How Hillary Clinton's Campaign Has Changed in the New Year

Fresh off a holiday break, Clinton hit the trail armed with new strategies.

ByABC News
January 8, 2016, 10:38 AM
Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Fresh off a holiday break, Hillary Clinton appears to have hit the 2016 campaign trail armed with a new set of strategies.

As she travels across the country this week, the Democratic front-runner has been delivering a revised version of her stump speech with a focus on not just the upcoming Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, but the general election, too.

Here are five ways Clinton’s strategic approach has shifted in the new year.

1. She's stopped engaging with Trump (or is at least trying to)

Donald Trump’s recent decision to go after Bill Clinton’s infidelities has seemed to change Clinton's approach. At her first campaign events of the new year, it seemed she was going out of her way not to mention Trump's name. And at a town hall in Iowa on Monday she refused to answer a voter’s question about Trump's attack that she and Obama created ISIS. “I’ve adopted a New Year’s resolution,” she explained. "I’m going to let him live in his alternate reality, and I’m not going to respond.”

As the week progressed, however, Clinton seemed to fall back into old habits. She called Trump out by name at campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday to criticize his stance on immigration. Later she tweeted against his position on gun control.

2. She's bringing out Bill

The very first days of 2016 have brought a notable addition to Clinton’s campaign. This week the former president -- who until now has kept a relatively low profile -- hit the trail in both Iowa and New Hampshire to stump for his wife.

Despite Trump’s attacks, team Clinton remains optimistic that the man who Hillary calls her “secret weapon” will be nothing but an asset this year.

3. She's tapping into star power

The Clinton campaign has always had a long list of celebrity backers, but the campaign is really putting them to use as voting in Iowa and New Hampshire approaches.

Lena Dunham, Tony Goldwyn and Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach, will all be campaigning for Clinton in Iowa and/or New Hampshire this month, the idea being that if Clinton herself can’t be in the state, at least another famous face will be on her behalf.

4. She is ratcheting up anti-GOP rhetoric

From the start of her campaign, Clinton’s strategy as the front-runner candidate has been to focus on Republicans. In recent events she has injected an element of fear into her stump speech — sending that message that, “Hey, even if you’re not that enthused about me, think about how much worse it will be with a Republican.”

5. She's highlighting her electability

Clinton also took fresh swipes at her Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders this week as she made a new pitch to voters that she will be the better candidate to take on the GOP in the general election.

“Think hard about the people who are presenting themselves to you, their experience, their qualifications, their positions. But particularly for those of us who are Democrats, their electability,” she said at an event in Iowa on Tuesday.

Sanders responded, however, by going after Clinton for a lack of enthusiasm. “I believe that our campaign is generating the kind of grassroots excitement that will result in a high voter turnout," the Vermont senator told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. "Democrats need a high voter turnout to win. I think we can do that."

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