Hillary Clinton has started faking a Southern drawl to speak to Southerners, just as she did during her last presidential run eight years ago.
The tactic drew chuckles, derision and not a little resentment when she tried it in 2007 and 2008. But she was back at it again in Alabama on Saturday, putting on a heavy twang to express her contempt for Republicans.
With Bernie Sanders narrowing her lead or overtaking her in early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton is hoping for a "Southern firewall," and her itinerary of upcoming events reveals a determinatiion to set it ablaze quickly. She wants to win in South Carolina and then in the many Southern states holding primaries on "Super Tuesday," where Sanders is polling much worse.
That could mean a lot more of these type of videos, capturing her speaking in a voice she did not learn during her childhood in Illinois and schooling in New England.
Clinton was a resident of Arkansas for nearly two decades, but the distinction between the accent she used in official Washington, or globe-trotting as secretary of state, and the one she used campaigning at the event in Alabama can be stark.
"You know, when my husband became president thanks to a lot of you in this room, I remember after that election in '92, him saying to me, 'It's so much worse than they told us,'" Clinton told the crowd in Hoover, Ala. "The debt in our country has been quadrupled in the prior 12 years, the deficits had exploded. So he had to roll up his sleeves and work hard."
Clinton might chalk up the difference to the energy and the in-the-moment nature of stump speeches. Still, the difference between those events and her regular speaking voice can be surprising.