Tales from the Trail
PHILADELPHIA – One of the most ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has disclosed the secret behind his now public support of Barack Obama: he drank the Kool-Aid.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who often accused reporters of having “drunk the Obama Kool-Aid” during the nominating process, said he now has had some of the sweet drink himself.
At a fund-raising event on Friday, just a week after Clinton pulled out of the Democratic race, Rendell said that Obama supporters had brought him a big carton of Kool-Aid and told him to “drink up” when Obama became the nominee.
“I gave Senator Clinton $1,500 in the primary so I thought just for old-time sake I’d give Senator Obama $1,499,” Rendell said, sparking scattered boos from the crowd.
Rendell calmed them by saying “that was before I drank the Kool-Aid.” He said he has a check for $2,300 to give to the Obama campaign.
WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate John McCain spent a marathon day raising money on Monday, and it went well: after events in Virginia and Washington, D.C., the campaign and the Republican Party pulled in more than $2 million.
“We won’t raise as much money as our opponent but we certainly will raise (a) sufficient amount of money to win this election,” the Arizona senator told a gathering at a Ritz Carlton hotel in Northern Virginia.
His opponent, of course, is Democrat Barack Obama, who has consistently broken records with his fundraising in the primary contests.
McCain congratulated Obama on his victory over rival Hillary Clinton in the Democratic nominating battle but needled the Illinois senator for a lack of experience by saying the White House was not a place for on-the-job training.
McCain was certainly on the job bringing in cash. One event included tickets to a “victory dinner” and two receptions for a contribution — raised or donated — of $50,000. Whew.
And even those lobbyists out there got a thank-you.
“I’m going to thank some corrupt unscrupulous lobbyists that are destroying America as we speak, everything we stand for and believe in,” McCain joked at one fundraiser.
Finally, there was praise for his opponent-turned-supporter, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“There’s nobody who represents me better today than Mitt Romney,” McCain said.
Are you listening, governor? That could be the sound of a vice presidential offer coming down the road …
Michelle Obama has a new defender from those who say she isn’t patriotic enough — First Lady Laura Bush. In an interview with ABC News, Bush said that Obama’s February remark that she was proud of the United States “for the first time in my adult life” was misconstrued.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – While pundits pondered the intricacies of how Hillary Clinton might drop out of the presidential race, voters in South Dakota greeted the candidate on Monday in a traditional style by talking about issues that affect their lives.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who aims most of his attacks at Democrat Barack Obama these days, noted Monday that Hillary Clinton was still in the race — and praised her for being a role model to women.
WATERFORD, Mich. – Barack Obama praised rival Hillary Clinton as “an outstanding public servant” and said he hopes to meet with her sometime after the final Democratic presidential nomination contests take place on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters outside a Rite-Aid distribution center in Waterford, Michigan, the Illinois senator gave more details about a conversation he had with Clinton when he called her on Sunday to congratulate her on her win in Puerto Rico.
“There aren’t many people who understand exactly how hard she’s been working. I’m one of them,” Obama said of their hard-fought race.
“I told her that once the dust has settled, I was looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing,” he said.
Obama, who hopes he will rack up enough delegates this week to clinch the Democratic nomination, has been making a point of publicly praising the New York senator. His hope is to ease divisions that have opened up in the party during the months of campaigning.
Some Democrats worry the rift among Democratic voters may put the party at a disadvantage in the November election against Republican Sen. John McCain.
At a raucus gathering over the weekend, the Democratic party’s rules committee backed a compromise unfavorable to Clinton for the seating of disputed Michigan and Florida delegations at the party’s August convention.
The decision fanned anger on the part of some Clinton supporters. The committee rejected a Clinton-backed proposal to seat all the Florida delegates at full strength, then backed compromises seating both the Michigan and Florida delegations while cutting their voting power.
Clinton’s supporters were particularly angry about the decision to award Obama delegates in Michigan, where he did not even appear on the ballot.
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s almost insurmountable lead in the race for the Democratic party presidential nomination is mainly the result of a two-week period in February when he outspent rival Hillary Clinton 3-to-1 on advertising while winning nine straight state races, according to a new analysis released Monday.