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Campaign Notebook

Giuliani's attrition scores McCain another Bay State backer in Malone

Michael Bloomberg denied a White House run. Michael Bloomberg denied a White House run.
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February 1, 2008

Joseph D. Malone, the former Republican Massachusetts state treasurer who backed Rudy Giuliani for president, is following the lead of the former New York City mayor and endorsing Senator John McCain for the GOP nomination.

Malone said yesterday that he decided against supporting Mitt Romney because he believes McCain's experience in foreign affairs and his background in other national public policy issues far outweigh the former governor's credentials.

"Mitt is not at the presidential level yet," Malone said, two days after McCain won the Florida primary and emerged as the front-runner in the race. On Wednesday, Giuliani announced he was dropping out of the race and endorsed the Arizona senator.

Another Bay State Republican, Paul Cellucci, a former governor who had endorsed Giulani, said yesterday that he has not made a decision now that Giuliani halted his campaign. "I want to talk to Rudy," he said.

Cellucci is not expected to endorse Romney, according to those who have talked with him since the Florida primary this week. His and Malone's rejection of Romney's candidacy reflect the division within the Massachusetts Republican leadership that is hurting Romney as he works to carry the state in Tuesday's primary election. Jane Swift, another Republican and former acting governor, endorsed McCain early in the campaign.

FRANK PHILLIPS

Bloomberg says he is not entering presidental race
NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg lost Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - one of his biggest cheerleaders - to John McCain yesterday and said in more certain terms that he won't get into the presidential race.

The California Republican announced he is supporting McCain in the GOP primary next week, seeming to lower the expectation that he could be one of Bloomberg's biggest boosters if the mayor ran for the White House.

In a visit to Google's offices in New York City, Bloomberg said he is not a presidential candidate and that he'll "stay that way."

While Bloomberg typically says he is "not a candidate," he has given his aides and supporters freedom to promote the idea and study what it would take to mount a third-party campaign.

The mayor had also cultivated a key relationship with Schwarzenegger, holding a fund-raiser for his reelection campaign.

But yesterday in Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger endorsed McCain, praising him as an "extraordinary leader" who can reach across the political aisle to get things done.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Magazine names Obama most liberal senator in '07
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama was the most liberal senator last year, according to National Journal magazine, which ranked the Illinois Democrat based on his 2007 voting record. His presidential rival, Hillary Clinton of New York, came in 16th.

The ratings, based on 99 votes, are detailed in today's issue. The scores come from the lawmakers' votes on foreign policy, and economic and social issues.

The magazine said Obama took the liberal position on 65 of the 66 votes in which he participated, while Clinton voted the liberal position on 77 of 82. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, did not participate in enough votes to receive a score.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Clinton co-chairman took donations from Rezko
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a national co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, banked at least $1,500 in political donations from an indicted Chicago businessman whose past connections to Barack Obama have been used by Clinton to criticize her rival's judgment and ethics.

City records show that Antoin Rezko, chairman of Rezmar Corp. of Chicago, contributed $1,000 to Villaraigosa's mayoral campaign in May 2001. Those records show Rezko also donated $500 to another Villaraigosa political committee in March 2003.

Villaraigosa's office did not respond to repeated calls and an e-mail for comment.

Obama's campaign has given to charity nearly $150,000 in contributions from Rezko, his employees, his associates, and his family.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ron Paul banks on visit to Maine before primaries
AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has a couple of things going for him at this weekend's Republican caucuses: a band of highly motivated supporters and a natural appeal to independents.

Maine's GOP polling today, tomorrow, and Sunday might be the Texas congressman's best shot at winning a state, and such a feat would be big coming just days before next week's Super Tuesday presidential preference contests.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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