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Clinton's Two Questions

Clinton, reenergizing a flagging campaign? (Getty).

By Joel Achenbach
NASHUA, N.H. 9:33 a.m.--Hillary's holding forth in the hangar, and she's running on electability! Goodbye, Inevitability, hello, Electability.

She has posed two questions: Who will be the best president of the United States, ready to lead from Day One? And who will be able to withstand the Republican attacks in the general election?

"I don't think the Republicans are going to wake up after we nominate our candidate and say, you know, we have messed up this country so much, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves...One thing you know about me, is that after 16 years of taking all their incoming fire, I am still here...I have been through the fires. Anybody that we nominate is going to be thrown right into that blazing inferno known as the general election."

Wait, there's more along those lines, during the Q & A:

"My goodness, I've been accused of everything.... I've been the most vetted, the most investigated...the most innocent."

In contrast to...?

Is there some other candidate who's on her mind this morning?

If she gets desperate her motto will be: "What do you REALLY know about Obama?"

After the rally I ran into some of the Arkansas Travelers, folks who have known the Clintons for decades and who are fanning out across New Hampshire in vans to knock on doors. I mentioned to Harry Truman Moore, who first met Hillary in 1974, that she seemed to really be emphasizing her ability to survive scrutiny. He said, "She's been under a political colonoscopy. She's been looked at any way she could be looked at. And she's withstood it."

She's hoping for a '92 replay. She said this morning that it took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, she wants to be the Clinton who cleans up after the second. She noted that in 1992, when campaigning here, people were suffering from job losses and home foreclosures. There's an "It's the economy, stupid" echo in her stump speech. She said on the way here this morning she got the jobs report by email.

"Guess what, unemployment is up. And I predict to you that we are just at the beginning of a very tough economic year."

Which historically is good for a Clinton in New Hampshire.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 4, 2008; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton , Joel's New Hampshire Diary , The Democrats  
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