The candidate
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Candidate Clinton

The candidate
Although former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has focused on experience as a theme of her presidential campaign, rivals say her time in the White House cuts both ways. Fellow Democrats Barack Obama and John Edwards have suggested she might be too invested in the culture of Washington to chart a fresh, independent course. To which the New York senator has responded: “ ‘Change’ is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen. And I know some people think you have to choose between change and experience. Well, with me you don’t have to choose.” (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Portsmouth
At a September rally in Portsmouth, N.H., Clinton poses for a snapshot with supporters. Earlier in the day, she had said she would soon reveal her plan on revamping the nation’s healthcare system. The issue is a touchy one for her: As first lady, she led a White House effort to expand Americans’ health coverage, but it foundered amid intense lobbying, and she drew criticism for her handling of the effort. It’s an experience she says she’s learned from. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Stroller
Clinton and a young girl at the Hopkinton State Fair in Contoocook, N.H., take a moment to go over the numbers. Former staffers say that as a boss, Clinton inspired equal amounts of devotion and fear. One intimidated newcomer recalls being put at ease when the then-first lady offered to play with her toddler so she could work. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
New Jersey Democratic State Conference
Clinton addresses the New Jersey Democratic State Conference in Atlantic City in September. Her political base of seniors, women and blue-collar workers has been a formidable asset in keeping her at the front of the polls. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Autographs
There’s always time for an autograph or 200. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Photograph
An attendee at the New Jersey Democratic conference hoped to have her photograph of Clinton signed during the luncheon. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Senate hearing
Sen. Clinton listens to testimony on Capitol Hill. The onetime corporate lawyer has a reputation for exhaustively researching an issue. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Capitol Hill
Clinton heads to her seat at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the status of the Iraq war. Because seniority rules in the chamber, Clinton, a relatively junior member of the panel, didn’t get to speak until several hours into the September meeting. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Campaign rally
Clinton kicks off her fall campaign at a rally in Concord, N.H. Several weeks later, the state announced it would hold its presidential primary Jan. 8, a move that promises one of the swiftest presidential nominating fights in U.S. history. With Iowa casting the first votes Jan. 3 and more than 20 states holding primaries or caucuses Feb. 5, the nominees could be decided in a one-month blitz of balloting. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Stump speech
Former President Clinton can’t hide his approval as his wife stumps in Concord, N.H. The couple draw crowds by the thousands at every campaign stop. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Pins
A few of the political souvenirs available at a rally in Des Moines. Polls in Iowa have had Clinton in a virtual three-way tie for the Democratic nomination with Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Crowd
A crowd listens to Hillary Clinton speak in Portsmouth, N.H., in September. Presidential historian James McGregor Burns, who studied the uneasy dynamics of her husband’s White House, says Hillary Clinton’s setbacks during those years amounted to “educational failures” that toughened her. “She’s been tested over and over again,” he said. “The question for voters is whether they feel she passed those tests and whether they think she learned from them.” (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Picture perfect
Brooks Kraft of Time magazine photographs Clinton in Portsmouth. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
The Clintons
When Bill and Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail this year, there was more at stake for them than for most political couples. Like no other presidential hopeful in modern times, Hillary knew her marriage would pose a central challenge to the candidacy. As she acknowledged in her autobiography, she realizes that people watch her every move and gesture when she is with her husband to gauge the state of their relationship. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
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