Discuss as:

Edwards' unifier message

From NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller
STORM LAKE, Iowa -- At Buena Vista University this afternoon, Edwards continued using a line he debuted yesterday aimed at crossover appeal to voters from other parties.

"Corporate greed -- it's not just stealing the future of Democrats' children; it's stealing the future of Independents' children, of Republicans' children," he told a smaller-than-usual crowd about halfway through his stump speech. "This destruction of the middle class -- it's not just happening to Democrats; it's happening to Republicans. It's happening to Independents. Here's why that matters. Because next fall if you have a presidential candidate who's standing up with some strength and passion in a personal way to do something about this corporate greed there is no place in America that people don't believe this."

This New Year's Eve marks Day 5 of Edwards' final eight-day swing through Iowa before the caucuses. His family is traveling with him, though only daughter Emma Claire and son Jack made an appearance in Storm Lake. Roxanne Conlin, Edwards' Iowa co-chair, and Ben "Cooter" Jones, a former congressman and Dukes of Hazzard star who has campaigned extensively with Edwards, provided the events' introductions.

Earlier in the morning, Edwards made the TV rounds as well, interviewing with the Today Show, Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC, the Early Show and CNN.

*** UPDATE *** Edwards: 'Dealmaker doesn't stand for anything' 
SPENCER, Iowa -- Asked how he would work with members of Congress, Edwards said that three things make an effective president: a person who has the backbone to stand up to special interests, one who can work respectfully even with opposing members of Congress and one who can unite the American people behind a cause.

In explaining the second point, the former North Carolina senator made an interesting distinction here at Iowa Lakes Community College.

"Second, you have to from Day One facilitate and work in a respectful way with members of Congress, including people from the other side because you cannot get anything accomplished if you don't do that," he began. "But one thing that people misunderstand is they think sometimes that the best president is a dealmaker. The best president is one that they respect. If they respect you, if they know you know what you're doin', that you're working hard and you're principled -- in other words, that you have real principles that you will not walk away from, and you respect them, that's always the most effective president. Not the dealmaker. Not the dealmaker. They know the dealmaker doesn't stand for anything."