Monday, December 17, 2007

Like me or I'll have somebody kill you and make it look like a suicide

Boy, Talk about a tough sell.
Someone shut that door quick!

New Clinton campaign out to show her likability
By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, trying to warm up an image some voters perceive as cold, starts a drive Monday to showcase her personal side with testimonials from friends, associates and constituents she has helped.

The online and in-person campaign, complete with a website called, comes a day after Clinton won a key endorsement from The Des Moines Register and her chief rival in the Democratic nomination race, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, was endorsed by The Boston Globe.

The rush of endorsements comes as candidates angle for advantage in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses and New Hampshire's Jan. 8 primary. Weighing in on Iowa's tight three-way Democratic battle for first place, the Register called Clinton "best prepared to confront the enormous challenges the nation faces."

The Globe, circulated widely in New Hampshire, said Obama has "the leadership skills to reset the country's reputation in the world" and "a healthy independence from the established order" at home. The freshman senator has surpassed Clinton in some Iowa polls and created buzz touring last weekend with Oprah Winfrey.

Clinton had an unfavorable rating of 50% in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll this month, compared with mid-30s for Obama and former North Carolina senator John Edwards. She was rated least friendly of the three in a recent Pew Research Center poll.

Taking steps to fix the problem, Clinton has brought her mother and daughter to Iowa and featured them in TV ads. One of Clinton's constituents, Shannon Mallozzi of East Northport, N.Y., was on her way there Sunday as part of the new campaign. Mallozzi has a 6-year-old daughter with an incurable brain disease called hydrocephalus. As she waited to catch a plane to Des Moines for two days of campaigning, she said she spent a half-hour with Clinton several years ago to describe the disease and ask how to encourage federal research.

"She made me feel like it was just two mothers" talking in her car, Mallozzi said, then worked with her to get action on the disease and checked up on her daughter's health. Mallozzi said she once viewed Clinton as aloof and remote, but "she's anything but that."

Mark Penn, a top Clinton strategist, said that's the message: "It's important for people to understand the depth of Hillary, the way she has helped people."

Citing the Register endorsement, Clinton on Sunday said she's "picking up momentum." Edwards, who got the paper's endorsement in 2004, appeared on three TV talk shows to discuss a rejection he made clear he knew was coming. The Register said Sunday that "his harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change."

"They have a position. I respectfully disagree with it," Edwards said on ABC's This Week.
The Register and USA TODAY are owned by Gannett.

Obama's camp circulated the Globe endorsement and the Register editorial board's published account of its deliberations. One editor said the choice amounted to FDR vs. JFK.
It's unclear how much impact newspaper endorsements have on voters. At the very least, however, they offer candidates the appearance of momentum and something to brag about in ads, press releases and pitches for money.