Hillary’s Iowa Debut

Clinton began her campaign for the presidency.

Hillary Clinton used her first campaign swing trip to Iowa this week to explain her vote for the war in Iraq, as polls show her leading her Democratic rivals nationwide but trailing in Iowa, site of the first Democratic caucus. Clinton said she 'œnever would have voted to give this president' the authority for war had Bush not deliberately 'œmisled' Congress into believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. She also suggested that Bush is prolonging the war to avoid taking the blame for failure. 'œThe president has said this is going to be left to his successor,' she said. 'œI think it's the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it.'

During one campaign event, Clinton paraphrased a question from the audience, saying, 'œWhat in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?' The audience burst into laughter, and Clinton had to explain later that she was not alluding to her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

We are witnessing the 'œevolution of a candidate,' said Adam Nagourney in The New York Times. The stiff candidate who first ran for Senate seven years ago with her 'œlistening tour' of New York swept into Iowa as a self-assured potential president who 'œdid a lot more talking than listening.' She made an assertive case for her qualifications, discussed Iraq with authority, and even showed flashes of humor. Iowans 'œate it up.'

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We Iowans 'œdo our best to make our visitors welcome,' said Kurt Ullrich in the Chicago Tribune, but Clinton still has a lot of work to do. Jobs and opportunities here are scarce, and people cling to the American dream 'œby their fingernails.' At one appearance, our former first lady, a graduate of Wellesley and Yale Law School, actually declared: 'œI'm just like many of you.' Really? I don't think so.

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