Obama ridicules idea of second spot on a Clinton ticket … McCain aims to ignite campaign with money, bio and issues tours … New Philadelphia mayor, who is black, sticks with early endorsement of Clinton
McCain seeks to reintroduce self
PHOENIX (AP) – Sen. John McCain is finding out what the Republican presidential nomination is worth this week.
Then he plans to buff his foreign policy credentials, remind the nation of his long military history and try to frame the issues for the November election – in three separate tours while his two Democratic opponents continue to struggle for their party’s nomination.
But first the money.
McCain has been outraised by both of his potential Democratic opponents, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton has more than doubled McCain’s donations; Obama has nearly tripled the Arizona senator’s total.
Six days after clinching the GOP nomination, McCain headed Monday to a fundraiser in St. Louis.
He planned to continue Tuesday in New York, Wednesday in Boston, Thursday in Pennsylvania and Friday in Chicago to counter an explosion in giving to the Democratic contenders who each set personal bests in February.
Obama raised $55 million in February alone, while Clinton collected $35 million. McCain has not yet released his February totals.
Obama ridicules notion of VP slot
COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama ridiculed the idea of being Hillary Rodham Clinton’s running mate Monday and said voters must choose between the two for the top spot on the fall ticket.
The Illinois senator used his first public appearance of the week to knock down the notion that he might accept the party’s vice presidential nomination. He noted that he has won more states, votes and delegates than Clinton so far.
“I don’t know how somebody who is in second place is offering the vice presidency to the person who is first place,” Obama said, drawing cheers and a long standing ovation from about 1,700 people in Columbus, Miss.
Saying he wanted to be “absolutely clear,” he added: “I don’t want anybody here thinking that somehow, ‘Well, you know, maybe I can get both.’ Don’t think that way. You have to make a choice in this election.”
“I am not running for vice president,” Obama said. “I am running for president of the United States of America.”
Obama aides said Clinton’s recent hints that she might welcome him as her vice presidential candidate appeared meant to diminish him and to attract undecided voters in the remaining primary states by suggesting they can have a “dream ticket.”
Obama had never suggested he might accept a second spot on the ticket. But until Monday he had not ridiculed the notion so directly, even if he did completely rule it out in Shermanesque terms.
Philly mayor sticking with Clinton
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Michael Nutter, this city’s newly installed black mayor, is not wavering in his support for Hillary Rodham Clinton, even though her rival Barack Obama is expected to easily carry Philadelphia in Pennsylvania’s Democratic presidential primary.
Nutter, a reform-minded former city councilman who took office in January, endorsed Clinton in December while she was the front-runner.
Since then Obama’s bid to become the first black president has garnered more votes, more delegates and more donations than the New York senator’s equally historic bid to become the first female president.
Revived by March 4 wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, she is now favored to win Pennsylvania, in part because overall the state is demographically so much like neighboring Ohio. But given Obama’s overwhelming support so far from blacks, there is little doubt that the Illinois senator will prevail among Philadelphia’s 1.4 million residents and its nearly equal numbers of black and white voters.
Nutter’s reaction: “This notion that somehow there is a monolithic black vote is just a myth.”
He has promised to campaign aggressively for Clinton “just like I campaign for myself,” doing events and raising money. He said he supports her policies and thinks she has the best chance to win in November. “Our best matchup is Clinton-McCain,” he said, referring to Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has locked up the Republican presidential nomination.
In a tight contest where every delegate has become important, Nutter’s backing could prove very helpful for Clinton if he can help hold down Obama’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania’s largest city. In addition to Nutter, she also has the backing of former two-term mayor, Gov. Ed Rendell.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Pennsylvania. Barack Obama campaigns in Mississippi.
John McCain holds a fundraiser in St. Louis.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“If I’m not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president?” – Democrat Barack Obama, speaking at a campaign event in Mississippi about rival Hillary Rodham Clinton suggesting that he is not ready to be president but hinting that she might pick him as a running mate.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Jesse Jackson garnered 45 percent of the vote compared with Al Gore’s 33 percent in Mississippi’s Democratic primary in 1988. More than 359,000 votes were cast in that election; about 76,000 people voted in the 2004 primary.