Hillary Clinton gets out the early vote in Iowa

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gives a thumbs up to supporters at an Iowa Democratic Party Early Vote campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. September 29, 2016.

REUTERS

Hillary Clinton is driving an early voting effort in Iowa, making sure that her campaign uses its organizational edge to get voters to the polls early, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reports.

“It’s a great honor to have Ruline supporting me,” Clinton told a Des Moines crowd Thursday. “She’s gonna go vote early today. 

The Democratic nominee was referring to 103-year-old Ruline Steininger, who decked out in her walker and cast her ballot Thursday on the first day of in-person voting in Iowa. 

“I am 103. That is the reason I voted early,” Steininger said. “I am not taking any chances.” 

She and other Clinton supporters were escorted from the rally in Des Moines to the nearest polling place -- part of a highly orchestrated effort to run up Clinton’s vote totals in the battleground state six weeks before election day. 

Later, on her campaign plane, Clinton was asked about her favorite world leader. 

“Oh, let me think,” she said laughingly, in seeming reference to Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, who could not answer the question during an MSNBC town hall Wednesday. 

“I’m having a brain -- I’m having a brain freeze,” Johnson had said in response. 

Clinton, however, was expecting the question, one day after it stumped her Libertarian opponent. Her response consisted of praise for Germany’s Angela Merkel. 

“She’s been an extraordinary, strong leader,” Clinton told reporters on her plane. 

In New Hampshire, Republican rival Donald Trump fielded the same question -- and gave a similar answer

“Well, I think Merkel is a really great world leader,” he told a local television station. “But I was very disappointed that when she, this move with the whole thing on immigration.” 

Trump has been highly critical of Merkel in the past, saying at one point that she was ruining Germany.

“Hillary Clinton is running to be America’s Angela Merkel,” Trump said just last month at a rally in Dimondale, Michigan. 

His inconsistencies prompted USA Today to announce -- not that they were endorsing Clinton but that they were “disendorsing” Trump.

In an eight-point takedown, the editorial board called Trump a “dangerous demagogue” who is “ill-equipped to be commander-in-chief” and a “serial liar” who “traffics in prejudice.” 

On Clinton, the board split, with some expressing reservations due to her “sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness.” 

USA Today allowed Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, to write a rebuttal in the paper. 

Pence called Trump a bold leader and compared him to Ronald Reagan, whose unique style had also made some Republicans uneasy at first.