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ON THE TRAIL / STIRRING THINGS UP

Clinton's campaign speech gets an impassioned reading

January 25, 2008|James Rainey

Hillary Rodham Clinton usually ends her campaign speech on a crescendo, calling on voters to help her in the primaries and on into the general election. But an unusual moment came at the end of a long day of campaigning this week in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The New York senator seemed to get carried away in the fervor of a crowd in North Bergen, N.J., concluding her speech by shouting out, "Will you help me?" not once, not twice, but six times. Her voice slightly hoarse, she concluded: "If you help me, I will restore pride and progress in America."

That had the ballroom crowd of several hundred in a near frenzy and members of the traveling press corps following Clinton quipping that the verbal salvo reminded them of the infamous "Dean scream" -- although not nearly as frenetic.

After losing the Iowa caucuses in 2004, former Vermont governor and onetime Democratic front-runner Howard Dean (now Democratic Party chairman) unleashed a fierce, teeth-bearing primal promise to fight on.

The difference: Dean's scream came as his presidential prospects seemed to be on the verge of slipping away; Clinton's appeal came before a friendly crowd that had been shouting out in affirmation, in a race where she is running strong.

-- James Rainey

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