January 5th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton talks and talks in New Hampshire

Clinton is talking to voters a lot on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Clinton is talking to voters a lot on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

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


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Anne -Detroit MI

    Okaaaay , Hillary supporters, she said "SEE IM A PROBLEM SOLVER" . What has she solved that 's so important and helpful to the American people?

    January 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Anne

    Running scared. If Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination as I believe she will not,
    I am terribly concerned about what that translates into the value of our country.

    January 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Jimenez

    Clinton 08.

    January 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Tyrone

    Clinton problem solving in the gym to exceed the fire limits shows how dangerous she is.

    She is using her daughter as a prop.

    I say Al Gore's movie in University and I am not impressed by the selective editing.

    If Hillary thinks her and Bill are going to show up wearing green scarves and have other kids set up to ask questions they are going to support her, she is wrong and I do not like be manipulated.

    The Clinton's have embarassed America enough Already.

    I wonder if Bill encourages his daughter to bring her friends over???

    January 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. FAIR TAX,LA.

    hillary please shut up!! no clintons, your old news!!!

    January 5, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. James, Lawrenceville GA

    Mrs. Clinton is still the best candidate for President. Hillary still has the most experience. Iowa does not tell the whole story of the mode of America. America wants change. America wants Hillary as President. We need a strong cadidate for President in this day and time. Only Hillary can bring change, not the Gop, not Obama.

    Hillary 08

    January 5, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Tyrone

    I bet it was Bill Clintons idea to go after the youth vote. um yeah ...

    What a dog and pony show she is turning out to be. Hillary seems like she is confused not that there is some pressure on she is just not up to the task.

    Kerry the tooth fairy seems to be taking away a lot of Hillarys supporters. The Clintons theatrics of planted questions cost them the last little bit of credibilty she had left.

    Clintons are all me me me me me me me me me

    January 5, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. nadeem

    Young voters will see Clintons efforts as nothing but poll driven politics. Oh i cant win without young voters therefore i will pay attention to them.

    She needs to be genuine that is the only chance she has. Fire Penn and company!

    January 5, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Adele - Bye Hillary

    Hillary the Schillery.

    Bill Clinton lies to the senate under oath, and Hillary knew everything except that ?

    Hillary is getting more annoying to me by the day.

    Hillary's promises are just a list of what Bill never did, with her as his advisor.

    January 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Ginny CA

    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 the 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 the people of our country including every man, woman, and child. She has shown this same spirit throughout her life. God Bless Her! May all of voters have a chance to hear her and really listen. They will see in her the best that America has to offer.
    God's Speed, Hillary!

    January 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Jim: Shes an Old Bag

    The back ground sign in the picture says:
    Bageery

    Well the old bag belongs at the Bageery.

    January 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Iris

    One can see in Hillary's face and eyes that she is exhausted and stressed. She knows that she will lose the nomination and that just is not an option for her. I think the public is suffering from Clinton fatigue. Why on earth did she say she would appoint Bill to the Supreme Court? These two political animals just need to retire.

    January 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. Simon, IA

    I wish the young voters open their eyes and see substance rather than fluff hope.

    January 5, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. Nando

    the problem is that no one is there to hear her thay are all at the Obama Rallys!!!!

    January 5, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. xtina chicago IL

    But she's not a leader. she has already said her tax increases will be the biggest in history. that's not leadership - that's just bigger government. She installed a smoking ban, but that's not leadership - that's controlling people who, if they want to ruin their health, should be free to do so ! :)

    January 5, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. W. T. Moses, Boca Raton, Florida

    As always Hillarious Clinton flip flops constantly......

    January 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Bob

    Hillary Clinton!!!!!! Go Hillary. Hillary will make a difference.

    Hillary Clinton 08.

    January 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. jhon smith

    YOU GO GIRL! I KNOW IN MY HEART THAT YOU WILL PREVAIL

    January 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. John, NC

    Yes, Hillary talks and talks but is very careful not to say anything.

    January 5, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Scott,Tupelo,MS

    Hopefully after she loses in New Hampshire like she did in Iowa we will no longer have to deal with her or here anything else about this useless Hag. Maybe the shame will be to much for to handle and she will do everybody a favor and live public life completely and crawl back into her hole.

    January 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    Yeah, Hillary loved Iowa, loved Iowan's and loved being IN Iowa for several YEARS, until Thurs evening, Jan 3, '08. It's a part of her message to NH that she LOVES them so much because they haven't voted yet and because she can't STAND Iowa now with her stinging loss to Obama + Edwards.
    If she loses NH, she'll just love the next state all the more until she loses there, too.
    Hillary is SO transparent, as is Bill.
    ABC!

    January 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Another Steve

    Gee all the sudden the average person has your attention. Today I don't have to be John or Jane Doe with my 2 1/2 kids living in suburbia with a large mortgage and six figure income. Why haven't you been listening and paying attention to all the others all along. Only now your showing your actually a living breathing caring person. Wow. I'm still not voting for you as it all seems very staged and disingenuous.

    January 5, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Joey

    Hillary you are the BEST. Stay strong and focused and you will prevail. God Bless You

    January 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. bob

    WE DON'T NEED A VISA TO VISIT CANADA [ MAYBE AN I.D, CARD OR PASS ]
    WE DO NEED TO PROTECT OUR BOARDERS
    WE DO NEED WORK FOR EVERYONE
    WE DON'T NEED CHEAP GOODS MADE WITH SLAVE LABOR
    WE NEED OTHER ENERGY SOURCES OTHER THAN OIL .
    WE SHOULD BE BUYING AMERICAN MADE GOODS
    WE SHOULD PROTECT THE WORLD AROUND US.
    WE NEED A GOOD EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT IS OPEN TO ALL
    WE NEED A GOOD MEDICAL SYSTEM THAT SERVES ALL
    WE NEED A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE THATS FREE OF DRUGS

    January 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Laurinda

    So what else is new, she has been talking for months now. They all have been yaking away about nothing. I am so tired of hearing all their nonsense I have a good mind not to vote for any of them. That's why nothing gets done, all talk and no action. They are all a bunch of liars and thieves. I still say we should have a panel of citizens running the country. It couldn't be any worst than the moron we have in there now who thinks the economy is doing good. Yeah, maybe for the Getty's, Bush's and Cheney's.

    January 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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