early and often

Down-home Clinton: Verbal Gems From Indiana and North Carolina

Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton is an honest-to-goodness, Wellesley-and-Yale-educated bottle-blonde woman of the people. And she’ll tell you about it! Not just through examples of her own tough upbringing in the suburbs of Chicago, but through her tone and turns of phrase. In the last couple of weeks she’s really taken to using the kind of down-homey language and accent on the campaign trail that primary voters in North Carolina and Indiana can relate to, and feel not at all patronized by. Language like car metaphors and food jokes. Below, some of our favorites from the campaign over the past couple of weeks:

• “We’re going to go fight for America, we’re going to round the bases, we’re going to score a lot of runs, and we’re going to feel really good about the home team, namely the American team, the team we’re all a part of!” April 24, South Bend, Indiana, at a minor-league baseball park. [Political Ticker/CNN]
• “With the Indy 500 right around the corner, let me ask: Indiana Democrats, are you ready to start your engines? …I’ve been nicked and bumped and knocked around a few times, but I’ve managed to get to the finish line.” May 4, Indianapolis, Indiana. [Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette]

• “We need to get on track in America, and head toward the finish line to change this country … There’s a good driving analogy. If you want to move forward you put it in D. If you want to move back you put it in R.” May 6, at the Indy Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana. [First Read/MSNBC]
• “I’m always interested in finding out what voters actually think, because there’s all kind of speculation. It’d be like predicting who’s going to win the Indy 500 before it’s even started.” Same event. [First Read/MSNBC]
• “We have eaten barbecue from one end of this state to other,” she said. “You know, for a while I was a little worried because every sighting of my husband was going into or coming out of barbecue joint. I said, ‘Oh, I just hope his cardiologist doesn’t read that!’” May 5, High Point, Indiana. [First Read/MSNBC]
• “We went to the schools within walking distance, we went to the church [which was] within walking distance.” “[These visits included potlucks] with all kinds of molded salads of every sort that one could imagine.” April 26, Fort Wayne, Indiana. [ABC News]

Actually, the molded-salad line is pretty good. So evocative!

Earlier: Today’s Primaries Could Change the Game, Maybe

Down-home Clinton: Verbal Gems From Indiana and North Carolina