BIDEN: "There's an old expression attributed to Mark Twain," Biden said per the Des Moines Register. "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." "In a speech full of analogies, Biden called those in attendance the final jury for his closing argument, adding that the race remains "wide open," regardless of the three front-runners, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards."
CLINTON: Per NBC's Lauren Applebaum, this is what Clinton said right before the Late Show with Letterman started (it was before the intro, not during the actual show): "Dave has been off the air for eight long weeks because of the writers strike. Tonight, he's back. Oh, well. All good things come to an end."
In her last major appeal to Iowa voters before they head to their precincts, Clinton brought out her most popular surrogate -- her husband -- as well as her daughter and her mother to rally several hundred supporters last night, NBC/NJ's Athena Jones reports. In brief remarks before Hillary took the mic, Bill Clinton joked that his wife was afflicted with the responsibility gene but that after the last seven years, that's what Washington needed.
"If you live to be a hundred, you still have more yesterdays than tomorrows. When that happens, what you really care about in public service and the only thing that matters is whether people are better off than when you started and whether our children and grandchildren have a better future. If that's your test, this is your candidate," he told the cheering crowd.
The audience greeted the New York senator -- who immediately followed her husband as speaker -- with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!" "I think we were all just reminded what it was like to have a Democratic president of our country," she said in a nod to her chief partner in politics.
The senator went on to list several of the big name supporters present -- including Madeleine Albright, Wes Clark, Ted Danson, and Mary Steenburgen -- and added: "But mostly I'm here to say to thank you to all of you."
EDWARDS: Elizabeth Edwards called John Mellencamp "the musical voice of the working man in this country," and her husband John Edwards "the political voice of the working man in this country" as the Edwardses pressed into the last 24 hours before the Iowa caucus. The performance also brought to a close Edwards' 36-hour Marathon for the Middle Class.
John Mellencamp performed a five-song set last night to a packed room the Edwards campaign estimated was close to 3,000 people, NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller reports. Then Elizabeth Edwards, standing with the candidate and the couple's children, Cate, Jack and Emma Claire, took the opportunity to thank Edwards' surrogates. Edwards then delivered his stump speech in 18 minutes or so. From the back of the room, he showed no signs of exhaustion, and reporters questioned how he could go 36 hours without faltering and still be reading for multiple morning show appearances on caucus day. Wrapping up, he issued a final call to the caucus:
"Twenty-four hours from this moment, an historic moment will occur in American history, because right here in the heartland of America here in Iowa, you're going to rise up, you're going to stand up," he said. "You're gonna stand up and you're gonna say to America, enough is enough. We want our country back. We want our democracy back. We are better than this."
OBAMA: The most popular American in Kenya is probably Obama. It's why he approached Condi Rice to ask what he could do to help quell the violence there. But if things get worse, will Obama need to do more? Will he need to act as a mediator? What's the balance for a presidential candidate?
"We have one last test," Obama told a packed crowd last night, NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan notes. And the crowd responded with screams, yells and chants of "Yes we can! Yes we can!" and "Si se puede! Si se puede!" Crowd estimates varied but a large gym was filled to the brim with people and the campaign also had an overflow room with around three hundred extra people.
Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges endorsed Obama.
WHO-TV's Dave Price notes that Scarlett Johansson and Iowa native and Superman Returns star, Brandon Routh, showed up for Obama in Des Moines Wednesday night. Price also has a recording of Kucinich calling to tell people to caucus for Obama