Hillary Clinton is keeping a stiff upper lip when it comes to questions about her presidential campaign's vulnerabilities in the face of a rising threat in the polls from fellow Democrat Barack Obama.
"I really don't pay a lot of attention to that. Maybe it's because I don't have to get up before the crack of dawn every morning and talk about it. I have a much longer view about this campaign, like I always have," Clinton told FOX News Monday, speaking from a diner in Des Moines, Iowa.
Clinton tried to keep the conversation upbeat, even as she faces questions about Obama's recent poll surges. Obama has taken a lead in some polls in New Hampshire, though within the margin of error, while Clinton clings to a narrow poll lead in Iowa. Voters go to the polls for the presidential primary nomination on Jan. 3 in Iowa and on Jan. 8 in New Hampshire.
Clinton comes off a fresh piece of good news for her campaign, Sunday's endorsement by the Des Moines Register editorial board, which also endorsed GOP candidate Sen. John McCain. She is also touring all 99 Iowa counties in the coming days by helicopter.
Without naming her closest rival, Clinton again pointed to experience as one of the primary reasons the Register chose her.
"I was obviously honored and thrilled by that Des Moines Register editorial, because it laid out exactly what I believe the issue to be: Who is best equipped, experienced and ready to make the kind of changes that Americans from across the political spectrum, now not only know we need to make, but are anxious that we start rolling up our sleeves and making" those changes, Clinton said.
Another rival, John Edwards, who is also within striking range in Iowa, received the newspaper's endorsement in 2004. While the paper hasn't picked a winner in more than 20 years, Edwards said the newspaper and he had philosophical differences about what's needed to bring about change.
"Well, its funny. I do congratulate her. It's a great thing for her. But, at least in the last couple of elections, what it seems to have guaranteed is a second place finish in the caucuses. So we'll have to do everything in my power to see whether that happens this time," the former North Carolina senator said.
Clinton came the closest to acknowledging campaign troubles by admitting "challenges."
"You know, campaigns are like life. You know, some days are good. Some days you got some challenges. You gotta get up the next day, overcome them. That's how I live my life. That's how I run my campaign."
Nevertheless, she said, "I feel really, really good about where my campaign is," and: "I believe that I will get the nomination and that I will be the next president."
Clinton raised her universal health care plan and her goal of ending the war in Iraq as her main goals if she becomes president.
Regarding the War on Terror, Clinton called the Federal Emergency Management agency a "national disgrace," citing the agency as an example of where attention needs to be paid in the arena of homeland security.
"I will put competent, qualified people in a lot of these positions. ... We have a Federal Emergency Management Agency that we know is a national disgrace, and that's because we haven't seen quality people who are competent to get the job done, and we need to do that again," Clinton said.