Obama sweeps; Staff shakeup for Hillary

267 Days to the Election: A look at the race for 2008 for Monday
February 11, 2008 4:42:53 PM PST
For Obama, a weekend of wins, momentum, even a Grammy....Clinton says replacement of campaign manager reflects need for more staff ...McCain challenges idea of trouble with conservatives, picks up nod from Bauer ... Huckabee brushes off calls to abandon GOP presidential race. Obama basks in crowds, momentum

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama could hardly have had a better weekend.

On Sunday he added the Maine Democratic presidential caucus to the three contests he swept Saturday against rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, giving him momentum heading into Tuesday's voting in three mid-Atlantic states.

For a cherry on top, he won a Grammy award Sunday, beating former President Clinton and others for "best spoken word album," for the audio version of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

While everything seemed to go Obama's way this weekend, the Clinton campaign was regrouping. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle stepped down a few hours before it was clear that Obama had carried Maine, where both candidates had addressed crowds on Saturday.

Obama also won in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state on Saturday.

Clinton: Staff change not significant

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the replacement of her campaign manager reflected a need to add more people to her campaign staff. Former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle will remain a trusted friend and adviser, Clinton said.

"There is just too much to be done, so we had to add some more people. There really is not significant change, we really just got to get more help, we just don't have enough help," Clinton told a Chicago television news crew. Solis Doyle is a Chicago native.

Maggie Williams, a longtime Clinton confidante and former chief of staff from Clinton's days as first lady, replaced Solis Doyle. Solis Doyle announced her departure to the staff Sunday.

Clinton also addressed a campaign audience in the District of Columbia one day before the nation's capital holds its primary. Rival Barack Obama is expected to win there as well as contests in neighboring Virginia and Maryland, in part because of his popularity among blacks who make up a significant portion of the Democratic electorate in each place.

Clinton acknowledged that many black voters face a "challenging" choice between her candidacy and Obama's.

"It's a good problem to have," Clinton told the small gathering sponsored by the National Council for Negro Women.

Bauer, Hensarling endorse McCain

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Republican Sen. John McCain challenged the notion he is struggling to rally conservative critics as he picked up the endorsement Monday of evangelical leader Gary Bauer.

"We're doing fine. We're doing fine," McCain told reporters in Annapolis, dismissing the notion that losses in Kansas and Louisiana on Saturday had hurt his campaign.

His campaign announced Bauer's endorsement as McCain left Annapolis for Richmond, Va. Bauer, former head of the Family Research Council and founder of the Campaign for Working Families, unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2000.

A well-known abortion foe, Bauer said in a statement that McCain "has dedicated his life to defending human rights around the world, including the rights of the unborn."

McCain also picked up the support of Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group that helps shape conservative policy for the House.

In a statement Monday, Hensarling encouraged other conservatives to rally around McCain. "I believe that he has earned our party's nomination, fair and square," he said.

McCain has angered conservatives over the years for working with Democrats on changing campaign finance laws, on climate change legislation and on immigration.

"I do not wish to gloss over our differences, as they are very real," Hensarling said. "But the truth is that tepid support or indifference for Senator McCain is support for Senator Clinton or Senator Obama."

Huckabee intends to stay in

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mike Huckabee is resisting calls from some Republicans for him to abandon his presidential campaign

The former Arkansas governor said in an interview Monday on CNN that he will not step aside "as long as my guys are still waving the pompoms."

Rival John McCain is all but assured his party nod after rolling up huge numbers of delegates, 719, to the national convention. Huckabee has 234.

Huckabee said that "the goal is to win, and nobody has 1,191 delegates yet."

He also told NBC's "Today" show that "it's not a healthy thing for our party to sort of become lethargic, say it's (the presidential race) is over, have a coronation."


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton holds events in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Maryland.


Sen. John McCain holds events in Maryland and Virginia. Mike Huckabee campaigns in Virginia.


"We have close to 800 delegates. Last time I checked, Governor Huckabee had very few, so I think I'm happy with the situation I'm in." - Republican Sen. John McCain, speaking to reporters in Annapolis, Md., dismissing the notion that losses in two states on Saturday had hurt his campaign.


The Maryland State Board of Elections processed 28,048 new registered voters in January before the primary registration deadline, 16,419 of them between 17 and 24, and nearly 60 percent of the total.