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Clinton Tries to Smooth Out Her "Rocky Road"

(CBS)
From CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Jim Axelrod, who's covering the Clinton campaign:

LE MARS, IOWA -- Hillary Clinton spoke to 400 people in Le Mars tonight – the self-proclaimed ice cream capital of the world. I'll spare you the tortured and clichéd line about her attempt to smooth out a recently "Rocky Road."

For a candidate who just secured the most coveted endorsement in the state, Clinton was decidedly low energy. She continues to try to distinguish herself from her two chief rivals by talking about her experience, and was only too happy to take a question about her electability.

Clinton gleefully pointed out that while she's running against three senators, and one former senator – they have the support of one member of the Senate each, while she's received nine endorsements from sitting U.S. Senators. Referring to her friends in the Senate, she said "I don't think they're on a suicide mission."

While she continues to refrain from mentioning either of her two main rivals by name, and while she delivered her basic stump speech in muted style, there was a new wrinkle – wrapping up her speech with a plea for support on caucus night, Clinton promised to stand up for those who stand up for her.

And in what seemed like a coy reference to the troubles in her marriage, told the crowd "as I think you know, when I tell someone I'll stick with you, I stick with you." While exactly what she was referring to was unclear, the nervous laughter that greeted it suggested many of the Iowans in attendance took it as a reference to life with a certain former President.

  • 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.