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. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    As The Onion has suggested with tongue only half in cheek, her withdrawal from the race would do wonders for her popularity. Her shrill talk is tiresome, and her spouse is delusional about his partner. She'll be history by February 5.

    January 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. FAIR TAX,LA.

    I HOPE HER MIKE WAS BROKEN, SHUT UP HILLARY YOU GIVE ME A HEADACHE!!

    January 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. Joyce

    She thought she had it made because she was a Clinton but Iowa showed her differentl. I only hope that the trend continues. We don't need her for president.

    January 5, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Fred, Walnut Creek, CA

    The American people have had it with the Clinton's...both of them. We're looking for some new people to be in politics. Hillary is so divisive and we're just finishing 7 years of that.

    NOTHING IS BEING ACCOMPLISHED IN WASHINGTON BECAUSE THE TWO PARTIES ARE AT EACH OTHERS THROATS.

    Thank goodness that there are some new candidates we can have SOME HOPE.

    It would be nice if Hillary and Bill would just GO AWAY and let the American people get on with a new start.

    January 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. Lee, Ann Arbor, MI

    The articles states that Hillary says "she's a problem solver." How UNTRUE...she is a "problem MAKER."

    She is divisive. She is a liar (as is her husband Bill). She is the most selfish, self-absorbed person in politics AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THAT TYPE OF POLITICS.

    It is so refreshing to see some new faces in politics (on both sides). Hopefully someone will win that wants to work with both sides of the isle, make new things happen (as opposed to rehashing old problems which would happen if Hillary ever got elected).

    January 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Lyle Johnson

    Seems to me Ms. Clinton has been in the Senate for several years now. How many times has her Health plan come to the floor for a vote? Don't talk to me about plans for the future, or leadership-in-waiting. Where is the experience and leadership that should have shepherded this health care plan through the Senate and House that is controlled by her party? Last I read the Constitution, Congress makes laws, not Presidents.

    January 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Farah Shah

    Let us face it, all the hopefuls for the democratic nomination, are on the same page, They all have the same ideas, they all want the same changes for the people of America. They all make the same promises before elected.The million dollar question is, which one them, if elected will deliver?

    To this question, the one who can and will deliver is Hillary Clinton. She does have the people's interest at heart. She is a mother and a wife who stood by her family through rough times and this makes her a fighter. This shows she is a strong woman, a woman who has the will, strength and determination to head a super power.

    With an honest, experience and intelligent staff, Hillary can take America out of the mess we are in.

    January 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. Mike Ryan

    Dear Sasha:

    Hillary Clinton does not sound like someone that will do well reaching accross the isle to the Republicans. If the next US President is going to be succussful, they must do exactly that. She blaimed the Republicans for impeaching her husband. Even though he was quilty as sin for lying to the American people under oath about his many sexual indiscressions, she still blamed the Republicans. Now she talks about her husband playing a key role in her White House. Wow!

    From the point of view of many Repulican voters, a President that has a sexual relationship with a very young intern, should not even be allowed to serve in his own administration and certainly not in his wife's.

    If she does becomes the nominee of the Democractic Party, she will likely be up against Rudy who will look like a Mother Teresa compared to Bill.

    Isn't it odd that none of the commentators have brought that up?

    Mike Ryan

    January 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. John Wesley Daniels, Jr.

    The FOB's are alive and well and recently invaded Iowa and are now in New Hampshire, but they are not "Friends of Bill"...in this case the "B" stands for "Barack." Sorry Hillary!

    January 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Claude

    The Clintons need to go home.

    January 5, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  11. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    How do you spell DESPERATE?

    January 5, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    This is good, she needs to connect with the people that will go to vote...
    the race is between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton. I hope the best wins!
    GO HILLARY 08!

    January 5, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Gavin, Merrillville, Indiana

    Way to go Hillary – NH believes in you, and so do many in the country.

    I'm not going to "hate on" Barry Obama (like others do to you), but you are the best candidate that can clean up Bush's disaster!

    January 5, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. From The Teeniest Weeniest Province In Canada

    GO HILLARY !
    The only Candidate with the required qualifications to restore world order !!!!

    January 5, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. Mark

    Q&A – What a laugh! What she's doing is researching what to say next, since her own message didn't "resonate." Hilary has never followed through on anything. She says she wants to lead – recall 9/11/2001: she was nowhere to be seen until days later. That's not leading. When she ran for senate in NY, she promised upstate NY 200,000 new jobs. They lost jobs. What has she done about that? Nothing. Ms. Clinton will say anything to anyone if she thinks they will believe it and support her. I just don't trust her, or anything she says. And, if nothing else, please, Hilary, get rid of that stupid sweater you tie around your neck. That "faux yuppie" look is just so not today.

    January 5, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Stop the Iraq war NOW

    Wow, Hillary, you did a GREAT job in the debate tonight!!! EXCELLENT JOB, especially defending your positions. You are intelligent, articulate, and made of Teflon. You looked Presidential, and have more experience than any of the others in the debate tonight, except for Bill Richardson. You have the most experience in dealing with criticism, whether it is from Democratic co-debaters or Republicans. You dish it back under a cool demeanor. You say what you will do, and I have no doubt you will do what you say. In this race for President, previous experience is almost everything, and action instead of words or promises comes a close 2nd. You have delivered in the past, and America's future depends on action to bring about change. PAST ACTION IS THE BEST PREDICTOR OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR. Senator Hillary has the experience. She is the champion of the middle-class and women and children. Go, Hillary, GO !!!

    January 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. Bill W - PA

    She "talked and talked", but did she SAY anything?? Has she yet given a straight answer on ANYTHING? First she voted for the war, then she was against it. First she said she'd give driver's licenses to illegal aliens, then told us she never said that. And what is her name, anyway? Is it Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Hillary Clinton? I guess it was Rodham Clinton when she didn't want to be too close to Bill, but now that she wants his support, she doesn't use Rodham anymore. Yet another example of how manipulative and what a complete phony she is. If Hillary is the candidate, rest assured that we'll have another Republican president, because she will be so easy to beat, just by using her own video clips and her own words against her, let alone what her scumbag of a husband says and does.

    January 5, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  18. joeri

    It seems like people rather vote for Obama then Clinton.........but all democrats should focus more on who can win the white house not just the primaries.........and that would be Clinton! Am not a American native and am not living in the US..........but please don't let another Republican run the world! we want Change as well!

    January 5, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Stop the Iraq war NOW

    ATTENTION: People of New Hampshire:

    Vote your conscious, Fellow Americans. FORGET these stupid polls and go and cast your vote for whom you think will act as the best President to get our country back on track. Don't let those stupid polls persuade you. You're much smarter than that. The rest of American trusts your judgement. And when the Primary comes to each our own states, hopefully the rest of us Amnericans will ignore those &%$#@ polls that don't amount to anything, really. And we will not let the past Caucus/Primary results sway us, either.

    January 5, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  20. Carol

    I watched the debates and was very disappointed with the way Mr. Edwards attacked Hillary Clinton. I thought he had more class. He resorted to double team his attack on Hillary Clinton by including Barack Obama. I thought that Hillary Clinton more than held her ground. Go HILLARY!!

    January 5, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  21. Patrice Ceeley

    This event put me 100% in support of Hillary. We need to elect her. With the world as it is, we simply cannot afford on the job training. That has been tried in 2000 with George W. Bush, and how's that been working for us?
    She knows every issue inside out, backwards and forward. Crisis management is her strength. From education to healthcare, from foreign policy to restoring faith in government, it is clearly Hillary Clinton who is best able to lead this Country.

    January 6, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  22. John Haigh, Arbor Vitae, Wi.

    I really don't have anything to say bad about Hillary Clinton, but the problem with her getting elected is that we will be guaranteed of four years of getting nothing accomplished in Washington. The hate and disdain that almost every Republican and even some Democrats have for her will override every attempt to solve today's problems.
    Take a look at what is going on in Washington now. Every major problem facing the U.S. is not being discussed let alone solved. Bipartisanship supercedes what is for the betterment of the American people. Nothing will change if Hillary gets elected.
    Is Obama the answer, or Edwards?
    Republicans scare me because I believe they have the interest of multinational corporations over that of the United States. What is really ironic now is how the American people have been led to believe that all the outsourcing over the last decade or so benefits us because goods are so much cheaper. The only problem with this premise is that Southeast Asia is now consuming so much petroleum that prices are skyrocketing, far outweighing any benefits we get from cheaper goods and services. And now we don't have the manufacturing capability to take these jobs home again. This is a real downward spiral that the next president will inherit.

    January 6, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  23. Michael

    If Hilliary loses...it will be more about people hating her than "choosing" Barack. The Republicans fear her, many people will not vote for a woman, alot of people worry about her well earned connections in Washington, and some people still have strong dislike for her based on her husband's fumbles during his second term.

    The truth is...if Obama wins the Democratic Ticket...he will be facing an opponent that will not necessarily garner the hate that so many people have for Hilliary. When that "hate card" is removed...people will focus on experience, record, and decisions that led to change. When that happens...we will be GUARANTEED another Republican in the White House because Barack Obama is running on style & show....but has no real substance to back up all his talk.

    January 6, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Gane

    I am Canadian who passionately watches your politics. You are our Big brother.
    Wake up Americans!!!
    Why don't you choose your president based on substance and proven abilities, not based on "likability" for example.
    Are you planning to marry Mrs.Clinton, or you want an iron lady to fix the big domestic and international bubo that the "likable " guy has done. (By the way chosen by you)
    Did you really forget what was America during Clintons? 5 trillions surplus??!!
    Everybody works, international respect...Everybody was envying you.
    As an Canadian I was trying very hard to get a green cart those days.
    Please do not be silly, give you country and yourself a brake. At list 4 years, then B. Hussein Obama is still here. Do not experiment again, because the suite talkers cost you ... how many billion up to know??...5-6..

    The next President can not afford to have even a "Haney Day"!

    January 6, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. brian

    Sorry for Clinton, her time is off balance, time for a new politic, a new beginning that match with this 21st century.

    January 6, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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