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After First Debate, Pace Picks Up On Presidential Campaign Trail


People on Twitter and elsewhere talked a lot about the body language of the presidential candidates during Monday's debate. And you could tell a lot by that body language. At one point, Hillary Clinton responded to extended remarks by Donald Trump with a smile and a much noticed shimmy of her shoulders. Yesterday on this program, one Georgia voter concluded she wanted him to say everything that he was saying. On the day after the debate, Hillary Clinton continued striking the pose of a candidate who finally drew the contrast that she wanted. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Heading into the debate, polls pointed to a challenge for Hillary Clinton. Many of her supporters were more enthusiastic about voting against Donald Trump than voting for Clinton. But it seems she's given them something to get excited about.


HILLARY CLINTON: Did anybody see that debate last night?


KEITH: At a rally in North Carolina, a swing state she hopes to win, a mere mention of the debate turned into a raucous applause line.


CLINTON: One down, two to go.


KEITH: The crowd ate it up when Clinton reprised her line from the debate about doing her homework.


CLINTON: You know what? I did prepare. And I'll tell you something else I prepared for, I prepared to be president of the United States, and I think that's good.

ANNE BULLARD: I think she's found her voice.

KEITH: Anne Bullard was at the rally yesterday.

BULLARD: She's not going to convince Trump voters, but she could easily convince undecided voters to move into her column with her common sense approach and good ideas.

KEITH: For Joan Tilghman, it's hard to separate why she supports Clinton from why she opposes Trump.

JOAN TILGHMAN: I'm so inspired to hear a message of inclusivity from a presidential candidate.

KEITH: Tilghman says she's volunteering one day a week registering people to vote because for her, there is so much at stake in this election.

TILGHMAN: I'm terrified. I'm a black woman. I've got black sons. I've got black grandsons. Some police officer in a helicopter is going to think my grandson is a bad dude because he's tall and dark skinned, so I'm terrified.

KEITH: As Clinton works to shore up support with key parts of the Democratic base, she campaigns today in New Hampshire with her one-time rival Bernie Sanders.


CLINTON: Bernie Sanders and I are going to talk about the college plan for debt-free college at public universities that he and I have worked on since the end of our primary.

KEITH: Their focus is younger voters who backed Sanders in the primary. Many of them are now considering voting third party. But Clinton needs them to back her instead. Tamara Keith, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.