MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton spent the Saturday before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary talking…and talking…and talking.
"What I want to do today is ask you for questions about anything you need to know or any issue you want to discuss that will help you make up your minds," she told an audience in Penacook, just outside of Concord. "I love New Hampshire, I love coming to New Hampshire. I love the seriousness with which people of New Hampshire take this election."
Clinton was so concerned with making sure everyone in Penacook had a chance to ask and listen that she implored the fire marshal to let the hundreds of people gathered in the halls and outside of Merrimack Valley High School into the gym. At one point Clinton personally escorted a mother and her baby to a seat on the riser behind her and she politely ordered her daughter Chelsea to move some barriers and make room for the influx.
"See, I am a problem solver, I've been telling you that throughout this whole campaign," she said as she surveyed her handiwork and watched more potential voters file in. "I'm filling - I don't have a lot of good material but I can fill for a few minutes," she said with a chuckle as people found space.
With everyone seated, Clinton essentially chucked her stump speech and dove into a lengthy question and answer session that lasted almost two hours. Over twenty questions later (without an audience microphone) a majority of attendees were still there. After Penacook, she boarded her campaign bus with four undecided voters for an hour-long ride to Durham and then spent almost another hour talking with young undecideds (and some parents) at the Bagelry, a local eatery.
While Clinton did take some questions and shake hands on ropelines during her Iowa campaign, the Democratic hopeful endured criticism in the final days before the caucuses for not answering more voters' inquiries more regularly. Her campaign refused to say today's profuse voter interaction was the result of a lesson learned in Iowa.
"Iowa was three days ago, we're in New Hampshire now," said Jay Carson, a campaign spokesman.
Aides believe Clinton's willingness to engage voters a la John McCain helps draw a contrast with her two major rivals. She can, they say, answer any question "in a thorough and honest way," an ability they believe will help her in New Hampshire, a state that is fiercely independent and prides itself on grilling presidential contenders.
"During her at times freewheeling Penacook appearance, Clinton fielded questions on a variety of topics from global warming to Iraq to health care.
"One of my leading opponents proposed a plan that doesn't cover everybody," she said offering an assessment of Sen. Barack Obama's health care plan. "I think that's a really big mistake. It's a mistake on the merits for a Democrat to propose a plan that doesn't cover everybody and it's a mistake politically because it cedes to the Republicans the argument that we can¹t do this. I just totally reject that."
Camp Clinton did acknowledge Saturday that it was "redoubling its efforts" to reach out to younger voters after losing that age group handily to Obama in last Thursday¹s Iowa caucus. Two of the people who rode on Clinton's bus from Penacook to Durham were college students, one of which turned eighteen today.
– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson
Hillary Clinton was talking and talking in Iowa too...and than she dissed and dismissed the entire state, because she did not get what she wanted. Now she is sucking up to New Hampshire – for a change. That is the only "change" she is capable of. She is a political chameleon and a cold calculated user. I hope people of New Hampshire take notice.
I'm thrilled to see Hillary undaunted and redoubling her efforts to get her message out to the people of New Hampshire. Her question and answer format was a great idea. It offers voters a chance to throw any subject out and see that she truly is knowledgeable, intelligent, and has specific ideas and plans on how to solve a myriad of problems that Americans face everyday. Hillary is the real deal: honest, dedicated, strong, and a tireless worker for every man, woman, and child in our country. She has shown this same spirit and dedication throughout her life. God Bless Her! May all voters have a chance to hear her and really listen to what she says. They will see the best that America has to offer.
God Speed, Hillary!
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE FOR EIGHT YEARS.
WHILE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, SHE COULDN'T MANAGER HER HUSBAND, BILLY. IF, AND ONLY IF SHE IS NOMINATED AND ELCETED PRESIDENT HOW IS SHE GOING TO MANAGE OUR COUNTRY WITH A POPULATION OF OVER 300 MILLION PEOPLE ? TOGETHER, BILLY AND HELLARY IN THE WHITE HOUSE, WE BELIEVE THAT HOUSE WILL BE THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE U.S.
SHE SHOULD BETTER CLARIFY THIS SITUATION, OTHERWISE REPUBLICAN WILL CREATE A BIG MESS FOR HER. AGAIN IF AND ONLY IF SHE IS NOMINATED.
Suprise surprise, that is all this witch does is talk, and talk, and talk! When is she going to shut up and stop global warming! That is the cause of all the world's global warming troubles! People wake up!
She flip flops, she votes for one thing then changes her mind later to tell us she didn't have enough information (war in Iraq)
One day she screams at you all, the next she is crying acting like the victim, who is she really trying to kid!
She doesn't want people to challenge her, when they do, her and old sick Bill get pissed about it when Russert cleaned her clock on national television. She also attacks Obuma now that he kicked her fat butt in IA, but it doesn't faze him and it bothers her to no end.
She cackles on a nation televison show, it shows she is a chicken and a witch at the same time.
She tries to be one ofthe boys with her pants suit, she has the largest hips of anyone I've seen, and she is just plain ugly with a capital UG!
She is just another face in the crowd, she is done, best she leave now so she can support Obuma for his election to the presidency. Go Obuma!!
I like Hilliary,I have been watching politics for over twenty years and I don't see why people are chooseing a smooth talker without real experience over overwhelming experience and intelligence. Obama and Edwards both talk like car salesmen or insurance agents. My momma always said beware of smooth talkers. NO person in the 'REAL WORLD' gets a job without training ,except PRESIDENT BUSH, and we've seen what happens with smooth talkers without 'experience.'
Excellent job in the debate in New Hampshire, Hillary !! The candidates Ewards and Obama do not have the experience necessary for the job. People of New Hampshire and AMERICA, this is a job interview that these candidates are going through, and we pick the MOST QUALIFIED for the job. EXPERIENCE counts for EVERYTHING in the current world we live in.........I don't want ANYONE with as little experience as Edwards and Obama in the White House if we are attacked by al Queda/ANYBODY, or if (I mean WHEN) we have another natural disaster. I want someone who has BEEN to IRAQ and has seen for THEMSELVES what is going on there; I want someone who has VISITED GROUND ZERO after the 9/11 attacks to see the devistation to know what needs to be done next in our country. (Hillary has DONE these things).
I don't want another guy in the White House operating with an EGO who can't step back a bit and analize a situation thoughtfully, instead of running right into a problem head-on because we need to "make SOMETHING happen NOW"!!!
What have Edwards and Obama done in their short tenure in political life that has been REAL change???? I am from Illinois, and I can tell you that there was a report that Obama's Senatorial/political experience that had been recorded in documents and was accessable in Springfield, Illinois for scrutiny for his run for President-–no longer exists, according to this published article. Obama had it destroyed, "thinking that it would be of no future use", and this published report quoted a keeper of these Obama documents and others' documents as saying that in all of his work there, he had never known a politician to destroy documents of their record of Political service. If that is true, now why is that?
This Presidential race is NOT a popularity contest, people. Just because a person is "likable" DOES NOT qualify them to successfully handle the job of President of the United States. George W. Bush was elected because he seemed to be "more likable" to the American people than John Kerry or Al Gore-look at the mess we're in NOW........
Experience over pie-in-the-sky attitude and "personality". Elect Hillary.
Hillary, whether you are a problem solver, let the voter makes that decision. Else, you sound arrogant.
I didn't listen to everything, but I did catch what you said regarding the Iran situation and you label the Iran Revolution Guard as terrorist and make your defense.
Look, if you want to attack Iran, then I can understand why you would want to call them 'terrorist', giving people the rationale for attack. If you want diplomacy, and you call them 'terrorist', the two don't add up. Avoid calling people/groups name, unless you want to offend them. And if they are offended, recruit more people, and attack, we are the ones who get hit because of your lack of understanding. Bush did it and you are perpetuating it. We can fight them if necessary but we don't need to offend them and increase their forces.
We are lucky to have Obama. He can recruit people for positive changes.
Hey, CNN! What is going on? The four comments I submitted over the last couple of days have not been published. Is it because you are now trying to stamp out any and all support for Hillary? Plenty of pro-Obama comments are posted and many of them lack any merit at all, simply mean-spirited, nasty comments that don't address the issues. Come on. Let's have a little fairness here.
Dear Mr./Ms. CNN Political Blog Moderator:
Any particular reason that my yesterday's Political Blog comments regarding some of the posted stories were taken off and/or not posted at all?
I agree, but in a different way. ANY comment i have submitted that may have been perceived as pro or anti HIllary has been doused. What is going on?
Wow....someone posted "excellent job in the debates" for Hillary....I'm guessing you didn't see the debates??
reality check – "35 years political experience" – actually Obama has more elected experience – Hillary (during Bill Clintons run as governor) was a partner in the infamous Rose Law firm...and she was also on the Walmart Board of Directors....how is she counting this as "political experience" – count just her six years as NY's (we'll elect any Democrat...even ones from Arkansas who couldn't get elected there) – senator
Also – research the SCHIP which she claimed credit for....she had NOTHING to do with it...her name is NOWHERE on the bill...
Bottom line...she's a liar
Hillary's husband lied to the American people and somehow we should trust these people?