Robert Novak

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agents for Sen. Hillary Clinton, trying desperately to keep alive her presidential campaign, are privately telling Democrats that she is so "tight" with a dollar that she would not continue her contest against Sen. Barack Obama if she did not have a chance to win.

That was a reference to Clinton pulling $11 million out of her family's newfound personal fortune to maintain her candidacy. Saying that she would not waste money on a futile effort, her supporters imply she will still find a path to the presidential nomination.

With not enough primary elections left for Clinton to close the delegate gap between her and Obama, her strategists have to rely on the arguments they make to super-delegates. But they are having trouble selling their claim that Clinton would not be spending her own money if she did not harbor some secret tricks.


An invitation for Sen. John McCain to meet with evangelical leader James Dobson at his Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., so far has been rebuffed by the McCain campaign.

Dobson has indicated he cannot support McCain for president. His opposition reflects continued resistance to the prospective presidential nominee among Christian conservatives. They take issue with McCain's current positions on stem cell research, immigration and global warming, as well as his past sponsorship of campaign finance reform.

Many of Dobson's followers are looking beyond 2008 to seek a new leader of the conservative movement for the 2012 election.


Key Republicans in Mississippi, stunned by the loss Tuesday of a supposedly safe congressional seat, grumble that Vice President Dick Cheney's campaign visit to the district probably hurt more than it helped.

Their complaint is that the vice presidential visit was a "distraction," which diminished the effort to save the election. These critics put the visit by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in the same category. National Republicans spent millions of dollars on the race in an unsuccessful attempt to tie the conservative Democratic candidate to Barack Obama.

It is generally agreed that the Democratic winner, county official Travis Childers, was a much better candidate than the Republican loser, Greg Davis, mayor of a Memphis suburb. But any Republican likely would have been able to beat any Democrat in the north Mississippi district if the tide were not running strongly against the GOP.


Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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