Hillary Clinton Swings Through Iowa

Sen. Hillary Clinton visited northwest Iowa Saturday, completing the fourth corner of her "four-corners of Iowa tour."

It came at the end of a tough week for Clinton that included news of a leaked memo from one of her senior advisors suggesting she skip Iowa because money may be better spent elsewhere. After the news of the memo was released, the campaign was quick to put out the schedule for the senator for a pre-planned trip to the Hawkeye state.

Clinton's staff office noted that the campaign will be spending the next three weekends in a row in Iowa, had been expanding offices around the state and is very much committed to Iowa. A recent Des Moines Register poll has Clinton coming in third after Barack Obama and John Edwards, which also might have put the campaign on the defensive regarding this state.

Clinton had meetings with Iowans in different parts of the state. She opened in Mason City saying, "It's so great to be back in Iowa, I am going to spend so much time in Iowa I'll be able to caucus for myself."

Other references to the state were mentioned throughout, including ethanol and issues important to Iowans. She also mentioned her husband Bill Clinton, saying, "He is probably the most popular man in the world right now."

The next stop was Charles City, Iowa, where Clinton repeated her pledge to Iowans over pie and coffee that she was here to stay. Clinton answered questions about education, health care and immigration.

Hours later in Algona, Iowa, it was off to a pizza parlor. She mentioned her recent Iraq war vote for the third time that day saying, "I voted against the bill," but continually said she knew the bill would pass overwhelmingly and therefore she knew the troops would get the funding they needed.

A young girl handed the senator a pizza and told her it had jalapeños. Clinton exclaimed "I love jalapeños!" In the frenzy of autographs that she signed, her pen leaked all over her hands, which prompted a quick-witted aide to grab some hand-sanitizer and assist the ink-stained senator.

Day two of the Northwest Iowa tour included another pizza parlor stop -- this time breakfast pizza. Clinton stood on a booth seat above crowd members fanning themselves, as a line of onlookers waited outside to sneak a peak at the former first lady.

Gov. Tom Vilsack accompanied Clinton and asked for attendees to sign pledge cards. He explained that he and his wife Christie were in a competition over who could get the most for Clinton.

In Sioux Center, Iowa, Clinton mentioned that people were surprised that she was in the traditionally Republican area. She mentioned how in traditionally conservative upstate New York she was able to convince voters to support her.

At her final stop, in Sioux Center, Iowa, she walked into a school auditorium packed with approximately 600 people and repeated her main themes of the weekend. She mentioned how as president she would reach out to the leaders of the world -- "most of them I know, and the ones I don't know, my husband knows."

Clinton had trouble with her microphone throughout the weekend. It finally got so bad that few could hear her and noises were coming out of the speaker.

"There must be some Republican gremlin here," she said.

It is not the first time Clinton has jokingly blamed the Republicans for her microphone failures. At a fundraiser in New York, on stage when the sound went out, she said, "There must be a Republican in the house."

Clinton concluded her seventh trip to Iowa walking out of North Middle School in Sioux City with one protester off in the distance shouting through a loud speaker about abortion and mentioning Hillary by name. She seemed unfazed and signed autographs before getting into her five-car motorcade and heading home to Chappaqua, N.Y.

Clinton will return to Iowa Friday night for the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner.