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HRC kees up populist message, visits DQ

From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
SOUTH BEND, IN -- Hillary Clinton, her voice hoarse as the latest round of primaries approaches, kept up her populist message here this afternoon, telling a small crowd of supporters that she is "unabashed" and "unapologetic" about her fight for the middle class.

"Let's just do this final push," she said outside her campaign's field office here before volunteers were set to canvass the neighborhood. "We came from so far behind in Indiana. We're still the underdog, but we are moving forward, and we're moving forward because of you, because of the help I've received across this state."

Her remarks again included a pitch for her gas-tax plan, and a comparison of her health-care plan and Obama's, which she called inadequate. "It would be wonderful if all you had to do is show up in Washington say, 'Health insurance companies, quit exploiting Americans," she said, critiquing Obama's approach. "I would like to believe that we would have just massive conversions... But I think we can take them on."

Clinton has been keeping an active schedule all week, and it began to show as she started to lose her voice here. "I've been talking all the time," she said, before asking for a lozenge. "We have been talking non stop for days now... See that's why we need universal health care."

Running ahead of schedule, Clinton followed up the stop with a trip to the local Dairy Queen, where she ordered a Snickers Blizzard. "Two of my favorite things -- ice cream and Snickers," she said as she spooned bite after bite.
Clinton, joined by Sen. Evan Bayh, was asked by one customer if the two would run as a ticket. "First things first," Bayh said. Clinton, speaking with her mouth full, echoed the sentiment, saying they first had to get the nomination.