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Nov 2, 2014 5:38 PM

Paul Steinhauser: Hillary Clinton makes first visit to NH since 2008

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

MANCHESTER - Hillary Clinton appeared in classic campaign mode Sunday afternoon, shaking hands with diners, and kissing babies, at the nearly century-old Puritan Backroom restaurant.

Clinton came to New Hampshire to team up fellow Democrats Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

"It's a woman's world," one person shouted out, as Clinton, Shaheen and Hassan smiled for a photograph.

An hour earlier, at a major Democratic Party rally in Nashua, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 presidential candidate praised Shaheen and Hassan.

"You have two of the most highly regarded public officials in the United States," Clinton said.

"One of the things I admire about Jeanne and Maggie is that they're fearless. I've watched them go toe to toe."

With the latest polls in the Senate race indicating the battle between Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown remains all tied up, Clinton came to the Granite State to energize party supporters and activists to get out the vote in the final hours before Election Day.

"If people are tuned out instead of turning out, you have no idea what's going to happen. That's why please, don't wake up the day after the election wishing you had done more. Do everything you can now to reach everybody through the phones, the doors, email, whatever it takes. Dig deep," Clinton urged.

Both Hassan and Shaheen praised Clinton.

"Hillary has been inspiring women and men with her extraordinary leadership for her entire life. She's here to help keep us going, so we can help keep our state moving in the right direction," Hassan said.

"There's nobody better to come here at this time for our final push than a women who's been a role model for so many women across this country than Hillary Clinton," agreed Shaheen.

Hassan told NH1 that Clinton's visit will help.

"Having Hillary here just gives everybody that energy for those last 48 hours."

And Democratic supporters in the crowd concurred.

"I think so. I think because she's a national figure, she's a woman," said Jan Sweetland of Bedford.

"I think it will definitely make a difference," Lauren Cavignano of Amherst said. "I think it means a lot having her here."

As she has at Democratic rallies the past few weeks, Clinton touted a message of income equality.

"The wage gap in New Hampshire costs women here thousands of dollars. Imagine what a working mom could do with what she is owed. A better home she could rent or even buy. A car she could get fixed or the new one she could afford. The investment in her kids she's anxious to do but can't find the money for," Clinton said.

"This is not just a woman's issue. It's a family issue, a fairness issue."

And Clinton criticized Brown, saying "there are two kinds of senators, show horses and work horses. There are too many show horses, we don't need another show horse."

The New Hampshire Republican State Committee used Clinton's visit to criticize Shaheen.

"Jeanne Shaheen told us that President Obama couldn't come here to campaign for her because he was too busy, so she brought in the next best thing - a former member of the Obama cabinet. Hillary Clinton and Jeanne Shaheen share one thing in common - they have both supported Obama's failed leadership, which has left America weaker at home and around the world," said chair Jennifer Horn, in a statement.

2016 speculation

Clinton's visit was her first trip to New Hampshire since 2008 and it sparked more speculation that she will indeed run again for the White House, in 2016. One of the biggest cheers at the rally came as Shaheen said "are we excited to welcome Hillary back to New Hampshire. Are we ready for Hillary."

Chants of "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary" instantly broke out.

Clinton shared her and her husband's love affair with the first-in-the-nation primary state.

"It's really hard for me to express how grateful I am on behalf my husband and myself to the people of New Hampshire. Starting way back in 1991 you opened your homes and your hearts. And in 2008 during darkest days of my campaign you lifted me up, you gave me my voice back, you taught me so much about grit and determination, and I will never forgot that. So my being here today is I want to thank the people of New Hampshire," Clinton said.


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