Uncategorized | 10:21 pm | January 7, 2008 | By Thomas Kaplan

LIVEBLOG: Clinton’s closing argument in Manchester

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MANCHESTER, N.H., 9:25 p.m. — Senator Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 is in trouble. Can she save her candidacy with this massive rally this evening? We’ll see. Our live blog is below.

10:45 p.m. | About half the crowd is still here, and the music is still blaring. Check back later tonight for an analysis of Hillary’s speech. At least compared to yesterday, it was a whole new Hillary.

10:31 p.m. | The Clinton campaign estimate the attendance tonight at over 4,000.

10:12 p.m. | To Bill Clinton: as a former president, how does it feel to be reduced to a stage prop?

10:10 p.m. | “We can make history,” she says, and thanks the crowd. “Takin’ Care of Business” booms.

10:09 p.m. | Here we go. “So I’m asking for your help.” The crowd chants: “Go, Hillary, Go!” Then, “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!”

10:08 p.m. | “We want to reclaim the future for our children and our young people,” Hillary says. A bit of John Edwards is shining through in this speech. Lots of talk about the hard-working middle class.

10:06 p.m. | Another pseudo-celebrity sighting: Judy Woodruff of PBS.

10:03 p.m. | Now we’re onto Iraq. A lot of Bush-bashing in this speech. No-bid contracts, etc.

10:01 p.m. | “I think it takes strength and experience to make the changes that we need in America.” The crowd applauds.

10:00 p.m. | CHANGE! As a senator, Hillary says, “You have to produce positive change.”

9:59 p.m. | Hillary: “There are those that are running who act like they can just make Washington disappear. They can order everybody, ‘Act right, be nice’.” The crowd laughs mischievously.

9:57 p.m. | Hillary is rolling through her domestic-issues platform. The crowd keeps insisting on cheering. Honestly, it’s getting irritating.

9:47 p.m. | The loudest cheer of the night: Hillary promises a balanced budget and a surplus. Still, at least rhetorically, this speech is relatively “change”-free thus far.

9:45 p.m. | Pseudo-celebrity sighting (I think): Matt Bai, chief political writer for The New York Times Magazine. Also, Chris Matthews is here.

9:44 p.m. | Hillary is attacking Bush for governing with fear. With this crowd, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. “Since when did America become the ‘can’t do’ nation?” she asks.

9:42 p.m. | She says she’s running for president because she “loves this country.” As opposed to the other candidates, who are running because they don’t hate this country?

9:40 p.m. | Hillary is talking about “getting our country back on track.” She says: “I know what it will take.” Then, someone cuts her off and screams, “A woman.” The crowd goes crazy.

9:39 p.m. | Our first “change” of the night.

9:38 p.m. | A TV reporter for a foreign station is reporting live from right in front of me. He’s just standing.

9:36 p.m. | Those rhetorical questions definitely did not deserve a speech-interrupting “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary” chant.

9:34 p.m. | “Are you ready to have a president who is ready to go into the Oval Office on day one and start making tough decisions?” Clinton asks. She keeps asking these sorts of questions — “Are you ready to have a president … ?” — and each time, the crowd goes crazy.

9:33 p.m. | Bill is here! Everyone is so excited!

9:32 p.m | Clinton has arrived. Chelsea has, too; the crowd is chanting her name.

9:28 p.m. | Don’t worry — we’ll keep track of the number of times she says “change.” I’m assuming we’ll hear the Obama-assailing “That’s not change” refrain that she debuted yesterday.

9:26 p.m. | The crowd is being led in a chant of H-I-L-L-A-R-Y, letter by letter. They seem enthusiastic. I wonder: Have they seen a poll in the last week?

— Thomas Kaplan

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