AUSTIN, TEXAS---This is a critical debate for Hillary Rodham Clinton and she has a strong opening, acknowledging indirectly she has an uphill fight when she talked about determination and keeping going against "insurmountable odds."
Barack Obama, who is suffering from a cold, delivers a version of a stump with no particular flair. But he has won 11 contests in a row and just needs to get through the night.
Clinton reminds the audience at the University of Texas at Austin campus she had her first political job here. She also cites her relationships with the late Texas icons Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards.
Clinton said, "And I am just delighted to be back here in Austin. You know, nearly 36 years ago I came to Austin for my very first political job, and that was registering voters in south Texas. And I had the great privilege of living for a while in Austin and in San Antonio, and .....meeting people and making friends that have stayed with me for a lifetime. And I found that we had a lot in common, a lot of shared values -- a belief that hard work is important, that self-reliance and iindividual responsibility count for a lot.
"And among the people whom I got to know who became not only friends, but heroes, were Barbara Jordan, who taught me a lot about courage. And today today would actually be her birthday. And I remember all the time about how she got up every single morning facing almost insurmountable odds to do what she did.
And another was my great friend Ann Richards, who taught me so much about determination.
You know, Ann was a great champion for the people of Texas. She also reminded us that every so often, it's good to have a laugh about what it is we're engaged in."