Tales from the Trail

Baby gets baptised, with a visit from Clinton

hillary-smile.jpgBOWLING GREEN, Kentucky – Katelyn Jenkins got a surprise visit from Sen. Hillary Clinton on one of the biggest days of her life so far. But odds are, she didn’t even notice.

The eight-week-old girl was getting baptised on Sunday morning at the State Street United Methodist Church, where the Democratic presidential contender paused in her campaigning to attend services.

At the sight of the former first lady, the baby’s father said: “I was pleasantly surprised and amazed.”

As for the red-haired baby in her father’s arms, she slept a bit, looked around a bit and fussed a bit.

“She just knew there was a big crowd, and everyone was looking at her,” said the baby’s father, adding that he was ”possibly” a Clinton supporter. The candidate briefly chatted with the baby’s parents after the service ended.

Barack Obama, pool shark??

rtr206t4.jpgCHARLESTON, W.Va. – We’ve seen him play basketball, he has been teased mercilessly about his dismal bowling skills and he even pretended to take part in a 400-meter hurdles race at a track meet last week. But pool?

Barack Obama loves it. And he decided to spend part of a 6-hour campaign stop in West Virginia — just one day before the primary election there — playing pool.

“The sign of a misspent youth,” Obama joked as he walked around and eyed the table in the smoky Schultzie’s Billiards in South Charleston.

Obama camp to superdelegates: “Read the newspapers”

CHICAGO – As Barack Obama celebrated his compelling win in North Carolina and the unexpected closeness of the Indiana race on Tuesday night, his senior strategist said one of the campaign’s top tasks now is to court influential Democratic Party figures.
 
The Democratic senator from Illinois was seen as showing resilience after a bumpy ride in which he has struggled with questions about his former pastor’s fiery sermons and efforts by Clinton to paint him as an “out of touch” elitist.
 
Analysts said his rival Hillary Clinton, who won only narrowly in Indiana where she had been favored to do well, was likely to face increased pressure to exit the race because her showing did little to advance her argument that she would be more electable than Obama in a matchup against Republican Sen. John McCain.
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Asked by reporters whether there would be a slew of new endorsements from the party stalwarts and officials known as the “superdelegates,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was careful not to reveal too much.
 
“We’re going to be reaching out to them,” Axelrod told reporters as Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, flew back home to Chicago from his evening rally in North Carolina.
 
The Obama strategist said the message in these conversations would be a simple one: “Read the newspapers.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane (Obama waves to supporters at his North Carolina and Indiana primary election night rally in Raleigh.)

Arnold Stands by His Man

schwarz.jpgBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Wednesday he’s likely to make another major speech at the Republican National Convention later this year, as he did in 2004, and that he’s going to join his buddy John McCain on the campaign trail later this year.

The governor spoke of his plans during a lunch session for participants at the Milken Institute Global Conference on the economy.

Schwarzenegger announced on Jan. 31 that he is supporting McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Bill tries to provide cover for Hillary from sniper fire

WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton has leaped into the debate over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s exaggerations about her 1996 trip to Bosnia — and got his facts wrong.

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. first lady, has been accused of playing loose with the facts ever since her dramatic description of arriving in Bosnia under sniper fire was contrclintons3.jpgadicted by the actual videotape of her visit.

The controversy had seemed to run its course — until Thursday, when Bill Clinton got into the act while campaigning for his wife in Indiana.

Clinton comes out fighting in Philadelphia

rocky1.jpgPHILADELPHIA – Visiting Philadelphia, presidential contender Hillary Clinton couldn’t resist evoking the image of the city’s fictional boxing hero Rocky Balboa , who famously struggled to go the distance in his first big bout.

“When it comes to finishing the fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit. I never give up,” the Democratic New York senator said while she campaigned on Tuesday in the city where the popular movie, starring Sylvester Stallone as the tenacious fighter, was set.

In the original 1976 “Rocky,” which spawned several sequels, the underdog boxer trained by running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.