The Lone Star showdown roared into its final stretch Saturday, Hillary Rodham Clinton assailing Barack Obama's campaign
as being built entirely on one anti-war speech six years ago and Mr. Obama questioning her judgment on what he calls the most
important decision this decade: going to war in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton supporters flood Fort Worth Stockyards
"His entire campaign is based on one speech he gave at an anti-war rally in 2002," Mrs. Clinton said in a
news conference aboard her campaign plane as she traveled to Fort Worth and Dallas for two rallies, her biggest events yet
in North Texas.
Mr. Obama sharpened his rebuttal Saturday night in Ohio, painting Mrs. Clinton as a patsy of sorts for having
supported President Bush's request for war authority. He demanded credit for more than a single anti-war speech as proof of
his good judgment.
"I was in the middle of a U.S. Senate campaign. I argued forcefully against this strategy, repeatedly. ...
And just about everything I predicted would happen, happened," Mr. Obama said at a town-hall meeting in suburban Cleveland.
Just days before potential make-or-break primaries in Texas and Ohio, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama continued
their frantic push for support. After spending most of the day in Texas, Mrs. Clinton flew to New York to appear on Saturday
Night Live. She delivered an "editorial response" to a skit lampooning last Tuesday's Ohio debate and gave the signature
introduction, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night." Mr. Obama campaigned in Rhode Island and Ohio.
Off the trail, the Clinton campaign sent negative ad mailers to Texas homes, challenging Mr. Obama on his
health-care plan and what she portrayed as consumer-unfriendly votes on energy and interest rates. The Obama camp, meanwhile,
unveiled four new TV ads in Texas, including one featuring a retired Air Force general praising Mr. Obama's opposition to
the Iraq war.
In a rally before about 6,000 people at Dallas' Fair Park Coliseum, Mrs. Clinton exhorted supporters to go
to the polls and caucuses Tuesday. On Friday, early voting ended after setting records across the state.
Mrs. Clinton spoke of national security as the keystone of the elections – especially with so much instability
after eight years of the Bush administration, she said.
"It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush," she said, to cheers. "Grab your brooms and your mops
and your vacuum cleaners and help me out."
It was the second day of punching back and forth on the experience vs. judgment question, a major point of
contention between candidates alike on most policy issues. In an ad launched Friday and again in her Saturday speeches, Mrs.
Clinton invoked the image of the White House phone ringing at 3 a.m., saying she is calm and ready in the face of an international
Mrs. Clinton said she "was involved in a lot of decisions that were made," in foreign policy during her husband's
administration but acknowledged under questioning from reporters that she had never made a middle-of-the night decision affecting
"No one who hasn't been president has ever done that," she said. The Obama camp noted that she did not hold
a security clearance in her husband's administration.
Mr. Obama shot back with a similar ad and raised the issue again Saturday in Ohio.
"When you think about who you want answering that phone call at 3 in the morning, you might want to consider
who had the judgment not to be bulldozed into supporting a war that made us, I believe, less safe," he said.
He went further, arguing that by provoking and emboldening Iran, the war has been a strategic blunder –
a rebuttal to Sen. John McCain's stance that the war was justified but poorly executed.
"I just profoundly disagree," he said. "We've spent half a trillion dollars now to make Iran more powerful.
That's what we've done."
In Texas, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are in a dead heat in most polls, and she spent Saturday striking the
theme that she is ready to run the government and he is not.
"There's a big difference between speeches and solutions," she said in Fort Worth.
Earlier, Mrs. Clinton rejected Mr. Obama's suggestion that her campaign is resorting to fearmongering to try
to win votes.
"I don't think the people in Texas scare all that easily," she said.
She cited her experience of traveling to 80 countries during the Clinton administration and said it better
equips her to compete with Mr. McCain, a Vietnam War hero with long foreign-policy experience in the Senate.
"If Sen. Obama is unwilling to engage me on national security, how is he going to engage Sen. McCain?" she
In Providence, R.I., Mr. Obama framed his views as a test of political courage.
"Real change isn't voting for George Bush's war in Iraq and then telling the American people it was actually
a vote for more diplomacy," Mr. Obama told a crowd. "The title of the bill was 'a resolution authorizing the use of the United
States armed forces against Iraq.' That sounds like you were voting for authorizing the use of armed forces against Iraq."
In the front row was former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who bucked his party by opposing the resolution. He has
given up his affiliation and endorsed Mr. Obama.
"I knew what it was. Lincoln Chafee knew what it was. It was a vote for war. ... He knew what the score was,"
Mr. Obama intoned, and the crowd gave a huge cheer.
•Barack Obama's team cites a jump in turnout among blacks in Dallas and Houston. And sizable increases
in some Republican-dominated counties suggest he may be pulling independents into the Democratic primary.
•Hillary Rodham Clinton's camp is buoyed by signs of a big early vote in heavily Hispanic South Texas,
and that almost 60 percent of the early voters were women.
From wire reports
SAN ANTONIO – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton unleashed some "girl power" Saturday, with endorsements from
a feisty feminist and desperate housewife. Gloria Steinem was an unannounced guest at a "You Go Girl" fundraiser here, while
the Clinton campaign announced that actresses Eva Longoria Parker, one of the stars of Desperate Housewives,
and Melanie Griffith will appear with her in Austin at a town-hall meeting to be broadcast statewide Monday night on Fox Sports