Hillary's Campaign Is A Family Affair

Three generations of Clinton women hit the trail vowing "change across the generations" as Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped up her pitch to the women voters who could hold the key to Iowa's caucuses, which will launch the presidential nominating season in less than four weeks.

"We're getting close to the caucuses," said Clinton. "I always think it's better to go to the caucuses with a buddy. Today, I've got some buddies with me."

Those "buddies" included 88-year-old mother Dorothy Rodham and 27-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton, making her first appearance with her mother on the trail in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Opening the swing, Clinton noted that her family is able to care for her mother as she ages.

"I'm fortunate, my mother lives with Bill and me," said Clinton. "Lots of times she has more energy than we do."

Clinton noted that her mother fits the description of women who were born before women got the right to vote, and are now pushing to elect the first woman president.

"She has seen a lot happen and change in our country," said Clinton. "Not everyone is as lucky to have their mother or father or grandparent with them as we are."

Clinton's mother joined her on the campaign trail Friday night, and Chelsea, who works in New York City's financial sector, joined her Saturday morning. Neither spoke at the campaign events, but Chelsea worked a crowd hard as they opened the day.

Clinton used the occasion to trot out a plan to bolster long-term care, including a $3,000 tax credit for caregivers, a doubling of the standard deduction for the elderly and a tax credit for purchasing long-term care insurance. She repeatedly pointed to her ability to care for her own mother as she ages.

"I don't think having my mother with me is a burden, I think it's a joy," said Clinton. "It isn't easy to do and a lot of families don't have a lot of options."

The multigenerational appeal was aimed straight at women voters.

"I'm a proud working daughter," said Clinton. "My family is able to make the decisions we think are right for us and that's what I want for every American family."

Issues of long-term care and building families will be a focus of her presidency, Clinton said.

Clinton is locked in a tight battle with rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards in the race for Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, a competition where the stakes are very high. Although the Iowa race is close, Clinton has commanding leads in early voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina, and some strategists argue that a win in competitive Iowa could propel her toward the nomination.

Racing across the state on a frigid day that threatened snow, the Clinton women went to an elementary school in Williamsburg where Clinton displayed a list prepared by schoolchildren about what the next president should do.

"What does the next president do to help children," Clinton read from the list. "She - I like that, she - could put Band-Aids on children that are hurt."

After ticking off items like "teach us left from right," Clinton concluded the youngsters were on the right track.

"I thought that was a pretty good list," said Clinton. She cast herself as a candidate tested by fire, drawing an implicit difference with Obama, who she calls inexperienced.

"I will wage a winning campaign. The Republicans are not going to walk away from the White House without a fight," said Clinton. "One thing you know about me is they've been after me for 15 years and I'm still here."

While Obama was seeking the spotlight Saturday by bringing in talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, Clinton was fast making her campaign a family business. While her mother and daughter joined her in Iowa, her former president husband campaigned for her in another early voting state, South Carolina, and was headed back to the Iowa on Monday for a swing focused on college campuses.

By focusing on women and long-term care, Clinton was targeting two crucial groups in the state's electorate - women and seniors. More than 60 percent of caucus-goers in the last election cycle were over 50, and the state has one of highest populations in the nation over 85.

That group will be the target of her long-term care plan. Nationally, the over-85 population is expected to grow from 5 million to 21 million by 2050, according to documents provided by the Clinton campaign.

Clinton said the image of her campaign Saturday underscored her multigenerational pitch.

"The reason I am happy they are both here is I'm running for president to make the kind of change that America needs, changes people need no matter what age they are," said Clinton. "We need change across the generations."