NASHUA, NH (CAP) - Sixteen years ago the state of New Hampshire christened her husband the Comeback Kid. Tuesday night it was her time, and the Bounceback Broad could not have been more pleased.
"Barack Obama was handing this old girl her ass, and you changed all that!" Hillary Rodham Clinton told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters Wednesday morning as she prepared to board her bus, the Experience Express.
Clearly overcome with emotion but determined not to cry, again, she fidgeted with her victory tiara and collected her composure while Elton John's The Bitch Is Back rocked the early morning crowd. Regaining control, she delivered the sound bite that may well become her campaign's rallying cry in the days and weeks ahead.
"You have made me the Bounceback Broad, and this broad is riding her wide aspirations all the way to the White House!" Clinton yelled above the approving roar of her adoring fans. No one seemed more pleased with the victory than the original Comeback Kid.
"Hill's got 35 years of experience under her belt. Oh yeah, she bounces," said husband and former president Bill Clinton as he prepared to mount his wife's bus. "She bounces."
Down by double digits in some polls heading into New Hampshire, Clinton managed to overcome that deficit and more to capture the state and put an effective halt to Barack Obama's Iowa momentum. Gone are the threats to retool the campaign, write off some upcoming primaries and remake Hillary by embracing a more alluring Catholic schoolgirl look.
Many staffers, their jobs on the line, are leaving New Hampshire very relieved.
"'Whore, I get embarrassed here and you're collecting tolls on the New York Expressway for a few months, capiche?'" one staffer recalled Clinton snapping at her Monday. "By Wednesday we were sharing a hot tub, sipping champagne and watching the late returns pour in. God bless you, New Hampshire!"
The Experience Express' next stop is Nevada, which has a caucus scheduled for January 19th. The Nevada campaign kicks off Friday night with a gala dinner sponsored by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, whose members experienced a significant windfall Tuesday when Hillary edged the 3:1 favored Obama in the New Hampshire primary.
- Rich Gray