Clinton Switches Gears for N.H.
DERRY, N.H.--In Iowa earlier this week, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told -- and retold -- the hard luck story of Anita Esterday, a woman who served Clinton at the local Maid Rite diner and shared her experiences working two jobs and raising two sons as a single mother. But the anecdote vanished as soon as Clinton left the Hawkeye state, replaced by detailed technology policy when she landed in New Hampshire.
Here in Derry, the "American story" Clinton told was of GT Solar, a nearby renewable energy firm she visited on Wednesday morning. "I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how, as president, I can rekindle the innovative edge that America historically has enjoyed," Clinton said, after being introduced at a town hall meeting by Kedar Gupta, one of the founders of the company.
There is nothing new about candidates tailoring their messages to different audiences -- and it is no surprise that Clinton talked about her retirement savings proposals on Tuesday in front of a crowd of Iowans, where the average age is higher, before talking about technology and science here in heavily wired New Hampshire.
One common thread both places: the giant banner with "Rebuilding the road to the middle class" emblazoned across it to remind audiences of this week's theme.
Although Clinton more or less repeated a science speech she rolled out in Washington a week earlier, she did signal that she intends to give a major address on energy policy later in the month. She also took questions from the audience; while none was exactly hard-hitting, she responded at length to a question about Asperger's syndrome from a mother whose child had been recently diagnosed, going so far as to describe the potential causes of autism (both environmental and genetic, she said) and citing medical facts as though she were a medical professional. "Autism is a condition that we don't yet know a lot about but it is becoming much more common," Clinton said authoritatively. She promised, if elected, to be the a president who would "put autism on the map."
--Anne E. Kornblut
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