From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
INDIANAPOLIS -- Days before the primary in Indiana and North Carolina, Hillary Clinton's argument has become increasingly clearer -- that she thinks Barack Obama is out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters.
Clinton returned to the Hoosier State last night for an outdoor rally featuring John Mellencamp, whose small-town lyrics have become omnipresent at her rallies. Speaking to thousands, she again touted her plan for a gas tax holiday paid for by a windfall oil profits tax, saying she wants to "see us finally stand up and fight for you and fight against the oil companies."
"Now, my opponent doesn't agree with me," she said. "He doesn't think that the oil companies should pay the tax, he thinks that you should pay the tax. Well, I'm sorry, I think that's just one more indication that he's not understanding what's going on in so many people's lives."
She extended that criticism to the home foreclosure crisis and health care, saying she first proposed taking action on the former, and that his plan on the latter is inadequate because not everyone is covered.
"I think you have to decide for this election on Tuesday who's on your side and who you can count on to stand up for you and to work for you and to fight for you," she said.
The rally had some light moments as it began, when former President Bill Clinton was late for his scheduled introduction by Sen. Evan Bayh. Trying to fill time, Bayh decided to introduce Sen. Clinton, and began alluding to a comment from a union leader earlier this week who said Clinton had the "testicular fortitude" to be commander in chief.
"Any of you see what he said? Our candidate is the one in the race …" he began, when Clinton shushed him. "She didn't want me to go there, OK, I won't."
He then made way for Clinton, before her husband belatedly worked his way on stage.
"C'mon Bill!" she said. "C'mon up and take a look at this great crowd. Evan was actually introducing you and then we were sort of stalling until you got here."
The former president spoke only briefly, saying he's visited 39 communities in Indiana, six that day.
"And they're all going for Hillary on Tuesday!" he said.