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Clinton's Worker Bee Campaign

By Anne E. Kornblut
TOLEDO, Ohio, Feb. 22 -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been running what could be called the "work" campaign. The word -- work -- makes its way into virtually every segment of her stump speech. The great womens' work anthem, "Workin' 9 to 5," is now one of her main theme songs. Work is how she separates herself from Sen. Barack Obama, as in "work versus words" -- with Clinton casting herself as the "work horse" who has been on the job for the last 35 years. Next week she is planning to do the overnight shift on a job in Ohio.

Her campaign discouraged and on the ropes, Clinton brought out the work weapon in full force here late -- very late -- Friday night. After a quiet moment to commemorate the Dallas police officer whose life was lost protecting her motorcade earlier in the day, Clinton turned to pursue Obama in a speech that wore on even as the clock ticked toward midnight.

"There's a big difference between good words and good works," Clinton said at a crowded rally at Whitmer High School here.

"I don't come to you with words, I come with actions," she said. "I come with a proven record of accomplishments for you. And now I want to put all of that at your disposal as your president...We don't have to be discouraged. We never should give up. What we have to do is roll up our sleeves and get to work and act like Americans again."

At a high point in her speech, Clinton said: "Sometimes people say to me, 'You get worked up.' " She said that "working people are worth getting worked up about." The crowd roared.

Her schedule on Friday was a testament to her work ethic: Clinton got up early after the debate to appear on three morning shows, then appeared in Dallas and Fort Worth, and, after visiting the hospital where the killed officer had been taken, flew to Columbus, then Toledo, where she was still speaking to the crowd at 11:20 p.m. EST. Sometime before dawn, she was scheduled to fly on to Cincinnati to get a few hours of sleep.

At the late-night rally, Clinton joked that most people in the room had probably never expected to attend a rally so late at night. But then she said that's just the kind of job it is: "We've got to work around the clock to take our country back."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 23, 2008; 11:32 AM ET
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