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Tim Robbins On Board for Edwards

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Actor Tim Robbins, introducing John Edwards today in Iowa City, came clean right away.

"I'm not Oprah," Robbins said.

Someone in the overflow crowd shouted, "That's all right, Tim!"

Fortified by enthusiastic Edwards boosters, Robbins went on to say that just as he was not Oprah Winfrey, Edwards is not Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton, who have a pesky habit of polling slightly better in Iowa than the former North Carolina senator.

"Now, I like those other two," Robbins said without mentioning them by name. "And should they get the nomination, we all know we're going to band together to get the crooks and the liars to take a vacation from Washington."

Big cheer.

"Perhaps some of their vacations will be spent in the federal penitentiary."

More cheers.

But Robbins said his heart, and his vote, are with Edwards, who took the microphone and launched into what his campaign is calling his closing argument to Iowa voters, three weeks before the Jan. 3 caucus. He continued his attack on corporate influence in Washington. He declared that "the rich are getting richer and richer and richer." And he said he would be the voice of the voiceless.

"So, the question is, when's your voice going to be heard again?"

For Edwards, it was the third day of an eight-day bus tour through the state. Aware that he must overtake Clinton or Obama in Iowa to give his national hopes a necessary boost, he is trying to peel away support from his rivals and persuade undecided Iowans to commit to him.

He barely mentioned his rivals by name, but he nipped at them all the same, urging the audience to find two things in a candidate.

"You'd better find somebody who's going to tell you the truth," Edwards said. "You'd better have a fighter."

--Peter Slevin

By Washington Post editors  |  December 12, 2007; 7:24 PM ET
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