Tales from the Trail

Clinton tries to ring 3 a.m. alarm again

To great effect during the Texas primary, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton ran a television ad arguing that she was best able to handle a late night national security crisis if elected to the White House. Now she’s gone back to that well again.

The focus this time is the see-sawing economy and imploding housing market, leading Clinton to question whether presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain can handle that call at 3 a.m.

Clinton, who trails rival Barack Obama in the overall Democratic delegate race, leads in polls in Pennsylvania, the next state to hold its primary. The two senators are neck-and-neck in Indiana, which follows in early May.

Can this new ad focused on McCain help her close the gap again on Obama?


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Clinton pitches novel plan to decide race with Obama

PHILADELPHIA – Sen. Hillary Clinton jolted reporters to attention on Tuesday, walking into a news conference with a solemn expression and declaring that “this has been fool1.jpga very hard fought race.”

“We clearly need to do something, so that our party and our people can make the right decision. So I have a proposal,” she said to the crowd of reporters and photographers, several of whom admitted later they thought perhaps the New York senator was about to drop out of the close contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Today, I am challenging Sen. (Barack) Obama to a bowl-off, a bowling night right here in Pennsylvania,” Clinton said, as her audience visibly relaxed and broke into laughter. “Winner takes all.”

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.

Democrats mix criticism of McCain with praise

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Republican Sen. John McCain’s personal narrative as a war hero in Vietnam has Democrats treading carefully when they criticize him. 

Instead of trading barbs with each other, Democratic White House hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton this week have trained their attention on McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. 

mccain21.jpgObama, an Illinois senator, and Clinton, a New York senator, have assailed McCain for his support for the Iraq war and his backing of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. 

Chelsea Clinton dismisses “Monica” question

Campaigning for her mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton answers lots of questions from potential voters at campaign events but never from reporters.rtr1xusd.jpg

But in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Clinton brushed aside a question from an individual in the crowd who asked for her take on her mother’s handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, WISH-TV reported.

“Wow, you’re the first person actually that’s ever asked me that question in the, I don’t know, 70 college campuses that I’ve now been to and I do not think that’s any of your business,” Clinton responded according to the station.

Clinton: See this as a job interview, but ignore the hair

UNIONTOWN, Pennsylvania – U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants voters to see the Democratic nomination race as an interview, and she says her resume of experience means she’s the right person for the job.

clintonmar25.jpgBut the New York senator made light of the length of that interview process in her race against rival Barack Obama and said sometimes people make their decisions based on silly things — like hair.

“Consider this a job interview,” Clinton told a rally in Pennsylvania on Monday evening.

Richardson endorsement: just for Hispanics?

obama-richardson.jpgSALEM, Ore. – Conventional wisdom suggests New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama ‘s bid for the Democratic nomination matters most among Hispanic voters where, as a Hispanic himself, Richardson could have most influence.

Following that logic, the endorsement would have made more impact before Texas primary on March 5 or, even better, before Super Tuesday’s primary in California. Sen. Hillary Clinton won the big Hispanic vote in both states handily.
The point was made by Clinton’s campaign strategist Mark Penn.

“You know, I think New Mexico is a state that, actually, we won,” he said. “And if Senator Obama’s campaign wanted to follow what they tell everyone, they certainly would be telling Governor Richardson to be casting his pledged delegate to us.

Obama picks his basketball Final Four

  CHARLESTON, W.Va. – For many U.S. sports fans, March is the time to obsess over men’s college basketball and the science of “bracketology,” in which fans predict the winner of each game in the 64-team, end-of-season tournament. 

For others, of course, bracketology remains a mystery.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama released his “brackets” on Thursday, reinforcing his credentials as a regular, sports-lovin’ guy who shoots hoops in his spare time on the campaign trail as he runs for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president.

According to Obama, expect North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to reach the final four as semi-finalists.

Clinton, Obama action figures can battle it out at home


NEW YORK – While  not exactly the epic Star Wars battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, the heated contest for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president is spawning its own cadre of action figures that can debate right in your living room.

Novelty action-figure companies are scrambling to get ready for the November election and the figures are already starting to pop up on campaign trails.

This week a supporter handed presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain a Hillary Clinton figure at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. According to The Lighter Side Co., which ships the figure, she is wearing pearls, a 3-piece suit, and will dance to a modified version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

Clinton heads to Michigan to press case for re-vote

WESTCHESTER, New York – Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has made a last-minute change to her campaign schedule, adding a stop in Michigan on Wednesday to push lawmakers to organize a re-do of the state’s primary election.

The New York senator’s campaign decided late on Tuesday to add a stop in Michigan so she can push for the re-run, a move that could help her presidential bid.rtr1rrob.jpg

Michigan Democratic Party leaders said earlier a proposal to redo the primary in June was stalled and unlikely to be approved before a deadline this week.