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Campaign Notebook

Clinton adviser arrested for drunk driving in N.H. a day before primary

Email|Print| Text size + By Sally Cragin
Globe Correspondent / January 13, 2008

NASHUA - A senior adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was arrested and charged with aggravated drunken driving a day before the New Hampshire primary.

Police say Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend and adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, was arrested early Monday after an officer pulled over a car traveling 70 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone.

Police say the driver was 59-year-old Blumenthal, a journalist and former White House adviser to President Clinton, who is now serving as an unpaid senior adviser on Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Sergeant Mike Masella, one of the arresting officers, said Blumenthal told him he had gotten lost after leaving a restaurant in Manchester, about 20 miles away, while trying to return to his hotel.

Smelling alcohol, officers said they administered a field sobriety test, which Blumenthal failed.

Though Blumenthal declined to take a Breathalyzer test, he was arrested on a charge of aggravated drunken driving due to the speed, Masella said.

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Nebraska’s Senator Nelson gives backing to Obama

OMAHA — Barack Obama won the endorsement yesterday of Senator Ben Nelson, a popular moderate in largely Republican Nebraska who said he believes Obama has the ability to bridge the partisan divide and to carry Democratic candidates across the country to victory in 2008.

Nelson, pledging his support for his Illinois colleague, said Obama has ‘‘the greatest potential to ending the bitterness and poisonous atmosphere in Washington.’’

He said Obama’s victory speech after winning Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses was an effort to reach out to Democrats, independents, and ‘‘enlightened Republicans,’’ and that Obama’s campaign epitomizes what Nelson has tried to do

in Washington.

Nebraska Democrats will choose a presidential candidate Feb. 9.

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McCain wins endorsement of largest newspaper in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s largest newspaper yesterday endorsed John McCain in the state’s Republican primary.

The State’s editorial board wrote on the newspaper’s website that its choice in the Jan. 19 GOP primary boiled down to McCain or Mike Huckabee.

It said former Arkansas governor Huckabee was ‘‘an exciting newcomer who shows a wonderful ability to connect with voters’ concerns, and Republicans could

do far worse than to choose him. But his utter lack of knowledge of foreign affairs is unsettling.’’

Arizona Senator McCain, on the other hand, ‘‘has the necessary experience, not just in time served, but in the quality of understanding he exhibits across the board,’’ the paper said.

Brad Warthen, The State’s editorial page editor, said on his blog yesterday that the paper should have done the same thing in 2000 when McCain faced George Bush in the primary. ‘‘This time, we’ve done the right thing,’’ Warthen wrote.

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