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From Clinton, a multi-generational message in N.H.

Allison Porreca served ice cream to Hillary Clinton during a stop for ice cream at the Dairy Swirl in Lebanon, N.H. on Friday. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

HANOVER, N.H. — Hillary Rodham Clinton kicked off her Fourth of July weekend by telling about 850 people at Dartmouth College that two people motivated her run for president: her mother and her granddaughter.

Her mother, Clinton said, instilled in her a steadfast belief in kindness, while her granddaughter makes her think about “what kind of world will be waiting for her.”

“That’s what keeps me up at night,” Clinton said.

Clinton’s mixed-generational message was apt for the crowd she addressed Friday afternoon — Dartmouth students mingled with longtime Clinton supporters.

Lois Little, 67, of New London, N.H., became a Clinton fan 24 years ago but decided not to wear the “Madame President” shirt she bought during Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential run to avoid jinxing Clinton’s chances.


“She’s a very dynamic person, very intelligent,” Little said. Her husband nodded in agreement.

Among those who have watched Clinton for years were some who were lukewarm toward her — but nonetheless likely to vote for her. Julie McCashin, 52, of Hanover, said she was not a diehard Clinton fan, but she was “diehard anti-Republican.” McCashin said Clinton has the best chance to beat the eventual GOP nominee.

Supporters cheered as Hillary Clinton spoke during a campaign event in Hanover, N.H. on Friday. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

Little and McCashin stood in the same crowd, eating hamburgers and potato salad, with Thuy Le, 20, a Dartmouth sophomore who said her philosophy aligns more with Senator Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential contender. Le watched Clinton’s speech with a group of five other Dartmouth sophomores who said they were trying to decide between Clinton and Sanders.

Parker Gardner, 20, on campus for the summer, said that Clinton was likely the “best option” but he needed more information to be certain.

At the Friday event, he said he hoped to hear about her personal journey into politics, not just her policy positions.

Clinton will have to appeal to both demographics to be successful both in the Democratic primary and perhaps in the general election. Her speech tried to do just that.


She argued that she is the best candidate to improve the economy, disparaging the economic policy efforts of former Republican presidents.

“These are folks who just don’t know the theory of original sin,” she said, “because we wouldn’t have had to have a recovery if we hadn’t had the kind of poor management and bad economic policies that put us into the ditch in the first place.”

In about 10 days, she said, she would release more details on her economic platform.

In the meantime, she ticked through a laundry list of issues important to her campaign, including voting rights, immigration, clean energy, cybersecurity, and removing big money from politics. She praised the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on health care and same-sex marriage.

Clinton ended her speech with a set of personal stories. She told the crowd about her mother’s troubled childhood and said her mother kept going because people showed her kindness along the way. She pledged to bring this type of kindness to the White House.

“I think we are a nation that really believes in a helping hand,” she said.

And she cited her young granddaughter as her inspiration to work toward creating a world the next generation will be proud to inherit.

“That flag which we’ll see in parades and at picnics and flying proudly in front of houses this weekend, that flag represents, I believe, humanity’s best progress,” Clinton said. “I want to be proud, and I want my daughter and granddaughter to be proud.”


Margaret Mulley, 65, said Clinton’s speech “was very competent and powerful.”

But not all the college students were convinced.

As Mariana Almeida, 19, and Andrew Jeon, 20, walked away from the event, they said they enjoyed the speech. But as for which candidate they will ultimately support — both walked away undecided.

Danielle Foullon, 54, left the event with one piece of advice for Clinton: “Hillary, don’t play it safe.”

Hillary Clinton greeted supporters in Hanover. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Monica Disare can be reached at monica.disare@globe.com.