Campaigning Getting Personal For Clinton

It's getting a little personal for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., on the campaign trail - just the way she wants it.

"I remember one time I had to be in court when I was a young lawyer ..." Clinton said while campaigning recently.

This week she made a push to expand family leave - with the kind of stories she would never tell publically in the past, CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reports.

"... Chelsea was sick and the babysitter wasn't there and then she called and she was sick too," Clinton said. "And it was just that gut-wrenching feeling."

Long-time Clinton watchers like Time Magazine's Karen Tumulty were struck: This is new.

"It's always been like she has put an almost iron gate down between her family life and her public life," Tumulty said.

And now that iron gate is coming up?

"[Out] of necessity," Tumulty said.

It's a necessity for Clinton to appeal to women. Not only do more women vote than men, but a recent CBS News poll shows women are her strength.

She's got a bit more work to do with men. So now after first establishing a steely five-star general persona, saying things like: "Let's focus on those who have attacked us and do everything we can to destroy them," she's now lasered in on women. Take this week.

Monday, she was on The View.

"Look how much longer it takes me to get ready," she said.

Tuesday, she made that speech on family leave.

Wednesday, she spoke to a women's financial group, saying: "I'm getting a lot of attention from the men in this race."

Thursday was health care - especially important to women voters. Clinton, who once seemed unconcerned about alienating some women, now feels the pain of all of them.

"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas," she said years ago.

And now: "I've been fortunate to have so much support as a working mother, but I understand what it means to be pulled in a million directions at once."

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.