NASHUA, N. H. -- "That's not change."
Thus arrives Hillary Clinton's new slogan, aimed no longer at underscoring her strengths but her opponents' failings.
At Nashua North High School, Clinton said Obama can't preach change for the following reasons: he said he would vote against the Patriot Act but voted for its renewal, he said he's ended lobbyist-financed meals sitting down but the ethic law he touts allows lobbyist-financed meals "standing up," and because he gave "a very good speech in 2002" against the Iraq war but "in 2004 said he wasn't sure how he would have voted."
With each of these sharply pointed critiques, Clinton said: "That's not change."
By the end, her massive crowd began to chant the phrase back - thus giving voice to what the Clinton camp hopes will become a galvanizing cry against Obama. Clinton's camp now portrays Obama as a false leader and empty prophet who mouths platitudes about change but has zero track record of delivering it.
In response, Obama's team says the following:
Unlike Hillary, Obama never voted for the original Patriot Act that raised so many concerns among civil liberties but did vote for a revamped version that made improvements in limiting certain broad government powers. On the ethics bill Hillary now dismisses as meaningless, Obama aides say Hillary is now at war with her own party leadership and good government groups who have called the bill a significant, though imperfect, reform.
On the Iraq war, Obama aides say the record is clear that, in the words of Communications Director Robert Gibbs, "Barack Obama opposed the war in Iraq in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and if Hillary wants to debate who was right about that first, we welcome that debate."
Overall, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Clinton's negative tone will be seen as "defensive, incorrect and 11th-hour."
They arise, he said, out of Clinton's desire to regain ground in New Hampshire in light of Obama's post-Iowa surge.
Axelrod says voters have seen Hillary's argument that she's an agent of change and rejected it in favor of Obama's consistent appeal for a broader and less partisan coalition of Democrats, Independents and Republicans -- a coalition Obama built in the largest numbers in Iowa caucus history and, Axelrod predicted, would replicate Tuesday in New Hampshire.