"Making change is not about what you believe or about making a speech, it's about working hard," Clinton said, then raising her voice to continue: "I want to make change, but I've already made change. I'm not running on a promise of change. But on 35 years of change. ... We don't need to raise false hopes of people in our country about what can be delivered."
The back-and-forth got so heated that fourth-place candidate Bill Richardson quipped, "I've been in hostage negotiations that are a lot more civil than this."
Two days later -- a day before the nation's first primary in New Hampshire -- Clinton found herself in the Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth with 16 undecided voters, mostly women, warmly and calmly taking questions.
"My question is very personal. How do you do it?" asked Marianne Pernold Young, a freelance photographer from the state. She mentioned Clinton's hair and appearance always looking perfect. "How do you, how do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?"
Clinton responded, jokingly at first but then began to get emotional: "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backward."
Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said: "You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political, it's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it."
Female voters seemed to respond to that emotion. They came out in droves for her in New Hampshire, surprising even Clinton's own staff.
On Jan. 8, 2008, Clinton won New Hampshire saying she had "found her voice" in the victory. Staffers who had been ready to resign that night suddenly found themselves toasting to victory.
The Democratic battle then turned to South Carolina, where Obama held an advantage but Clinton came in having stolen back the campaign's momentum.
Following her comeback in New Hampshire, Clinton won the uncontested vote in Michigan (Obama was not on the ballot as the Democratic National Committee had stripped the state of its delegates for skipping ahead of other states on the election calendar) and the Nevada caucuses, though in that state Obama emerged with one more delegate at the time.
The next critical contest would be in South Carolina, prominently raising the subject of race in a contest pitting Obama, potentially the first African American nominee, Clinton, the first woman, and Edwards, a son of the south who was born in South Carolina itself, against one another.
Former President Bill Clinton proved more a liability than asset to his wife's campaign when in New Hampshire he declared, "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen," in regard to Obama's portrayal of his record on Iraq.
The former president was making the case that Obama -- just like Sen. Hillary Clinton -- had voted to fund the war since he's been in office and that the two had essentially the same record on the controversial war.
Obama said the former president has taken his campaigning on his wife's behalf too far.