IMAGE: John Edwards
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) is greeted by supporters in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday. The New Hampshire primary is on Jan. 27.
updated 1/11/2004 11:26:15 AM ET 2004-01-11T16:26:15

Iowa’s largest newspaper endorsed North Carolina Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination while three other Iowa newspapers went for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in weekend editions.

The Des Moines Register backed Edwards and called him a cut above several well-qualified candidates despite the fact that he doesn’t have as much experience as other Democrats.

“John Edwards is one of those rare, naturally gifted politicians who doesn’t need a long record of public service to inspire confidence in his abilities,” the newspaper said in Sunday’s editions.

The Register wrote that the major contenders aren’t far apart on repealing the Bush tax cuts and redirecting the money into health care and education and conducting a foreign policy that engages rather than isolates other nations.

Howard Dean’s slogan is to “take the country back,” the Register said, “but it is Edwards who most eloquently and believably expresses this point of view.”

The Quad-City Times in Davenport, the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Hawk Eye in Burlington endorsed Kerry, saying his foreign policy experience makes him the best candidate to face President Bush in the fall election.

The Quad-City Times cited another Kerry quality: an ability to listen.

“He ponders questions, asks follow-ups and answers thoughtfully,” the newspaper said. “That quality and extraordinary record of public service make him the best potential president among the crop of contenders in Iowa.”

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