From NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller
DES MOINES, IA -- A nasty ice storm didn't slow down Edwards today. While Romney canceled his events in the state and Clinton participated in a forum remotely, Edwards started the day with a forum on children and continued on to the Heartland Presidential Forum. Opening with a church-style call and response in HyVee Hall here, Edwards deftly hailed his theme of cleaning up corruption in Washington and working for men like his father.
Two panels of activists from across the country told Edwards their stories and asked questions about corporate and governmental corruption and racial profiling. Corruption in Washington is a theme of Edwards' campaign, and he used the questions to rally the crowd to "show a little backbone, show a little courage" in fighting that corruption.
That forum followed Edwards' morning appearance at the Every Child Matters forum, where moderators and the questions they read from audience members covered issues like education, after-school programs and poverty. Wearing hiking boots and a suit, Edwards molded these questions to his campaign themes of Washington corruption (referencing his "Brownie's Law" that would require cabinet heads be qualified for their positions) and health care (referencing World AIDS Day).
"We should give people a chance to take care of themselves," he said, summing up his proposals. "That's what this is about. That's what everything we've been talking about today is about -- access to decent health care, access to job opportunities, making our schools work, access to college. This is not about giving away. This is about giving opportunity for people to be able to take care of themselves."