Posted: January 8, 2008 3:17 PM
As N.H. Casts Votes, Clinton Ready to Fight to the Finish
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton headed into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary hoping to rebound from a disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa caucus — but also hedging her bets and stressing the importance of the future primaries.
“I think I am making progress,” Clinton told the Detroit News Tuesday morning as voting in New Hampshire got underway. “I just don’t know whether I will have time to close the deal.”
“I view the defining moment in this process as midnight on the West Coast February 5,” Clinton said.
Clinton has watched her lead in the New Hampshire race dwindle over the past month. In the latest CNN/MWMUR poll Obama leads Clinton 39 percent to 30 percent. Media reports have Obama poised to claim another victory, and Clinton’s campaign bracing for a second defeat.
The past few days have seen a new level of frustration and emotion showing in her campaign.
At a campaign appearance Monday, Clinton’s voice quavered and her eyes began to water as she talked about her desire to see the country move forward.
“I just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said. “You know, this is very personal for me. It’s not just political. It’s not just public. I see what’s happening. And we have to reverse it.”
As Newsweek’s Karen Breslau wrote, “she was talking about the country under George W. Bush, but it may well have been a metaphor for her campaign.”
With “change” becoming one the defining words of the Democratic race, Clinton has spent the days in the run-up to New Hampshire trying to set herself up as the candidate of both change and experience.
“If you gave a speech, and a very good speech, against the war in Iraq in 2002, and then by 2004 you’re saying you’re not sure how you would have voted, and then by 2005, 6, and 7 you vote for $300 billion for the war you said you were against, that’s not change!” Clinton said during a speech on Sunday
In Saturday’s ABC forum, she accused Obama of “raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered.”
But the jab appears to have ultimately backfired. In the final hours before voting began, Obama turned her comment into his rallying cry saying “False hope? There is no such thing!”