Four years ago — facing what seemed to be a certain defeat in the Iowa Democratic caucuses — John Edwards recast his presidential campaign with weeks to go before the vote, unveiling an emotionally powerful speech about poverty that he delivered relentlessly across the state. Mr. Edwards came within a few thousand votes of victory. To this day, he tells associates he would have won with another week.
Paul Begala, a Democratic consultant who was a senior adviser to Mr. Clinton in 1992 and is now close to Mrs. Clinton, said: “In 2002, he sounded like General Patton. Now he sounds like Mahatma Gandhi.”