CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Senator Barack Obama continued his string of victories in caucus states on Saturday, beating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Wyoming by a wide margin.
The victory, while in a state with only 18 delegates, was welcome news for the Obama campaign as it sought to blunt Mrs. Clinton’s momentum coming off her victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday. Mrs. Clinton had campaigned here Friday, a day after her husband and daughter, signaling the stakes every contest holds in the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination.
Party officials reported extremely high turnout at caucus sites across the state. More than 1,500 residents of Laramie County came to cast votes at the caucus site in downtown Cheyenne, filling the auditorium. Hundreds more waited outside for hours until they could enter and vote. [via NEW YORK TIMES]
MCCSAME: John McCain is getting much more than President Bush’s endorsement and fundraising help for his campaign. He’s getting Bush’s staff. It’s no secret that Steve Schmidt, Bush’s attack dog in the 2004 election, and Mark McKinnon, the president’s media strategist, are performing similar functions for McCain now. But other big-name Bushies are lining up to boost McCain, too. Ken Mehlman, who ran Bush’s 2004 campaign, is now serving as an unpaid, outside adviser to the Arizona Republican. Karl Rove, the president’s top political hand since his Texas days, recently gave money to McCain and soon after had a private conversation with the senator. A top McCain adviser said both Mehlman and Rove are now informally advising the campaign. Rove refused to detail his conversation with McCain. [via THE POLITICO]
POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION: Former senator Bill Bradley, who is a leading supporter of Obama and ran for president in 2000, accused the Clintons of “lying” in pursuit of victory. “The bigger the lie, the better the chance they think they’ve got. That’s been their whole approach,” he said. “She’s going to lose a whole generation of people who got involved in politics believing it could be something different.” Bradley believes that Clinton will stop at nothing to tear down Obama even if it boosts John McCain, who was confirmed last week as the Republican nominee: “The Clintons do not do long-term planning. They’re total tacticians and right now their focus is on Obama, not McCain.”
Bradley believes that Obama should keep his hands clean but is willing to throw some heavy punches on his behalf. The Clintons have long delayed releasing their tax returns and have refused to name the donors to the William J Clinton Foundation in Arkansas. Archivists are also blocking the release of hundreds of federal papers on White House pardons. “We need to know whether there were favours attached to $500,000 contributions, such as the granting of pardons, squelching an investigation, awarding a contract or deferring a regulation,” Bradley said. “The Democratic party has got to be in dreamland if they think the Republicans are going to let these matters go.” [via THE INDEPENDENT]
LITTLE GIRL IN CLINTON ‘3 A.M. PHONECALL’ AD IS OBAMA SUPPORTER: Casey Knowles, a High School Senior in Washington state, recently discovered she was one of the sleeping children in Clinton’s controversial “Children” ad appearing prior to the Texas primaries. Knowles, a supporter of Barack Obama was shocked that she had contributed to the national security message of a candidate that she passionately opposes. When asked by The New Argument, this is what Knowles had to say about her appearance in Clinton’s ad: “While I love Hillary, I would much rather hear Barack Obama’s voice at the other end of the phone at 3am. It’s hilarious and ironic that the child in Hillary’s ad is now of voting age and not her supporter. I’ve been campaigning for Barack since October and was a caucus precinct captain. I’ve been a very avid advocate of his and recruited a lot of folks to caucus for him in January. He’s inspired and mobilized so many already, he’s refreshing and quite simply the best option for people who want to change this country.”[via THE NEW ARGUMENT]