A New Hampshire voter arriving to see Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday morning at a local high school might well have assumed that the event was overwhelmed by a stunningly high turnout, an impression that the candidate herself did her best to encourage.
Lines stretched out the Merrimack Valley High School gym door, prompting the fire marshal to grow concerned about finding room for everyone. Clinton took charge of the situation, pointing out free seats, asking her daughter, Chelsea, to clear a security barrier to create more room, and sparking a wave of applause as she offered to a mother and young child two seats that had been set aside for Chelsea and the president of the New Hampshire Senate. "We can always sit on the floor, too, if we need to," she said, and jokingly noted that the moment was an example of her problem-solving abilities: "Big challenges, real solutions." The campaign later sent around a posting from a blogger reporting that 1,500 residents had turned out, far more than the 500 who had RSVP'ed.