In a surprisingly volatile contest just three days before voting, Iowa Democrats signaled Friday that they were fed up with negative ads and candidate attacks and that they were rethinking their support for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean….
Dean and Gephardt both said Friday that they would end their barrage of negative ads and finish at least the television side of their Iowa campaigns on an upbeat note.
But interviews with dozens of Iowa Democrats suggested that Dean already might be suffering backlash. His attacks on President Bush and his Democratic rivals all but drowned out any message of what he wants to do on issues such as health care.
“He’s just anti-Bush. You have to have a plan,” said Zach Gilson, a lawyer from Urbandale….
Betty Taylor of Iowa Falls said Dean was “wearing himself out. He doesn’t have the personality, the charisma.”…
“I wish Wesley Clark was here in Iowa,” said Blair, referring to the retired general who is not campaigning in Iowa. “He doesn’t bad-mouth the other candidates much.”…
Edwards took credit for the end of negative ads. As he began a speech in Council Bluffs, he announced: “I have good news. You and I, we are already changing America. Governor Dean and Congressman Gephardt announced today that they are taking down their negative television ads….”
by Jeff Jarvis