Robert Novak

A lawyer from Marion on the south coast of Massachusetts, Xifaras endorsed Obama on Feb. 21 as a super-delegate by virtue of her membership on the DNC. The other shoe did not drop for three months, when the Democratic State Committee met in Dorchester and replaced Xifaras with a Clinton stalwart (Susan Thomson, the state party's former executive director). What her friends described as "hard-core Hillary feminists" were aligned against any women not backing Clinton.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry supported Obama in the state's Feb. 5 primary, but Clinton carried the state by a wide margin.


National conservative activists are getting behind an effort to purge 74-year-old Rep. Don Young, a leading purveyor of pork, in Alaska's Aug. 26 Republican primary. Young's opponent, 45-year-old Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, met with conservative activists last week in Washington.

Young, who came to Congress in 1973, would become the senior Republican in the House if he is re-elected this year. He is a subject of a Justice Department investigation in connection with the notorious Coconut Road earmark that was added after the bill actually passed. Young has voiced support for gas tax increases in the past and recently voted for the "patriot tax" to finance the new GI Bill.

National Democratic strategists have targeted Young as a vulnerable incumbent, with State Rep. Ethan Berkowitz the leader for the Democratic nomination. But Young is shaky in the Republican primary, with a recent poll giving him 45 percent to Parnell's 42 percent.

Robert Novak

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

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