Clinton Casts Herself In TV Ads As Candidate Of Change

Wednesday, September 5th 2007, 11:25 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Seeking to secure a theme from her presidential rivals, Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin airing ads in Iowa and New Hampshire this week that cast her as the Democratic candidate best suited to bring about change to the country.

The ad is Clinton's second in Iowa and her first in New Hampshire. They are scheduled to run statewide.

The New York senator and former first lady enters the post-Labor Day stretch of the campaign eager to confront her two closest opponents _ Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina _ on turf they have tried to carve out for themselves.

Obama and Edwards are running as agents of change who are not beholden to Washington's institutions of power.

Clinton's new message, as stated in the ad: ``If we have the will, she has the strength. If we have the conviction, she has the experience. If we're ready for change, she's ready to lead.''

The ad, titled ``Change,'' begins with an announcer stating: ``We will change things in this country. Because we want it. Because we have one candidate who spent her life fighting for it. Standing up for our families, our children, our veterans. We will end this war. We will give health coverage to everyone. We will be energy independent.''

Polls show that the public gives Clinton a significant lead over her rivals on experience _ an image built on her active policy role as first lady and more than six years in the Senate. But polls also show that voters appear to value a new direction and new ideas more than experience alone.

In a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll last month, 40 percent of respondent said Clinton was the candidate most likely to bring about change; 27 percent said the same about Obama and 15 percent described Edwards that way.

But Obama and Edwards have been aggressively promoting themselves as Washington outsiders more capable of changing Washington's direction. The comparison to Clinton is often implicit, but clear. In a new stump speech, Edwards has been blasting away at ``the system in Washington,'' calling it ``rigged by greedy powers.''

In a memo promoting their new ad, the Clinton campaign states: ``By touting Hillary's experiences as a change agent, the Clinton campaign is making clear that to make change happen, you need the kind of strength and experience Hillary has accrued during her more than 35 years of advocacy.''