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Clinton Plays the Fear Card

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008; Page A08
by Howard Kurtz

THE AD

It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military -- someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

ANALYSIS

This is a classic, fear-stirring incumbent's ad in which, without mentioning his name, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton strongly suggests that Sen. Barack Obama is not prepared to be commander in chief.

What is unusual is that Clinton, although she is the wife of a former president, is not the incumbent and lacks military experience. Beyond that, her only current edge over Obama is that she serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee....(Click here for remainder of article).

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GOP Frets Over Democratic Fundraising

WASHINGTON (AP) — For Republicans, watching Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama fight for supremacy in fundraising is not just a spectator sport. It is a look into the future, and the GOP isn't cheering.

Obama and Clinton together raked in as much as seven times as much cash in February as John McCain, the all-but-certain Republican nominee.

The Democrats, particularly Obama, are also developing a broad base of fervent donors whose help goes beyond sending money.

Some Republicans are sounding alarms.

"Since the midterm election of 2006, Democrats have had an enthusiasm gap with Republicans," said GOP strategist Scott Reed. "They have big crowds, raise more money and appear to have more excitement on the campaign trail. Couple this with turnout numbers, which are off the charts, and Republicans are going to have a big challenge in the fall."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Clinton Irks Texas Democrats

'Threats of Litigation' Cited by Party Officials Disputed by Campaign
By JUNE KRONHOLZ
March 1, 2008; Page A4

The Texas Democratic Party charged that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign "threatened" to challenge aspects of the state's two-step nominating process, just days before Tuesday balloting, which now appears unlikely to produce the blowout victory the New York senator needs to stay in the race.

Among other things, party activists said the Clinton campaign was trying to delay the release of the results from that evening's caucuses, where Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is thought to have an advantage. A delay in reporting those results would allow any Clinton victory in the popular-vote count earlier in the day to briefly dominate headlines and keep Sen. Clinton's presidential aspirations alive.

Sen. Clinton's spokesman, Phil Singer, insisted without elaborating that the campaign was "simply asking for the procedures to be put in writing." He said the campaign is taking "no legal action and there is no threat of legal action."

But Chad Dunn, the state party's lawyer, and other party workers went out of their way to characterize the campaign's actions as "threats of litigation."

They also were quick to release a letter that Mr. Dunn sent Thursday to both campaigns, warning that litigation "could prove to be a tragedy for a reinvigorated democratic process" in the state. The letter and the dispute were reported yesterday by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sen. Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, charged that Sen. Clinton's advisers "do not want the caucus results reported on Tuesday night. There is timely reporting and the Clinton campaign has deep anxiety about that."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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In ’08 Politics, Rhode Island Defies Its Size

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For the first time anyone can remember, this small state is relishing its role in the presidential primary cycle.

The state, with only 665,000 eligible voters, has seen astonishing surges in both voter registration and grass-roots political activity.

And while a scant 32 delegates to the Democratic National Convention are at stake, compared with a combined 389 in Ohio and Texas, which will also vote on Tuesday, the candidates are lavishing attention on Little Rhody.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York visited the state, which is heavily Democratic, last Sunday. She also dispatched her husband here Thursday and her daughter, Chelsea, to make appearances on Friday.

Senator Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, stopped here on Feb. 20; she was introduced by her brother, who happens to be the men’s basketball coach at Brown University. Mr. Obama, of Illinois, will hold a last-minute rally on Saturday in Providence.

No presidential candidate stumped here before the 2004 primary, and the state’s turnout that year — barely 6 percent of registered voters — was among the worst in the nation....(Click here for remainder of article).

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McCain Seeks Distance From Pastor

PHOENIX (AP) — John McCain is refusing to renounce the endorsement of a prominent Texas televangelist who Democrats say peddles anti-Catholic and other intolerant speech.

Instead, the Republican presidential candidate issued a statement Friday afternoon saying he had unspecified disagreements with the San Antonio megachurch leader, John Hagee. Hagee endorsed him at a news conference Wednesday in San Antonio.

"However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee's views, which I obviously do not," McCain said in the statement.

His campaign issued the statement after two days of criticism from the Democratic National Committee, the Catholic League and Catholics United.

Democrats quoted Hagee as saying the Catholic Church conspired with Nazis against the Jews and that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution for homosexual sin, and they recited his demeaning comments about women and flip remarks about slavery.

"Hagee's hate speech has no place in public discourse, and McCain's embrace of this figure raises serious questions about John McCain's character and his willingness to do anything to win," said Tom McMahon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee....(Click here for remainder of article).

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