As we head into the homestretch of the Iowa caucuses, here's how the leading Dems are trying to define the race:
Sen. Hillary Clinton: I'm a Clinton. We're winners.
Former Sen. John Edwards: I'll fight the corporate interests, not fawn over them.
How that shakes out is hard to say.
I would have thought that the "Clinton" argument was strong enough for Dem voters, especially if no rival was going to hit her hard for leaving the door open to continued occupation.
But having Bill as a surrogate has been a mixed bag as of late. (now you see why Al Gore wasn't so hot to have Bill shadowing him in 2000?)
On top of the ham-handed attacks on Obama by other surrogates, the campaign isn't putting the best face on the original Clinton Era.
If nothing else, Edwards has been offering a consistent message for months. He had a game plan he believed in and he stuck with it, despite being stuck in third place in most polls for a while.
He goes into the homestretch giving voters a sense he knows what he wants to do, instead of scrambling for a new message at the last desperate minute. Combined with a good organization, that could make for a surprise showing.
Obama hasn't been all that inconsistent in his messages, his message just hasn't been as sharp.
While he has offered policy papers as solid as the rest of the field, his primary argument has been based on his personal characteristics.
Nevertheless, he appears to have a slight edge in the Iowa polls.
With Clinton's missteps, and perhaps concerns that Edwards has shifted too much from his 2004 platform, Obama's personal characteristics may end up being enough.
Clinton is so well known, there probably isn't too much she can do to attract additional support -- outside of strong organization. Opinions of her are generally set.
And Edwards' game plan seems firm too.
But Obama has room to sharpen his message, perhaps drive his foreign policy vision -- laid out Tuesday -- harder, challenge the surge spin more forcefully, show how he will stand up to the neocons.
We'll see if he thinks he needs to.