The Trail

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SHE 'GETS IT'

N.C. Governor Endorses Clinton

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley (D) endorsed Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, giving her a boost in a state whose demographics suggest an uphill fight.

"Hillary Clinton gets it," Easley told a crowd of several hundred at an event at North Carolina State University. He added: "This young lady makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy."

Clinton's campaign has played down her chances of winning in a state where she has trailed by double digits in recent polls, but it is nonetheless running an aggressive race here. She has spent the past few days stumping in the state, and her campaign aides say she hopes to hold down Barack Obama's margin of victory in votes and delegates, even if she does not win.

Because of Obama's historic candidacy and her own campaign's controversial moves, Clinton has struggled mightily among African Americans, picking up less than 10 percent of the black vote in some primaries.

She has not yet won a state where African Americans comprise more than 30 percent of the electorate, and blacks in North Carolina are expected to make up 30 to 35 percent of primary voters.

-- Perry Bacon Jr.

A FIRST FOR FOX

Clinton to Go on O'Reilly's Show

Bill O'Reilly has been trying to book Hillary Clinton for years. Tonight, he finally gets his shot.

The former first lady will grant the bombastic television host an audience in Indiana, and the interview will air over two nights on the highest-rated cable news show. The move represents a further thaw in the once-frigid relations between the Democratic presidential candidates and Fox News, after Barack Obama's first-ever appearance on "Fox News Sunday" last weekend.

"The O'Reilly Factor" may not seem like the most hospitable environment for Clinton. O'Reilly has criticized her and her husband periodically since they lived in the White House, but his show could also enable Clinton to reach more moderate and conservative voters in the run-up to next week's Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

-- Howard Kurtz

GROUPS ROLL OUT COMMERCIALS

Independent Ads on Health Care

Independent groups released two news ads Tuesday focused on health care.

The American Leadership Project, a group set up by donors to Hillary Clinton, scripted one commercial. The ad, airing in Indiana, targets Barack Obama for "leaving as many as 15 million Americans uncovered" with his health-care proposal.

The political arm of the Obama-aligned Service Employees International Union launched the second ad, which is airing in Ohio and the District, and targets Republican Sen. John McCain. "Like President Bush, John McCain won't stop rising health-care costs," the ad says.

-- Matthew Mosk

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