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. Jimmy from colorado

    The more Hillary talks the less likeable she becomes.People in this country are fed up with Clinton.I think in Democrat anybody but Hillary.We are good country to engage in the same fight of 90s.Lets think of new era.

    January 6, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  2. stan pitts pa

    poll driven politics, i should say im not surprised, the people of iowa have delivered a good judgement and newhampshire will follow, no more bush-clinton-bush monarchy, this is a democracy, no more divisive politics, its time for America to do the hard work and regain trust in their govt and true hope for real change in their hearts, America could use a big change in the way washington does business and obama is that hope and refreshing start!

    January 6, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  3. Ross Lippincott; Davenport Iowa.

    Gimmie a break!
    She moves a couple baracades (that probably shouldn't have been there anyway) and that makes her a problem solver?
    And escorting the mother and baby? How sweet- then the tour bus with four undesidedes. Please New Hampshire, see through this scam.
    Hillary wants to go down in history as being the first female president FIRST, then getting relected SECOND, then IF there's any time left maybe we'll get table scraps.

    OBAMA/08!!!!!!

    January 6, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  4. alan St Louis

    LOL you notice the people in the picture look so depressed and unhappy???

    The picture you see with Obama are full of HOPE, JOY PRIDE people.

    OBAMA 2009 :)

    January 6, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  5. Kelly

    Undecided folks, look at the facts.

    Check out Obama’s voting record this past year. On votes that would have shown where he stands on issues, he didn't show up, or voted "present" (which means he voted neither yes or no).

    On reproductive rights issues, he didn't show up or he voted "present".

    He says he would have not voted for the Iraq war, but his voting supports funds to continue the war and fund Homeland Security, as Clinton pointed out in the debate yesterday. Her “revelations” are true. It’s in the records of the Senate. Just look for yourselves.

    2007 was the year he and Clinton started campaigning. It's not out of the ordinary for Senators to not make all the sessions and votes, but when one misses more than the other, you have to wonder why. Out of 215 bills, Clinton missed 76, while Obama missed 113. Even though Clinton was not there on some of the bill votes, she showed up and took stands on key votes that show where she stands.

    And, if you remember, Obama had the audacity to criticize Clinton for one of those key votes. On 9/26/07, the bill "Expressing the Sense of Congress Regarding Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps". She voted yes on declaring them a terrorist group, because the evidence supports that they are. Should she have voted “no” just to look good for her political career? No, she voted with her conscious. She voted the truth. Obama said he would have voted no. How convenient. When he could have SHOWN us and actually voted “no”, he decided not to show up, not to vote, and then to tell us what he would have done. Talk is cheap. It’s easy to say what you would have done. Just like it’s easy to say what you would have voted against the war had you been in the Senate. Yeah, sure you would have. I don’t believe it because of how you have been voting for appropriations, homeland security, et. al. in regards to the war and anything connected to it.

    And why did he vote to keep giving tax breaks to big oil companies?? Clinton voted NO for the record. Just look it up. It’s easy to find. It’s one of the very few votes that Obama and Clinton differ in. That’s right, when Obama has voted, he votes the same as Clinton with few exceptions, one being the continuation of tax breaks to big oil: Clinton: NO, Obama: YES. What purpose do you have, Obama, to want to keep allowing big oil to have tax breaks???

    Obama = Talk, Cheerleading, Hype, No actual action to back his talk, FLUFF. NO SUBSTANCE. Fence sitter (for now… I’m sure if he becomes elected, he’s going to jump off the fence, and we might not like the direction he jumps).

    Tell the people what you actually mean by change Obama. Tell us what you have done to show us what you mean by “change” and stop using that word like a political football to get cheers.

    Clinton = Action, follow-through, Hard work, the real change agent with the track record to prove it. Clinton is a tough woman who will work tenfold harder than ANY of the choices we have in this election. Compare her bill introduction load to Obama’s. Just do the homework and the facts will surface. This woman has been busy! And there’s a paper trail to prove it.

    Do your homework America, and don’t get sucked in by Obama’s charm, charisma, and empty motivational speeches. If Obama is your choice, have more of a reason than “He’s for change and he would have voted against the war”. Because, how do you know?

    Bush was for change too. And he delivered his promise. He gave us change all right. Just not the change we fantasized about when he was throwing that word around. No one really asked him what he meant by “change” either.

    Clinton '08!!!!!!

    January 6, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  6. Kelly

    I should clarify that in my above post, I said it's not uncommon for Senators to miss votes. I am referring to missing days due to campaigning for the presidency. In Clinton's total career up to this point, she only missed ONE vote from the time she was originally elected until the start of 2007. Now, that's impressive. Very impressive. Like I said, Clinton will work tenfold harder than ANY of our choices for this election.

    Clinton '08!!!

    January 6, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  7. ifymens

    GO HILLARY GO

    January 6, 2008 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  8. Samson Lim

    Senator Hillary Clinton is the most qualified Presidential Candidates. With her experience she can make the CHANGE A REALITY. Don't just believe in hoping for a change – You need to work hard to make it happen and need to put it to action. America cannot afford an on the Job Training President. This is just my own opinion. God Bless America!!!

    January 6, 2008 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  9. James Tanaka

    Perhaps I may be wrong but American press seems to be putting up some trending. For them, Hillary talks while Barack speaks. This is what I read as common from descriptions or captions put up by popular newspapers, websites, and magazines. Fair and balance reporting? I don't know.

    January 6, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  10. Dewdrop

    I wonder, if she is elected, will she run the country in the same manner that she did when her husband was in office?.......I don't think we are ready for a Clinton rewind.

    January 6, 2008 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  11. JCTLOVE

    HILLARY CLINTON
    SHOULD BE MORE PROTECTED?
    SHE HAS TO BE VERY CAREFULL ,
    SINCE WE DON"T KNOW WHO ASESINATED
    THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN..

    January 6, 2008 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  12. Harold Bishop, NH

    Substitute "solver" for "maker" in the following Hillary equation:

    "See I'm a problem solver," said Hillary.

    January 6, 2008 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  13. florence campbell

    i myself always felt of the media as anti- clintons noone had really given her a fair shake , i've not heared of anyone of you to say anything positive about her , she's either too strong or soft .after the iowa caucus i heared someone say she's speaking like she din't lose and another channel a news anchor person says she sounds down so all i can say is that was iowa, we're moving on for the next fight , i still think she's the best candidate out there for the presidency .

    January 6, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  14. mark wilkes barre pa

    the title of this story surprises anyone ?

    January 6, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  15. Merle Stiles

    It is wonderful to see an intelligent, strong woman who has had the experience in politics and raised a daughter and pulled through a very difficult marriage problem now running for office. I did not think I would see it in my life time. I am also glad to see a Black Person running for office and however smart and nice he is, I think he would do better waiting until the next time and get more experience. He is young and not ready to take over the reponsibilities of a country that has as many problems as we do. I hope and pray that the country will be smart enough to give Hillary a chance to show them what she can do.

    GOOD LUCK HILARY. ONE 65 YEAR OLD WOMAN IN NORTH CAROLINA
    Merle Stiles

    January 6, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  16. Doreen Augusta Maine

    Worked in New York so you are returning to what worked. You have a true, dedicated challenger now - your old ways won't work now.

    January 6, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. 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 6, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. S. Holt

    Amazing how one can 'implore' the fire fire marshall to overlook the safety regulations to accomodate her needs; however, she sees herself as a 'problem-solver,' I don't think so, rules are for others to follow or when it meets her needs.
    Laws are made to be broken. When accomendations were not large enough for Obama, he moves his audience to a larger building, O.K.

    January 6, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Dejo Amuda

    The media actually need to be honest with American people to making sure they educate every one on where the candidates stands on issues regardles of how cold or friendly they are. I do not intend to go to dinner with any of these people. I just need to know that my president is tough,knowledgeable, firm on issues understand the world politics and ready to address the domestic issues that will make America what it was when I came to this country in 1971. America was respectected all over the world regardless of Watergate. Do not give candidate a free ride or destroy him or her because of how the media portray an individual.

    January 6, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Corey T.

    Even though Hillary and her supporters were disappointed with the results in Iowa, I hope her other supporters and the undecideds, especially in NH, realize that Hillary is the best person for the job. She will be ready on day one. Even though "change" hasn't been her number one slogan on the campaign trail, I believe she is the candidate that has enough experience to bring about change. It is very difficult for someone to bring about change if they do not have enough experience to "right the track". Obama is a very strong candidate, but he needs more experience in the Senate before he will be ready for a higher position.

    Hillary is ready today! Even though Obama has much support among the younger voters, I am one 20 year old who will be voting for Hillary!

    Hillary 08...

    January 6, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. bob

    What was Ms. Clinton's security clearance level while gaining "all her experience" in the White House??? Did she sit in on summit meetings, meetings of national security, strategic planning, fiscal policy????

    I am very curious where she got all her experience she keeps touting.

    Thanks!!

    bob

    January 6, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Helen

    Well i guess Hillary can't do anything to please the news media,if she does'nt take questions slap he for that........then when she takes questions just give her another slap.She goes in to a debate and is tag teamed but if fires back shes beening mean.I have never seen the news media treat anyone like this.I don't expect her to be treated better then anyone else.....obama can't do any wrong ,,,,,Hillary can't do any thing right..I don't expect this to appear but what the heck.......i'm sick of this whole thing

    January 6, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Francis Cordor

    Let us not forget that Hillary Clinton is more tested than Mr. Obama when it comes to issues and records. Change should be follow with substance and the reality of that change not just a slogan. Hillary is READY !

    January 6, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    "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," "

    Finally! Experience and leadership we can verify and can count on! I'm thrilled she "politely ordered" rather than just asked her daughter to move the barriers.

    Assuming we are stupid enough to elect this woman she will politely order us to pay more taxes, politely order us to accept amnesty for illegal invaders, and politely order us to shut up every time she changes positions.

    January 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. jimmy, Iowa

    My teen ager just told me it was ok to smoke pot and snort crank because Obama did. Obama YOU BETTER EXPLAIN TO MY CHILD NOW> I WILL HOLD YOU RESPOINSEABLE> YES I AM ANGRY

    Edwards 2008

    January 6, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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