The Clintons In Iowa: A "Serious" Caucus Decision

DES MOINES -- Sen. Clinton's stump speech has a logic to it. There are three main binds. One is that she and only she can restore America's reputation in the world and use that restoration to solve major problems; another can be loosely summed as "serious solutions for serious times"; these two I would categorize as the "Here Is Why You Shouldn't Fall For The Seductions Of Barack Obama or John Edwards" -- and the third is a command/plea: join the Movement.

In the first several minutes, Clinton twice referred to the "serious" choice that Iowans faced; the "responsibility" that any caucus-goer bear in selecting the best candidate. (That is: please don't fall for rhetoric or flash or sizzle.)

She then described her Midwestern upbrining; her father's military service; her mother's financial sacrifices;

From there:

health care: "Will you help me get universal health care in America?"
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energy policy
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education and No Child Left Behind
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college loans
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the rule of law -- here she talked about Scooter Libby, and delivered her loudest applause line: "We're going to get back to the old-fashioned idea of appointing me to positions who are qualified to hold those positions!"
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Iraq -- her three point plan
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Leadeship --> Terrorism --> "Just as we've seen over the last weekend, we have to remain vigilant, but he need friends and allies to cooperate with to deal with terrorism or global warming or HIV/AIDS or any other challenges we face." Applause came at the end of this sentence, not at the beginning.
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The Hillary movement: the first woman president.

"I know how hard this job is. It is hard at any time. But it will have some special challenges following President Bush and Vice President Cheney. I am very proud to be running as a woman to make history as our first woman president. That is exciting. But I am not running as a woman, I am running because I believe I am the best qualified and experienced person."