Clinton Kicks off Helicopter Tour With Endorsement

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

After scoring the endorsement of the Des Moines Register last night, Hillary Clinton says her campaign is "energized" and is "picking up momentum." This comes after weeks of blunders and gaffes which led to her decline in various polls after months of the pundrity describing her nomination as inevitable.

Clinton's comments came at the kickoff of her "Every County Counts" helicopter tour in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Sunday. The Senator from New York appeared energized as did the crowd of nearly 400 supporters. Clinton went on to say that she was "especially honored" by the heavily sought-after Register endorsement.

Clinton said "I can feel the excitement growing, and it really spans all ages," a subtle jab at her top Democratic opponent Barack Obama who's gained large support from younger voters. "We are appealing to every generation," said Clinton, "And that's the way it should be."

Clinton also picked up the endorsement of former Nebraska Governor and Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey who said Clinton would "lead with Democratic values." At one point Kerrey asked the crowd "the most important question today is not whether she inspires me, but does she inspire your confidence?" to which the crowd responded "yes!" with thunderous applause.

Clinton thanked Kerrey upon taking the stage and told the crowd that Sen. Kerrey is the "embodiment of patriotism." Kerrey served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, his service earned him Medal of Honor.

It's worth noting that Kerrey also ran against Bill Clinton in the 1992 primary and was highly critical of the former president in the past. In a 1996 Esquire magazine interview, Kerrey described President Clinton as "an unusually good liar."

Meantime, Hillary Clinton said she is excited about her 5-day helicopter swing through Iowa, which the campaign is dubbing the "Hill-a-copter."

Clinton said she and her surrogates will blanket Iowa "knocking on doors and making phone calls" noting that the message is simple, but urgent: "The road to the White House for the next president begins here in Iowa."

CBS News National Correspondent Dean Reynolds contributed to this report.
  • Fernando Suarez

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