I don't need a poll to tell me we're moving, we're moving every single day, and we're moving in the right direction in this campaign."

Polls indicate Edwards is in a tight race in Iowa with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

No other Democratic candidate has invested as much time in Iowa as Edwards, and many observers have said he needs to capture the state to gain needed momentum to carry his campaign across the country. He is a distant third behind Clinton in national polls.

"I'm the only (Democratic) candidate who's won in a red (Republican) state," he told a crowd in a diner, citing his election in North Carolina a decade ago. "I grew up in small-town, rural America, which means I can go every place in this country and campaign and compete."

Elizabeth Edwards campaigned with her husband, pushing all talk about her battle with cancer to the side to use her intelligence and wit to win over voters.

"[Elizabeth] feels terrific. She's been with me non-stop. She did the 36 hours and went through it beautifully. She's been terrific," Edwards said.

Pop singer John Mellencamp also appeared with Edwards at a Wednesday night concert.