Presidential hopeful John Edwards shakes hands as he starts his four-day bus tour through New Hampshire during a stop in Hanover.
(Jim Cole/Associated Press)
By James W. Pindell, Globe correspondent
John Edwards introduced a new stump speech -- and with it a renewed focus on rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- today in Hanover as he kicked off a four-day bus tour through New Hampshire.
Edwards more pointed argument that he is the Democrat who can really bring change to Washington comes at a time when the central debate of the nomination race has been Obama's own discussion of change against Clinton's talk of experience.
The Edwards camp suggests that Obama, in his first term in the US Senate, is too inexperienced, and Clinton, the New York senator and former First Lady, is too tied to special interests to deliver change.
"We as a nation must choose whether to do what America has always done in times like these -- change direction and move boldly into the future for the sake of our children, if not for ourselves, or wander in the same stale direction we have traveled in our recent past," Edwards said in what his campaign billed as a major speech. "The choice we must make is as important as it is clear. It is a choice between looking back and looking forward. It is caution versus courage. Old versus new. Calculation versus principle. It is a choice between the failed compromises of the past and the bright possibilities of our future."
But some political observers don't see a whole lot new.
"This line of change doesn't appear all that different from what he has been saying," said Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College in Henniker, N.H. "But he is trying to get in the mix with Obama and Clinton who really have been talking over him."
Recent polls have shown Clinton, Obama, and Edwards locked in first, second, and third place respectively in New Hampshire, as well as nationally.
Edwards, returning to the Granite State for the first time in several weeks, also plans to campaign today in Keene, Peterborough, and Hooksett.