Clinton Trumpets Key Iowa Endorsement

New York senator touts her experience, but picks up on Obama's change message.

ByABC News via logo

Dec. 17, 2007 — -- Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and her supporters are on a "99-county blitz" through Iowa in the crucial week before Christmas, leading up to the state's caucuses Jan. 3.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is leading in the polls in Iowa at this point, but Clinton is flying high after an endorsement from Iowa's biggest newspaper — the Des Moines Register.

The New York senator today dismissed polling numbers and negative press, in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

"What I'm saying is I don't really pay much attention to it," Clinton told Chris Cuomo on "GMA." "I've done this for a very long time. I'm much more interested in how I feel and how I look in people's eyes and what they tell me, and the endorsements I'm getting."

The endorsement was indeed a huge boost after a week of bad press for Clinton, particularly when Bill Shaheen, the co-chair of Clinton's New Hampshire campaign, brought up Obama's past drug use, a move Obama's campaign called "desperate."

Clinton said today on "GMA" that Shaheen is no longer part of her campaign and that "he did step down."

"We took action as soon as it happened," she said. "He apologized as I did, which is what we do when we hear something we don't approve or condone."

Clinton indicated in another interview on MSNBC that Shaheen was actually asked to step down and did not volunteer to do so.

Obama is also making a strong showing in New Hampshire. Sunday, he won the endorsement of neighboring paper the Boston Globe.

Obama has successfully branded himself the Democratic candidate of "change," but Clinton's message in the final days before the caucuses is her experience in making change.

"I have a lot of experience bringing positive change," she said on "GMA." "I believe you bring change by hard work. That's what I've done all my life, and I think that's what America is ready for."

Former President Clinton told talk show host Charlie Rose that Obama supporters are rolling the dice, because the one-term senator just isn't ready to be president.

"When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service?" Clinton said on "The Charlie Rose Show."

Obama, meanwhile, used Bill Clinton's words to drive home the point that people were saying the same thing about the Arkansas governor's presidential run in 1992.

"There's a quote, 'The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change.' And that was Bill Clinton in 1992," Obama said in a news conference in Iowa, Friday.

Hillary Clinton said that, as America's longest-serving governor at the time, her husband had far more experience than Obama.

Clinton also praised her husband, who is traveling the country and in many cases going on the attack against other candidates, allowing the presidential hopeful to keep her message positive.

"I'm very proud to have Bill's help in this campaign," Clinton said. "He is working really hard. He is providing a lot of energy as he goes around the country on my behalf."

She added, though, that this race is not about the charismatic former president.

"This campaign is about me and my ideas, which was the point of the Des Moines Register's endorsement," Clinton said. "They concluded America needs a leader who can start on day one, and they said I was that leader."

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