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Clinton Strikes a Positive Tone at Philly Landmark

DAVID GREENE: And I'm David Greene, traveling with Hillary Clinton. Her advisers loved that debate in Philadelphia. They said it's now clear Obama can be knocked off stride by tough questions, but Clinton is now facing a tough question of her own: whether attacking Obama has hurt her image with voters.

Yesterday, Clinton seemed to be striking a more positive tone. She appeared at Haverford College outside Philadelphia. Clinton had her daughter, Chelsea, introduce her.

Ms. CHELSEA CLINTON (Former First Daughter): I'm just looking forward to having the conversation with you all today about why I so strongly support my mom, and so here, my mom.


(Soundbite of applause)

GREENE: Senator Clinton said she wanted the event to be more relaxed than a big rally.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York): Oh thank you, thank you so much.

GREENE: She took a number of questions, including one from a young man named Samuel Lafe(ph). He said he'll be volunteering for Clinton's campaign.

Mr. SAMUEL LAFE (Clinton Supporter, Pennsylvania): We have a few more days left before the primaries, and a lot of us will be out canvassing. If you were with us, what would you want us to be saying to the last people we're going to see before the primaries on…


Sen. CLINTON: Great question.

GREENE: Clinton began her answer with this.

Sen. CLINTON: Well, I - you know, just knock on the door and say, you know, she's really nice, and…

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of applause)

Sen. CLINTON: Or you could say it another way: She's not as bad as you think.

GREENE: Senator Clinton rarely mentioned her opponent's name at the event, and when she did, it was in the context of a story she wanted to tell about a high-school senior who had copies of some policy proposals from her and from Senator Obama.

Sen. CLINTON: And he removed any identifying characteristics, and he sent them out on e-mail to dozens, if not, I don't know, scores of his friends and asked people which policy they agreed with. And many people who aren't supporting me or hadn't made up their mind were surprised to realize they agreed with me.

GREENE: From Haverford, Clinton made her way into the city, and her last stop of the night was the Mayfair Diner, a landmark in northeast Philadelphia.

Sen. CLINTON: Hello, Mayfair.

GREENE: Clinton recalled how her husband campaigned at this very spot in 1992. Last night, police shut down the main street in front of the diner, and supporters gathered to listen to Senator Clinton as she decided to take a new dig at her opponent.

Sen. CLINTON: You know, sometimes during this campaign, my opponent criticizes the '90s, criticizes what my husband did, and that's fair.

GREENE: But Clinton added:

Sen. CLINTON: Which part of it didn't he like, the peace or prosperity? Because I liked both.

GREENE: Obama had said the '90s were good years for the country, but he's also suggested the Clinton presidency was a time of divisive politics. Last night, Hillary Clinton told the crowd in Philly that she and Obama have been going at it for a while.

Sen. CLINTON: You know, this election has gone on a long time, but I'm so proud that it got here to Pennsylvania so that you can help pick the next president.

GREENE: And Pennsylvanians will have their chance at the polls Tuesday.

David Greene, NPR News, Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.