Tales from the Trail

Can Hillary Clinton dance?




PHILADELPHIA — Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton stopped by a dance class at the Westside YMCA in West Philadelphia on Friday. Tell us what you think — can Hillary dance?

Earlier in the day, she presented a $4 billion anti-crime plan that she hopes will halve murder rates in big cities. She was accompanied by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a key ally in Clinton’s bid to win over black voters from her rival Barack Obama.

Philly supporters to Obama: pay up

Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who has built his candidacy on the promise of a “new kind of politics,” has run up against the old kind of politics in Philadelphia.

obamaspeakThe Los Angeles Times reports that Obama’s refusal to pay “street money” to volunteers in Pennsylvania’s largest city may cost him support in the state’s April 22 primary.

Local party leaders in Philadelphia expect candidates to deliver cash to help them get out the vote, the Times says. Teens who hand out leaflets typically get a $10 bill, while more experienced volunteers can get up to $100. The total for America’s sixth-largest city could come to $500,000.

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.

Bowling for Votes

ALTOONA, Pa – Fans of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama might swoon at his speeches. They might stand in awe of his judgment and echo his call for change. But they probably are not impressed by his bowling skills.

The Illinois senator, who is on a six-day bus tour of Pennsylvania to “introduce himself” to the state’s voters, dropped in on a bowling alley in Altoona late on Saturday and, after chatting with some people, put on a pair of bowling shoes to try his hand in a competition with Sen. Robert Casey, who has recently endorsed him.

The candidate’s first attempt was a gutterball.

“I’ve got to get at least something,” he said as he turned around to face a growing crowd.