From NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann
Some of the first negative mail in Iowa on the Democratic side is out, and it's anti-Obama. A new direct mail piece from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) accuses that: "For those without insurance, Barack Obama's band-aid solution is no change at all."
On the reverse side, the text of the mailer continues, arguing that Obama "claims his health care plan covers everyone, but his proposal does not match his words... Instead, Obama took the timid way out, offering yet another band-aid solution."
"Barack Obama's plan," it concludes, is just more of the same."
Here's the kicker, though: The piece quotes Edwards from a Sioux City Journal article in November saying that that "as many as 15 million Americans would be without coverage" under Obama's plan.
But, as it turns out, AFSCME is backing Clinton. In fact, even though Clinton and her campaign have been arguing for the past month that Obama's health-care plan doesn't insure everyone, Clinton's name isn't mentioned once on the flier. The Edwards quote makes it appear to be a slam by the Edwards team.
This tactic, it seems, could be intended to deflect the distaste that most voters have for direct attacks -- even those that are policy based. But those in the know might think that this new negative mail is Iowa Nice playing a little dirty.