Hillary: 'I'm Really Proud of the People That I Have Endorsing Me'

Exclusive: Sen. Clinton says she would be in control in the White House.

Jan. 30, 2008— -- Sen. Hillary Clinton began the day with three hours of sleep in a place that she came to more than 30 years ago -- following her heart and William Jefferson Clinton.

Little Rock, Ark., is the place she called home for nearly two decades, and if at one point she came here reluctantly, that is not the case now.

This morning a black Elvis impersonator (calling himself "Belvis") showed up to sing her praises. She sang along with him.

Her good mood this morning may not be entirely from the warm welcome at the Kitchen Express on Asher Street in Little Rock -- last night's 20-point win in Florida does give her bragging rights going into Super Tuesday -- now less than a week away.

But some have called that win in Florida a political stunt. It was a state Democrats were not allowed to campaign in because of party rules and that awarded no delegates towards the selection of a Democratic nominee. In an exclusive interview, "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden asked her what that Florida win meant.

Being a Democrat in Florida Has 'Not Been Easy'

"If you're a Democrat in Florida the last two election cycles have not been very easy to take and I think they wanted despite the odds against them to demonstrate they were there," she said. "They wanted to be heard and I was thrilled to go down there and thank them for the votes -- we couldn't campaign there -- but I want them to know that if I'm so fortunate to get this nomination, I'll be there a lot."

Another reason for her fine spirits today may also have been the announcement that John Edwards made in New Orleans while the press waited for Clinton in Little Rock.

At just about 2 p.m. ET, as Edwards wrapped up, she came back to give her reaction to the press.

"I want to start by expressing my appreciation and admiration to Senator Edwards, to Elizabeth, to their family for their years of public service and advocacy on behalf of those who needed a champion and particularly during this campaign he has made poverty a centerpiece of his candidacy and it needs to be on the top of the list of American priorities," she said.

When a reporter asked if she asked Edwards for his endorsement, she responded, "I have not because I think this is up to Sen. Edwards."

After she spoke to reporters, it was off to the Clinton plane heading to Atlanta with the press in the back and Clinton and her staff in the front. About an hour into the flight brought a surprise -- the woman who once got into such hot water over not baking cookies was serving peach cobbler.

After the plane landed, she headed to talk with Southern Baptists in Atlanta, where she found a mostly African-American crowd. Her tone was warm and inclusive and she pointedly praised Martin Luther King Jr.

"It was my youth minister who took us to see Dr. King preach about our responsibilities to our fellow citizens," she said. "It was that famous sermon about staying awake through the revolution. It transformed my life as it did so many others who had the great honor to hear directly from Dr. King the calling to be more than on our own any of us could be."

The Bill Clinton Effect

When "Nightline" sat down with her, we asked how the recent attention surrounding her husband might have affected her campaign and if she thought he had gone too far on her behalf.

"I think he is a very passionate promoter and defender of me and I appreciate that -- I think we all have spouses that are committed to our candidacies," she said. "But this campaign is about me. It's about what kind of president I will be. What I will do as president...so I want everybody who is supporting me to be on the same page about that."

But did the former president think he had gone too far?

"I think if whatever he said -- which was certainly never intended to cause any kind of offense to anyone -- that is the furthest thing from him," she said. "You know this is a man who has given his whole life to civil rights and equal rights and everything that we stand for and whose presidency was really a high-water mark for helping so many people. And yet if it did take offense, I take responsibility and I'm sorry about that because we have nothing but the best intentions and the most hope about what we can do for our country."

But, we asked, when she needs to, will Clinton be able to control the former president?

"Oh, of course. You know there's only one president at a time," she said. "Campaigns get a little heated -- we all know that, but when you have to make the tough decisions ... I have to make the decision, I have to bear the responsibility, I have to look into the eyes of the American people and tell them why we're doing whatever it is we have to do and I am willing to bear that responsibility."

'I'm Proud of the People I Have Endorsing Me'

On Monday, Sen. Ted Kennedy and President Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg endorsed Barack Obama, partially as a result of Bill Clinton's assertions on his wife's behalf. Kennedy had been a mentor to Hillary Clinton when she first came to the Senate, and Hillary wrote in her book that she had admired Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

So was she hurt when JFK's brother and daughter chose to endorse Obama?

"People make up their minds to endorse whoever they wish and that is something," she explained. "You know, I respect whatever reasons they made the decisions they made. And I'm proud to have Bobby Kennedy Jr., and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

"Maybe I've just been through this too many years, that I can't worry about something that is out of my control. I can only get up every day and do the best I can to make my case to as many people as possible."

'What Keeps Me up at Night is What's Happening to My Country'

But when asked what keeps her up at night, she said it's not the campaign.

"What keeps me up at night is what's happening to my country, that is what bothers me," Clinton said. "I see so much uncertainty and insecurity... What would I do, if it were my child, or my mother, or my home? Well, to whom much is given, much is required. And I just think we've got to do better."

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