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Clinton Frames Race as Solutions vs. Promises

Clinton addressing a crowd estimated at 2,000 in McAllen, Tex. (AP).

by Anne E. Kornblut
McALLEN, Tex. -- Clinton officials are signaling a sharpened approach is on the way, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a taste of it here at her first rally one day after losing by wide margins in the three-state Potomac primaries.

"I am in the solutions business; my opponent is in the promises business," Clinton told a crowd estimated at 2,000 people in a convention hall here. "I think we need answers, not questions."

The Clinton campaign is putting up a new ad questioning why Sen. Barack Obama has not agreed to debate in Wisconsin before the primary there next Tuesday. The hope is to minimize what her aides expect to be a loss for Clinton in Wisconsin. But the broader mission of the Clinton campaign today is to try to somehow change the emerging story line: that Obama is gaining unstoppable momentum and has popular support that Clinton could hope to defeat only by some sort of superdelegate trick.

Ahead of an economic speech by Obama today, Clinton mentioned the mortgage crisis, and also invoked former senator John Edwards when she talked about health insurance coverage. Yet even with her desire to rewrite the narrative, Clinton stayed closely within the boundaries of her long-standing stump speech, emphasizing her track record and experience. Her voice raspy after only a few hours of sleep, Clinton said: "You deserve a president who will work as hard for you as you work for yourselves and your families. That is what I have done my entire life; that is what I will do going forward." She said voters need to be "comparing and contrasting" the candidates now that there are only two Democrats left in the race.

Clinton is scheduled to give a press conference here, starting shortly.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 13, 2008; 11:48 AM ET
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