US & Canada

Clinton kicks off Iowa campaign in coffee shop

Hillary Clinton has coffee with local residents at the Jones Street Java House during a campaign visit April 14, 2015 in Le Claire, Iowa. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hillary Clinton made her first stop on the Iowa-Illnois border at a coffee shop

Hillary Clinton has begun campaigning in Iowa, as the former secretary of state looks to win over voters in the first primary season contest.

Mrs Clinton plans to visit a community college as well as hold a round-table discussion with students and teachers in Monticello.

Her first stop after a road trip from her home in New York was in a coffee shop in the town of Le Claire.

Mrs Clinton came third in the state's 2008 caucus.

Her campaign has said she will stick to small gatherings in Iowa to better connect with voters ahead of a more formal rally.

In a fundraising email on Monday, Mrs Clinton, who was considered a frontrunner before she announced, told supporters she would "work my heart out to earn every single vote".

At the scene - Gary O'Donoghue, BBC News, Monticello, Iowa

"It's great!" was Mrs Clinton's response to a reporter who shouted "what's it like to be back in the game?" as she emerged from a more than hour-long chat with a half dozen students and teachers at a small community college in Iowa.

Talking to small groups like this is the big idea of the Clinton campaign - getting as close as she can to what her aides call "everyday Americans".

On Wednesday she will continue her "listening tour" across Iowa.

We will have to wait until May for anything bigger, when reporters might hear more than two shouted words.

Republican candidates are already focusing on Mrs Clinton.

Announcing his own 2016 campaign on Monday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio attacked Mrs Clinton as "a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday".

Among those Mrs Clinton spoke to at the Jones Street Java House was Le Claire Mayor Bob Scannell, an independent.

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Media captionHow Hillary Clinton got here

"I always vote for the person who I think will do best for the country, and she has my vote," Mr Scannell said.

Mrs Clinton announced she was running for president on Sunday in a video on her website, then left in a 1,000-mile (1609-km) road trip to Iowa, in a van nicknamed "Scooby" after the cartoon show Scooby-Doo.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Posters - of an unclear source - appeared near the Clinton campaign headquarters on Sunday

Her campaign advisers have set a goal of raising $100m (£68m) for the primary campaign, initially from smaller donors.

Iowan will vote to nominate candidates for each party in January 2016, nine months from now, but Mrs Clinton and three major Republican candidates have already declared they will be running.

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