Ready, Set, Vote it's Super Tuesday

G-O-P could end up with a presidential nominee tonight; Democrats' battle might continue
February 5, 2008 1:14:12 PM PST
The polls are now open in the tri-state area as Super Tuesday gets under way. Delegates in 24 states are up for grabs. The Republican contests are winner take all. Primaries and caucuses for the Democrats are not. So the G-O-P could end up with a presidential nominee tonight. But the Democrats' battle might continue. IN THE HEADLINES

McCain promises to work with Democrats if he wins GOP nomination, presidency ... Hillary Rodham Clinton plays talk-show host in Super Tuesday states ... Actor Jack Nicholson endorses Clinton ... Romney campaigns coast to coast on way to Super Tuesday finish line ... Obama jokes about bringing fans of rival Super Bowl teams together at campaign event ... Huckabee touts conservative record as he returns to Arkansas

McCain pledges to work with Democrats

BOSTON (AP) - Republican John McCain talked like the presidential nominee he wants to become, promising to work together with Democrats next year in Washington as he campaigned on the eve of Super Tuesday.

The Arizona senator, distrusted by some conservatives in his party, pledged to stay true to GOP values but insisted he would to reach out to the other party.

"As president of the United States, I will preserve my proud conservative Republican credentials, but I will reach across the aisle and work together for the good of this country," McCain said at a rally Monday morning in Boston.

McCain said he had high hopes of winning the state, home to rival Mitt Romney, once its governor. Massachusetts is among 21 states holding GOP contests Tuesday.

McCain carried the same tone to a stop at a fire station in Hamilton, N.J.

"I am optimistic, I am enthusiastic and I am confident that I can win this election. But more importantly, I can lead this nation and motivate all Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest," McCain said.

Clinton plays talk show host in Super Tuesday states

NEW YORK (AP) - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton found her inner talk show host Monday, holding a televised town meeting linking audiences in nearly two dozen Super Tuesday states.

Standing before a studio audience in New York, Clinton took questions from voters beamed in from far-flung locales including Fargo, N.D., Knoxville, Tenn., and Albuquerque, N.M. Most questions dealt with topics she addresses every day on the campaign trail, such as her plan for universal health care and how she would bring troops home from Iraq.

The event was in part a family affair - husband Bill Clinton served as moderator of the San Francisco gathering, while daughter Chelsea hosted the audience in Hartford, Conn. The former first lady's best friend from childhood, Betsy Ebeling, moderated a gathering at the Park Ridge, Ill., high school the two attended.

"I can tell you stories about every person I see here, but I won't," Hillary Clinton joked.

The 90-minute meeting was Web cast on Clinton's campaign Web site. Her campaign paid for the first hour to be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel.

Jack Nicholson backs Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jack Nicholson is backing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.

"Mrs. Clinton has been involved in issues, everything from health care - which we know - and prison reform and helping the military, speaking for women and speaking for Americans," the actor said on Rick Dees' radio program.

The New York senator said she was thankful for the support. The actor has received 12 Oscar nominations, winning for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Terms of Endearment" and "As Good as it Gets."

"I'm thrilled to have Jack's support," Clinton said. "I'm a big fan and a friend of Jack's."

Romney starts Super Tuesday sprint

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney told voters in the first of several coast-to-coast stops that hardcore Republicans are telling him, "We don't want Senator McCain; we want a conservative."

Romney, who's trailing John McCain in national polls, said Monday that differences between him and the Arizona senator on taxes, immigration and experience are tilting voters his way.

While normally eschewing poll results, Romney cited one unnamed survey that he said showed him leading in California, and another that he said confirmed a neck-and-neck race in Georgia.

"It's a very tight race. A lot of people said it's just going to be, you know, a very easy race for Senator McCain. But you know what's happened? Across the country, conservatives have come together and they say, you know what? We don't want Senator McCain; we want a conservative," Romney said.

McCain won the Florida primary last week, the third time he beat Romney in a high-profile matchup, and scored a series of high-profile endorsements, building momentum. Romney has responded by trying to rally conservatives to his side.

DeNiro, Kennedy campaign for Obama

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama joked that bringing a New England Patriots fan into New York Giants territory a day after the Super Bowl shows his ability to unite people.

Obama campaigned with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his niece, Caroline Kennedy, at the IZOD Center at the Meadowlands, next to the home of the champion Giants. New York posted one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, defeating the previously unbeaten Patriots on Sunday night.

"For me to be able to bring a Patriots' fan to the Meadowlands the day after the Super Bowl is like bringing the lion and the lamb together," Obama said. "We can bridge all gaps and all divisions in this country.

"Sometimes the underdog pulls it out," Obama said. "You can't always believe the pundits and prognosticators."

Obama was introduced by actor Robert DeNiro, who said it was his first speech at a political event. He was booed when he said Obama didn't have the experience to be president - the experience to vote for a war that has damaged the United States or the experience to beholden to special interests, DeNiro explained.

"That's the kind of inexperience our country deserves," DeNiro said.

Huckabee touts conservative record

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Republican Mike Huckabee told voters they could look at his history in Arkansas as a Southern Baptist minister and former governor to see that he is consistent on conservative issues.

Huckabee sought to draw a distinction between his candidacy and that of opponent Mitt Romney, without naming the former Massachusetts governor. Romney supported gay rights and abortion rights - positions he has since sought to distance himself from during the presidential campaign.

"Being president is not just a job. It's a sacred trust," Huckabee told about 600 people at an airport hangar. "People give you the trust of that office and people need to know what you say is what you really believe and there's clarity to your convictions."

Clinton tells Letterman she went hoarse rooting for Giants

NEW YORK (AP) - That rough, husky tone to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's voice didn't come from the campaign trail.

"Every New Yorker has a sore throat after last night," Clinton told talk-show host David Letterman during her appearance Monday on "The Late Show." She said she had been rooting for the New York Giants while watching the Super Bowl in a Minneapolis sports bar.

Clinton said she was modeling her campaign for the Democratic nomination for president on the Giants' last-minute, 17-14 victory over the undefeated New England Patriots.

"I took a lot of heart from that, Dave," said Clinton, who is neck-and-neck in many polls with rival Barack Obama on the eve of the 22-state nomination contest. "The fourth quarter before Super Tuesday, you've got to keep going."

Clinton and Letterman traded laughs on whether she drank a beer during the game - "I did not, only because I am so tired I thought I might still be there if I had" - to how she'd control her husband's behavior as president - "In my White House, we'll know who wears the pant suits."

Clinton sidestepped a question about whether Obama, an Illinois senator, could be her running mate.

"I've been giving a lot careful consideration to that," she said. "It's really down to you and Regis."

THE DEMOCRATS

Hillary Rodham Clinton met with voters in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Barack Obama campaigns in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

THE REPUBLICANS

John McCain stopped in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Mitt Romney held events in Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma and California. Mike Huckabee campaigned in Tennessee and Arkansas.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"It's a very tight race. A lot of people said it's just going to be, you know, a very easy race for Senator McCain. But you know what's happened? Across the country, conservatives have come together and they say, you know what? We don't want Senator McCain; we want a conservative." - Republican Mitt Romney.

STAT OF THE DAY:

On Super Tuesday, 15 states will hold Democratic primaries and seven states and one territory will hold Democratic caucuses. On the Republican side, 15 states will hold primaries, five states will hold caucuses and one state will hold a Republican convention.


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