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It’s the top of the hour, and you’re tuned to RNN, The Place to Go for Political News You Can’t Find Anywhere Else. That’s right—it’s time for The Great ’08 Campaign Update!
Here’s what’s topping the news from the trail this morning:
--Stung by recent stories in The New York Times and other newspapers about his past dealings on Capitol Hill, Arizona Sen. John McCain insisted again today that he had never had an “inappropriate relationship” with Democrats.
--More proof of the old theory that “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”: McCain is enjoying a sudden burst of support from radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and other ardent conservatives who have long opposed him. McCain aides say the senator is grateful for their support, however grudging.
And McCain himself has now sent Limbaugh a note, proposing an informal get-together with Limbaugh and—we’re quoting here—“any of your other right-wing nut-ball friends.”
--Hillary Clinton was on the attack again today, accusing her Democratic rival of questionable campaign tactics, including plagiarizing other people’s words in his campaign speeches.
“Shame on you, Barack Obama!” said Clinton at a rally in Ohio. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be!”
--Amplifying earlier comments that she had only recently learned about what she called “bizarre” procedures for the combination primary and caucuses in Texas on March 4, Clinton said today that there were other aspects of the presidential campaign that had also surprised her. The biggest shock, she said: To win the nomination, she’s actually required to get more delegates than Obama does!
--Back on the Republican side, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee insisted today that he will not be abandoning his quest for the presidency any time soon, despite McCain’s nearly insurmountable advantage in the delegate hunt. Huckabee pointed to his continuing support in various state and national polls, as well as a 12-point lead in the Cayman Islands.
--Aides to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, announced today that the former GOP presidential candidate has now gone 14 days without changing his positions.
--It’s being called “retaliation by photograph”: First there was the picture of Barack Obama dressed in traditional Somali clothing during a trip to Africa two years ago—most observers suspect it was part of a last-ditch effort by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to raise doubts about the Illinois senator. Now the Web is abuzz with a picture of Clinton’s husband, Bill, trying to slip into a woman’s dress.
The Obama campaign is denying any responsibility for distributing the picture.
The woman wearing the dress at the time was not immediately identified.
--The two Democratic contenders hope to take time off the campaign trail next week to help Washingtonians prepare for the arrival of cherry-blossom season. Hillary Clinton plans to present an eight-point program to eradicate the Japanese cherry-blossom beetle. Barack Obama will walk across the Tidal Basin.
--Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has offered a further explanation for his decision to mount yet another run for the White House. Speaking this morning at a Washington press conference, Nader explained that he reached the decision after looking carefully at the remaining candidates in both parties and noticing that none of them was named “Ralph Nader.”
That’s all the news for now—when there’s more, we’ll tell you.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at email@example.com.