A flier Barack Obama's campaign is distributing to voters in Nevada, which votes Saturday.
Among the many questions posed by last week's New Hampshire primary was whether Hillary Clinton's fliers attacking Barack Obama on reproductive rights helped her pick up key women voters in the closing days of the campaign. With votes in Nevada and South Carolina looming, Obama's campaign is trying to preempt further attacks in this vein.
At issue are several "present" votes that Obama cast on abortion-related bills while a member of the Illinois Senate. Clinton's campaign argues that the votes betray a lack of leadership on Obama's part. Obama's campaign says the present votes were part of a coordinated legislative strategy with abortion-rights activists.
On a conference call with reporters today, Ellen Malcolm, president of the abortion-rights group EMILY's List, which has endorsed Clinton, sought to contrast Obama's record with that of Clinton, whom she said had been a strong abortion-rights voice as a US senator. "It's that kind of leadership we're looking for in our Democratic nominee," Malcolm said.
But Obama's campaign released excerpts of a letter Malcolm sent to Obama in 2006 thanking him for speaking at one of the group's events. Her letter, according to Obama's campaign, included this handwritten note: "You were terrific and really lit a fire with our members! Thanks so much!!"