Attack-Dog Edwards Taking a Break

John Edwards puts out his second ad in as many days, displaying what might be called a "kinder, gentler" Edwards than his campaign has been pushing in this primary.

In the last few days, the third-place candidate seems to be aiming at providing fodder for voters (and press) tired of the constant attacks between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Following an appearance at the Brown & Black Forum, where a docile Edwards surprised reporters, he debuted an ad yesterday criticizing oil companies and other familiar Democratic-primary villains. He also pledged to appoint Republicans to his cabinet, in a statement full of humility and bipartisanship.

Retiring the attack-dog Edwards, at least for the moment, seems to be working at least with the press, even if it’s too soon to notice anything in the polls. This morning David Yepsen says, “it’s a mistake to count John Edwards out, "E.J. Dionne writes that he could "cripple" either Obama or Clinton and Froma Harrop thinks the media narrative of a two-way race is actually discounting the opinions of actual Iowa caucus-goers.

A John Edwards "renaissance in Iowa" story is not far behind. Gephardt and Dean, anyone?