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Campaign Notebook

Clinton doubles donations, still lags

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader introduced Matt Gonzalez as his running mate in Washington yesterday. Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader introduced Matt Gonzalez as his running mate in Washington yesterday. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES)
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February 29, 2008

WASHINGTON - More than doubling her January fund-raising total, Hillary Clinton raised $35 million in February, her biggest month yet, her advisers said.

But Barack Obama's campaign said it will surpass that figure, with some reports that it could exceed $50 million. Clinton has been struggling to recover from weak fund-raising in January, when she had to loan her campaign $5 million. She raised $14 million in January to Obama's $36 million.

Clinton's campaign announced that it had raised the February money from 300,000 donors, including 200,000 new contributors, most of them donating on the Internet.

"It was incredibly gratifying to see people come forth with this vote of confidence in me," Clinton said yesterday in Hanging Rock, Ohio. "Obviously this is a tremendous benefit to my campaign."

Despite Clinton's increased fund-raising, Obama is outspending her in the crucial March 4 primary states of Ohio and Texas. As of Tuesday, Obama had spent a total of $7.5 million in advertising in the two states. Clinton had spent $4.6 million.

"We are facing a real wall of money from the Barack Obama campaign," Harold Ickes, Clinton senior adviser, acknowledged while speaking with reporters. "But based on everything we know today, we are confident we have very strong operations there."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

McCain says his comments on Iraq have been distorted
HOUSTON - John McCain said his remark that American troops could stay in Iraq for 100 years has been distorted by Democrats and critics, yet he still suggests a lengthy US presence comparable to that in Korea and other countries.

"I was talking about American presence after the war," the likely Republican nominee said at a town hall meeting at Rice University yesterday.

Responding to a student who had criticized his 100-year remark, McCain added, "No American argues against our military presence in Korea or Japan or Germany or Kuwait or other places, or Turkey, because America is not receiving casualties."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Obama insists economy is on brink of recession
AUSTIN, Texas - Barack Obama said yesterday that the economy is "on the brink of a recession" and blamed economic policies espoused by President Bush and Republican presidential contender John McCain.

Obama mocked the more optimistic economic picture Bush painted at a White House news conference just moments earlier.

"People are struggling in the midst of an economy that George Bush says is not a recession but is experienced differently by folks on the ground," Obama said. "This was not an inevitable part of the business cycle. It was a failure of leadership in Washington - a Washington where George Bush hands out billions of tax cuts to the wealthiest few for eight long years and John McCain promises to make those same tax cuts permanent, embracing the central principle of the Bush economic program."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nader picks Calif. man to be his running mate
WASHINGTON - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has selected Matt Gonzalez, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to be his running mate.

"I want someone who shares my sense of justice and opposition to corporate state control over our society," Nader said.

The Texas-born Gonzalez ran for mayor of San Francisco as a Green Party candidate in 2003 but lost to Gavin Newsom.

Gonzalez said he recognized the difficulties of winning the presidential election.

"I have no illusions about what's happening here today," Gonzalez said. "But let me also say that I've never entered a political contest with the idea that it couldn't be won."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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