In Indiana, Clinton Touts Her Underdog Status


From CBS News' Fernando Suarez

MISHAWAKA, IND. -- Hillary Clinton played to her underdog status by asking voters not to brush aside her candidacy, as some are suggesting now, and have suggested in the past. She said voters have to ask themselves who they can count on to solve the problems facing America. "When I started running [in New York], everybody said the same thing they are saying about me today, that I could never win, that I could never get independents or Republicans to vote for me," she said. "Well, I just got re-elected with 67% of the vote from across the state of New York. And why? Because I believe actions speak louder than words."

Although Clinton did not identify Barack Obama by name, her references to "actions speak louder than words" are part of a longtime Clinton argument that Obama's candidacy amounts simply to rhetoric, while her campaign, she claims, is shaped by her experience and actions as first lady and a senator.

Clinton continued to push back on pressure from some in the media and a few politicians who have called on her to drop out of the race, most recently Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., an Obama supporter, who called on Clinton to withdraw from the race. "There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination," Leahy said on Vermont Public Radio this morning. "She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama."

"There are some people who are saying 'You know, we really ought to end this primary, we just ought to shut it down,'" to which the crowd interjected yelling "NO!" Clinton later added, "President Bush will leave next January, and what all of you are trying to decide is, who comes next?" The crowd responded with a resounding "You!" Clinton said, "Well, I hope so."

Clinton's visit to Indiana today marks her second visit to the state, and with most polls showing her behind here, she needed to bring a little extra ammunition. Clinton was joined by actor and supporter Sean Astin, known famously in this part of the country for his role in the movie "Rudy," based on a student with aspirations of playing football for Notre Dame. It is the story of an underdog, who defied the odds to make the team and bring them a come-from-behind victory. The movie could not echo more the hopes Clinton has of pulling a similar victory in this nomination contest.